Coming off a deflating 3-2 loss in the ninth inning, the Tampa Bay Rays put up a dominant offensive performance to put the Tigers back in their place, picking up their 22nd win of the season.
Shane McClanahan had a masterful 7.0 inning performance on just 90 pitches, picking up seven strikeouts against zero walks.
Sugar Shane was challenging the Detroit hitters in the zone with his fastball while teasing on the edges with his off-speed or breaking stuff; everything was working right. It was the kind of outing the Rays need from their top starting pitcher.
McC’s only blemish on the night was a sky high solo homerun on the first pitch of the fifth inning by Jeimer Candelario.
Solo homeruns were the theme of the night
The Rays backed McClanahan with the boomstick, making it a comfortable evening at the ballpark. The first solo shot of the night came from Kevin Kiermaier, who sent one soaring nearly to the scoreboard on a no-doubter in the second inning.
KK would have three hits on the night.
Then Brett Phillips followed suit with a towering shot to the exact same location in the right field stands in the fifth inning.
The final longball of the night came off the bat of Randy Arozarena, who drove one deep to dead center, with the baseball dropping just over the 404 in center field. To be honest, it looked not only catchable but caught at first, but the result was never in question.
This was Randy’s second homer of the year, but could be a sign of the 2021 Rookie of the Year finally heating up, per Marc Topkin:
Said Arozarena, via team interpreter Manny Navarro: “I know I’ve been struggling a little bit. I’d gotten (off) to a slow start so far this year, but I think I’m getting better as of late. I’m glad I was able to connect on that. It felt pretty good. Hopefully I can continue that streak.”
- The night was not without its drama, as Ralph Garza Jr. had to pitch his way out of a bases loaded jam in the eighth inning, when the Rays only had a five-run lead, but Kevin Cash trusted Garza Jr. and he coaxed the inning-ending double play out of Javier Baez on a chopper fielded beautifully by Brujan.
- Randy Arozarena made a stellar rolling catch during the seventh inning, getting his glove in position to snag a would-be extra base hit, and then popping back onto his feet off the roll; a sight to behold:
- As noted by Neil Solondz, all three outfielders had a homer and a pair of RBI this evening. The other big contributor on offense was Ji-Man Choi, who has a couple RBI throughout the game.
- Congratulations to Jamal, who had to miss this game recap for the birth of a child! The Rays close out this homestand with a day game, then have a three-game road trip to Baltimore before returning home for another homestand.