On a Devil Ray Saturday afternoon, the boys from St. Pete rebounded from last night’s loss, winning the middle game of the series 8-4. Luis Patiño, bouncing back from a tough game against the Twins, was rock solid through six, and every Ray came ready to hit.
It was also the largest crowd of the season at the Trop.
Patiño faced off against veteran Dallas Keuchel. The Rays lineup was balanced.
The Rays jumped out early, hanging a three-spot in the first with some assistance from the baseball gods. With two out and runners on first and second, Wander Franco hit a chopper down the third base line. The ball clipped the bag and bounded high over the head of Moncada for an RBI double.
WHAT A START TO THE GAME!— Bally Sports Sun: Rays (@BallyRays) August 21, 2021
Wander Franco hits a double to send Nelson Cruz home! #RaysUp
@RaysBaseball vs. White Sox
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Lowe followed by driving a first pitch double into the left-center alley, scoring two more.
1st pitch double by Brandon Lowe to drive in Yandy Diaz and Wander Franco! @RaysBaseball take a 3-0 lead in the 1st! #RaysUp— Bally Sports Sun: Rays (@BallyRays) August 21, 2021
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The Rays scored again in the second, thanks to a couple productive outs. Zunino led off with a walk, followed by a Wendle single to center. Arozarena then flied out deep to center, moving up both runners, and Cruz grounded to second, scoring Zunino. 4-0 Rays!
Patiño did a good job staying aggressive with the fastball and limiting his breaking stuff. But in the third, he hung a slider to Seby Zavala, who hammered it out to left. 4-1 Rays.
The Rays got on the board again in the fourth, when Mike Zunino tripled (yes, you read the right) and Joey Wendle brought an extra long bat to plate, poking an RBI single to center.
The Rays scored again in the fourth, when Franco singled, then scored all the way from first in a Margot double, though it did end with an uncomfortable face plant.
Chicago notched another run in the sixth on a double by Abreu and a single by Jimenez. But overall, Patiño looked really good in his six innings of work. 6 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 5 K, 1 BB.
Chargois got the seventh, and worked a scoreless inning despite giving up a single and a double, thanks in large part to a sweet 4-5-3 double play, the second Lowe-initiated double play of the day.
Louis Head got the eighth, but he was not as fortunate. Hernandez singled, Godwin doubled, and Abreu hit a sacrifice fly to make it 6-3. Cash quickly made the move to get McHugh, who got the last two outs despite an RBI groundout from Jimenez. 6-4 game.
The Rays got the two runs back in the bottom of the frame. Lowe and Margot hit back to back doubles, Zunino moved Margot to third on a fly to center, and Wendle hit a tapper to third to score him. 8-4 Rays!
Collin McHugh worked a clean ninth to record his first save.
Your Three Stars of the Game
- Luis Patiño was electric
- Mike Zunino- anytime your catcher hits a triple, you have to hand it to him
- The middle infield - on two occasions, the Rays short circuited White Sox rallies with double plays. Both started with Lowe shifted deep in the hole, where he made long accurate feeds to second. On the first, Wander had to reverse directions and make a strong throw to first while flat footed. The second, the shifted third baseman Wendle cut across the bag and made a strong throw to Diaz.
Tomorrow, the Rays hope to wrap up a series win. Reynaldo López gets the start against the newly activated Chris Archer. Game time is at 1:10 PM.