If you had told me a month ago that Drew Rasmussen would pitch six full innings of two-hit baseball I probably would have believed you, but also I would have bee thinking “dang, Rays, whatcha doing?” And lo and behold here we are, and it’s what happened.
Rasmussen appeared in twenty games for the Rays last season for a total of 59 innings, and in ten of those games he was used sparingly as a starter. It would appear that Rasmussen’s efforts to expand his pitch repertoire are paying off, because he actually had a pretty solid outing in spite of getting into a couple of jams. The same could not be said for Mariners starter Marco Gonzales, who exited the game in the first thanks to a 109mph comebacker to the wrist. Ouch.
Let’s take a look at the game inning-by-inning.
Rasmussen gave up a two-out double to Winker in the top of the first, and Winker advanced to third on a wild pitch, but thankfully no runs scored. In the bottom of the inning Arozarena walked to lead things off, then stole second, then advanced to third on a throwing error from M’s catcher Raleigh. Ramirez reached first on the comebacker single that took Gonzales out of the game, and Arozarena scored.
The Mariners went down in order in the top of the second. To start the bottom of the inning Margot was hit by a pitch, then Walls walked. Kiermaier singled to load the bases, but the next three batters were out in order, squandering the RISPys.
Frazier got a two-out single in the third then France walked, but Winker grounded out to end the inning. Onto the bottom of the third and the Rays went down 1-2-3.
Same story for the Mariners in the top of the inning, so let’s just go right to the bottom. Walls got a one-out single, then Kiermaier hit a home run to center, scoring two runs. and putting the Rays up 3-0.
431 feet? Yeah, KK got all of that one pic.twitter.com/hf8T0CUSIL— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) April 28, 2022
Three straight swinging strikeouts for Rasmussen in the top of the fifth. In the bottom of the inning Ramirez got a one-out single, followed by a Diaz single. Unfortunately, the Rays didn’t manage to build on their lead.
The top of the sixth was another 1-2-3, and Rasmussen’s last of the game. He ended the night with a final line of 6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K on 84 pitches. Just a really nice outing for him. In the bottom of the sixth the only baserunner was a two-out single from Pinto, no runs scored.
Crawford was the first Mariners player of the day to do damage with a one-out solo home run against reliever Colin Poche. As for the bottom of the inning, a Ramirez walk was squandered by an inning-ending double play. The score was 3-1 Rays at the end of seven.
Brooks Raley was the man on the mound for the Rays in the eighth, and after two outs and a walk, his night was done with the minimum number of batters faced. Andrew Kittredge was next out of the bullpen, and he gave up a base hit to France to put two men aboard. The next batter grounded out to end the threat. Onto the bottom of the inning. The Rays did nothing.
Kittredge remained on the mound for the Rays to hopefully end the game with a win. With two outs and seemingly on their way to victory, a solo shot off the bat of Toro went out and suddenly it was a one-run game. Thankfully a flyout on the next batter ended things and it was a Rays win.
Final: Rays 3, Mariners 2