The Tampa Bay Rays looked refreshed and ready following the All-Star break with a 7-3 win over the Kansas City Royals.
After two scoreless innings, the Rays offense got going in the third with some heads-up hustle from Brett Phillips. After getting on base with a lead off walk, Phillips advanced to third on a Brandon Lowe single. He was already charging for third and he noticed Royals’ center fielder Michael A. Taylor make a fielding error trying to handle the ball giving him the window he needed to advance. Randy Arozarena followed by chasing and making contact with a ball almost in the other batters box but his ground out was enough to score Phillips and give the Rays a 1-0 lead.
The Royals quickly made things even in the bottom of the third. Nicky Lopez hit a leadoff single and then stole second base just beating out the throw from Francisco Mejia. The Rays looked like they might get out of the inning without giving up a run after getting two out but Andrew Benintendi had other plans with a RBI-single that scored Lopez to tie the game 1-1.
Brad Keller struggled with his command in tonight’s game and it continued in the fourth inning with a leadoff walk to Isaac Paredes. Josh Lowe followed with a single and both runners advanced to third and second on a wild pitch from Keller. A Mejia RBI-single scored Paredes and then things got weird.
Nosebleeds seats are how we refer to the seats far away from the game. Brad Keller’s nosebleed was perfectly timed for when the game started to get away from the Royals. The Royals had a pitcher that was having command issues, has two runners on base and blood leaking out their nose and they left him out there with what looked like a tissue hanging out of his nose.
The metaphorical bleeding wouldn’t be plugged as easily as Keller walked Phillips to load the bases. The bases weren’t loaded long as Yandy Diaz cleared the bases with a soft double to left field making it a 5-1 lead for the Rays. Another wild pitch advanced Diaz to third, though, the inning and Keller’s night ended with an Arozarena groundout to third. Keller finished with 4.0 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 5 BB and 1 K on 85 pitches.
This is a Yandy Díaz appreciation post pic.twitter.com/S6FEKNiGdU— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) July 23, 2022
Drew Rasmussen was impressive in his start for the Rays. He finished with 5.0 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, and 4 K on 94 pitches. The Royals did their best to get his pitch count up and fouled some pitches off to extend at-bats but his slider and fastball were both working enough to only allow the one run.
Fast forward to the seventh inning and Pete Fairbanks took the mound for the Rays. He gave up back-to-back singles to MJ Melendez and Bobby Witt Jr. resulting with runners on the corners. Witt Jr. stole second base as the Royals showed no fear in running on Mejia. Both baserunners ultimately scored following a groundout by Benintendi and a sacrifice fly from Hunter Dozier to trim the Rays lead to 5-3.
Mejia made his contribution on offense in the next inning by following Taylor Walls’ leadoff walk with a RBI-double. Mejia later scored in the inning on a RBI-single from Brandon Lowe to give us the final score of 7-3.
The Rays have enjoyed recent success against the Royals and look to win the series tomorrow night with the first pitch at 7:10pm ET.