It was another brilliant start from Drew Rasmussen as he again carried a no hitter deep into the game. Pair that with an offense that struck first and some solid bullpen work, and you got yourself a 5-2 win. Couple that with another Yankee loss to the Jays, and the Rays pulled within 8 games of first place New York.
The return of the Margoat blesses this Devil Rays Day pic.twitter.com/sd7mt93wIE— Tampa Bay Devil Rays (@RaysBaseball) August 20, 2022
While Rasmussen’s no no lasted into the sixth, we got the perfect game chit-chat out of the way eastl when he walked the leadoff hitter Melendez. A strikeout of Witt and a long and very high (41 degree launch angle) drive to the track by Salvy followed. Paredes booted what should have been the third out from Pasquantino, which put runners on the corners. But Drew picked up his defense by striking out Massey to end the inning.
Drew Rasmussen, Wicked 86mph Slider. pic.twitter.com/P6BU0fvpsW— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) August 20, 2022
The Rays also put their leadoff man on when Yandy Díaz singled through the middle. After Arozarena reached on a force play, Margot singled to center. Randy got a good jump, but was thrown out at third on a strong throw from Taylor.
Ramírez lined out to center to end the inning.
A 1-2-3 top of the second inning for Drew followed, including a strikeout of Isbel.
Drew Rasmussen, Vicious 87mph Slider. pic.twitter.com/4qvzqSsGx6— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) August 20, 2022
The Rays kept the heat on in their half of the inning. It started when Mejía smashed a Baltimore chop single, followed by Paredes scorching double into the left field corner. Chang then knocked in Mejía with a single to left.
With Walls at the plate, Bubic threw one to the backstop, scoring Paredes and advancing Chang.
And the pitch'll be wild (wild) pic.twitter.com/QO78opMdhG— Tampa Bay Devil Rays (@RaysBaseball) August 20, 2022
Walls hooked a 2-2 changeup softly up the left field line for a double, scoring Chang.
Rasmussen had another 1-2-3 inning in the third, including Ks of Melendez and Witt.
Drew Rasmussen, Nasty Sliders.— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) August 20, 2022
5Ks thru 3. pic.twitter.com/Da9fR5pmvx
In their half of the third, the Rays wasted a leadoff single by Ramírez, thanks in part to a nifty play by Massey in short center.
Rasmussen breezed through the fourth with another 1-2-3 inning, including strikeouts of Salvy and Massey.
Walls led off the Rays half with a walk. A Siri pop into short right was almost an ugly collision between Massey and Isbel, with Isbel making the catch. Yandy then doubled to the wall in right center, scoring Walls.
Is Yandy hitting the ball harder because he's in Devil Rays gear?— Tampa Bay Devil Rays (@RaysBaseball) August 20, 2022
Probably not, but it definitely doesn't hurt either pic.twitter.com/z5pGHwCGvH
After a groundout to deep third by Randy (and if we haven’t said it enough, Witt is nuts over there at third), Bubic was done: 3.2 inning, 4 runs, 8 hits, 2 walks. Collin Snider got Margot to ground to second, on another nice play by Massey.
In the fifth, my power went out. And while my power came right back on, my internet did not. So I did actually see the rest of it. So I’m recapping this like a caveman, reading about it and then typing it into my phone.
Rasmussen again retired the side in order in the fifth, including his eighth strikeout of the night to Pratto. But in the sixth, the Royals got to Drew. With one out, Melendez broke up the no hitter by singling sharply up the middle. A Witt double to center put runners on second and third for Perez, who lifted a sac fly to center, scoring Melendez. 4-1 Rays.
That would be it for Rasmussen, who again was just brilliant. Brooks Raley came on, and surrendered a run scoring single to Pasquantino. 4-2 Rays.
The Rays tacked on an insurance run in the eighth for the final margin. The did it with a Ramírez single, a Paredes double, and a Chang sac fly. The pen shut the door with Raley, Adam, and Fairbanks giving up just one hit combined while striking out four.
The Rays go for the series win tomorrow at 1:40 PM. Ryan Yarbrough squares off against Zack Greinke.