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Tampa Bay Rays: 10, Minnesota Twins: 4 - Score Quietly and Carry a Big (Boom)Stick

Nelson Cruz & Yandy Homer in Rays 71st win.

Tampa Bay Rays v Minnesota Twins Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

Rays leave Boston winning 2 out of 3 and make their way to Minnesota for the 2nd half of a 6 game road trip.

Rays opened up scoring early, as Brandon Lowe hit a leadoff single, and Randy Arozarena doubled to bring him home and giving the Rays a quick 1-0 lead.

Yandy Diaz continued his anti-roundball campaigns by blasting a leadoff home run, his 9th, in the 2nd inning doubling the Rays’ lead.

With two outs, Mike Zunino singled, then moved to third base on a Brandon Lowe single. A wild pitch by Twins’ starter Micheal Pineda made it 3-0 Rays.

In the 1st inning, the Minnesota Twins’ crowd gave a very sweet and nice standing ovation for Nelson Cruz’s first at bat of the game. It was very sweet. Nelson Cruz struck out.

But the time for sweetness was over, as Nelson Cruz hit a laser for his 5th HR with the Rays, and the 4th run of the game.

4th Inning started off with Kevin Kiermaier popping out, and Manuel Margot trying to challenge the arm of Twins’ right fielder Trevor Larnach by stretching a single, but was thrown out for the second out of the inning.

Which brought up All-Star Mike Zunino, who continued his All Star performance by launching his twenty fourth Home Run of the season and giving the Rays a 5-0 lead.

Rays’ starter Shane McClanahan was cruising for the first three innings, and got into his first sense of trouble in the bottom of the 4th inning. Sugar Shane gave up a lead off single to Brent Rooker, then walked Mitch Garver. McClanahan would’ve gotten out of the inning, as he got Rob Refsnyder to ground out for a tailer made inning ending double play, but could only get the out at second base. Miguel Sano then singled home Rooker to give the Twins their first run of the game.

That would be the only damage in the 4th inning, which given Shane’s previous outings, where he gets all the damage done against him in one inning, was a good sign.

Twins scored again in the bottom of the 5th inning, when Brent Rooker singled to bring in to score Ryan Jeffers, and make the score 5-2.

Again, only damage was the 1 run in this inning, as Shane got Josh Donaldson to strike out to end the 5th.

In the top of the 6th, Kevin Kiermaier went first pitch swinging against John Gant, and almost hit it out for a HR.

And I guess Kevin Kiermaier took offense to that, so he decided to get the HR himself by speeding around the bases for the Rays’ 6th run of the game and a 6-2 lead.

KK still got it.

Going into the 6th inning this is part of the recap where I had planned to say: “Instead of getting all the damage done in 1 inning against Shane McClanahan, the Twins decided to just spread it out”. Which all things considered, I would take.

HOWEVER. In the bottom of the 6th the twins hit back to back to back singles to score another run, AND Yandy was removed from the game for a collision at 1st base, due to a throw from Joey Wendle.

Twins cut the Rays’ lead, and its 6-3.

As for Yandy:

Shane got Trevor Larnach to strike out swinging for the first out of the 6th inning, but that would be it for Shane, as he was at 101 pitches for the game. He would leave a runner on first and second with 1 out

Shane McClanahan: 5.1 IP, 8 H, 3 R (2 ER), 2 BB and 6 Ks.

Honestly, not a terrible line. I’ll take that all day. Kevin Cash went to Matt Wisler, and he only needed two pitches for the inning ending double play.

Rays put the pedal to the metal in the top of the 7th inning. Wander, Nelson Cruz, and Randy walked to load the bases with ZERO outs, and Joey Wendle at the plate. He singled to bring Wander home and reload the bases.

Kevin Kiermaier also singled to bring in two more runs, and move Joey Wendle to third base.

Manuel Margot hit a sac fly to Refsnyder to then score Wendle.

Rays lead 10 to 3!

Evan “Not Brett” Phillips came into the top of the 8th inning and got the first two outs, but then gave a HR to Brent “Rays Killer?” Rooker to make the score 10-4 Rays. Despite back to back singles following the HR, Evan Phillips got out of the 7th inning, and came back out for the 8th AND 9th inning to secure the Rays win (and the Save!)

Rays win 10-4!

Two Great Things:

  1. Shane McClanahan not getting riled up after giving up some hits and runs over multiple innings.
  2. This Nelson Cruz/Miguel Sano interaction

Game 2 is tomorrow at 7:10 PM CST/8:10 PM EST.