The Tampa Bay Rays came into tonight’s contest as winners of their last eight straight games, including the weekend sweep of the Baltimore Orioles and a victory in last night’s series opener against the Boston Red Sox. In the second game of the four game set, the Rays handed the ball to lefty Ryan Yarbrough, while the Red Sox put their trust in the veteran righty Brad Peacock to get things started, who made his first big league appearance of the season in tonight’s game.
Randy keeps raking
The Red Sox got out to an early lead in the top of the first inning on an RBI single by Xander Bogearts that scored JD Martinez. But the Rays soon countered with a run of their own in the bottom of the second the form of a loud home run off the bat of Randy Arozarena:
Also of note, Bogearts was abruptly pulled from the game in the top of the second inning as a result of a positive COVID-19 test. The Red Sox have been dealing with this quite a lot as of late.
Wander keeps streaking
Rays rookie sensation Wander Franco extended his historic on-base streak to 31 games with a single in the third that scored Kevin Kiermaier. An error on the play by Red Sox first baseman Bobby Dalbec allowed Francisco Mejia to score.
It was this event that opened the floodgates for the Rays offense. Peacock was chased after the Franco single, but a new pitcher would not stop the Rays from adding on. After a wild pitch and a single but Austin Meadows, the lead grew to six to one.
Another run would score on a bloop double by Yandy Díaz that fell in between second baseman Yairo Muñoz and right fielder Hunter Renfroe, further extending the lead to seven to one.
Yarbrough was dominant.
After the first inning hiccup, Yarbrough threw up zeroes for the next four innings. It was a steady diet of sinkers cutters and changeups, and the Red Sox offense was completely off balance. The only other blemish in his outing was a solo home run off the bat of Kyle Schwarber in the sixth inning.
In all, Yarbrough scattered five hits in his six innings, striking out three and walking none. This marks the third consecutive start in which he has allowed two or few runs in an outing either as a start or in relief.
The Rays added one more in the sixth with a sac fly by Mejia, and it was eight to two Rays. After Yarbrough, it was Shawn Armstrong who was first out of the pen to pitch a scoreless seventh. Dietrich Enns came in to pitch the eighth, and while he did surrender a run, it was unearned due to a throwing error by Joey Wendle.
Enns game back out for the ninth, getting into some trouble again. Allowing two more runs (this time earned) on a singles by Schwarber and Martinez. Suddenly, it was a game again, and with the tying run at the plate, the Rays called in All-Star Andrew Andrew Kittredge to secure the final two outs.
As per usual, Kittredge made quick work of the situation, striking out Travis Shaw and Rafael Devers to put it the threat to rest.
Tomorrow is a big test.
The Rays will hand the ball to righty flame thrower Drew Rasmussen as he looks to continue his great run since becoming a part of the starting rotation. He will face the familiar Chris sale, who has quickly regained form after making a full recovery from Tommy John Surgery.
After tonight’s win, the Rays extend their winning streak to nine games and their leads over the Red Sox and Yankees to 7.5 and 10 games, respectively.