After a well deserved off day, the Tampa Bay Rays welcome the Washington Nationals to Tropicana Field for the first two games of a four game home/away season.
Rays quickly got things started in the bottom of the 1st inning with a leadoff homer by Manuel Margot.
105.8 MPH Exit Velocity, 31 degree launch angle, and 419 feet. Rays take an early 1-0 lead.
Washington answered back in the top of the 3rd inning, after a Starlin Castro single, Glasnow struck out Victor Robles, but then walked Kyle Schwarber. A Trea Turner Single to Kiermaier tied the game at 1.
Glasnow was able to avoid any more damage by getting Juan Soto to ground into a double play and end the threat.
Pitching on both ends would run into more jams than on a PB&J, as the Rays ran into jams of their own. Starting in the 3rd, the Rays left two runners on, and again in the 4th inning when, after a Margot single, loaded the bases and chased Jon Lester out of the game. Old friend Davey Martinez called upon Wander Suero, who got Yandy Diaz to fly out.
In the bottom of the 5th inning, Austin Meadows and Randy Arozarena both drew opening walks, and then Mike Brosseau took a 1-2 pitch outside the zone and slapped it up the right field line, over Juan Soto’s head, to score Meadows and give the rays a 2-1 lead.
Mike Zunino continued his all star bid by making sure he was well rounded by hitting a single to score Randy Arozarena.
In the top of the 7th, Nationals’ Josh Bell opened the inning with a double, and when the next batter, Josh Harrison singled to Randy Arozarena, decided to test Randy’s arm.
A nice high hop back to Zunino, and Josh Bell was tagged out for the 2nd out of the inning. The 3rd out came via a Juan Soto lineout, which I’m only mentioning because before the out, we got a great Juan Soto shimmy/boogie.
After 7 innings, Tyler Glasnow’s night was done. He went 7.0 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, and 11 Ks with 27 whiffs.
Cash went to J.P. Feyereisen for the 8th inning, and the jams kept on coming, assisted by the Rays infield. Feyereisen walked Victor Robles, and then got Kyle Schwarber to hit a grounder to Joey Wendle that was tailor made for a double play. Wendle got the force out of Robles, but yanked the throw to Yandy Diaz at first, and allowed Schwarber to advance to second with only one out. Feyereisen walked Trea Turner and Juan Soto (getting both of them to full counts) to load the bases with only 1 out, and the Rays only up by 2 runs.
J.P. Feyereisen’s night is done, and Kevin Cash went to his high leverage, groundball machine, and elite reliever Ryan Thompson. Naturally, Thompson didn’t get a roundball, and instead got Ryan Zimmerman and Josh Bell to strike out swinging to end the threat and preserve the lead.
Diego Castillo closed it out and solidified the 3-1 Rays’ win.
Game 2 of this set is tonight at 7:10 PM with a pair of lefties on the mound. Rays will send Shane McClanahan and Washington has Patrick Corbin on the bump.