Perhaps, and I know I’m not a manager, but hear me out: perhaps it would be better if the Rays hit more runs early in games? Just a suggestion, might be too bold, I don’t know. It didn’t end up mattering at the end of the game today, but for a little while there it seemed like the Rays might have shot themselves in the foot.
Anyway, here was how tonight’s game went.
Armstrong was the opener for the game, and in the top of the first gave up a leadoff double to Semien, but got the next three outs to eliminate the threat. Bottom of the inning against Gray, and he hit Aranda to start the inning. Franco singled, but was eliminated when Ramirez hit into a fielder’s choice. Peralta then hit a sac fly to score Aranda, and putting the Rays on the board first.
Two outs into the second inning and Armstrong was swapped out for Yarbrough, who then gave up a walk to Calhoun, but then got the third out on the next batter. The Rays went 1-2-3 in the bottom of the inning.
Yarbrough had some minor troubles in the top of the third with a leadoff single to Thompson, who then successfully stole second. Lowe was hit by a pitch with two outs and oh boy he did not look happy, though honestly who would be if they took a pitch to the elbow. A popout safely ended the inning. In the bottom of the third Siri singled to start things off then stole second. An Aranda groundout advanced Siri to third, and then a Franco sac fly brought him home, putting the Rays up 2-0, something they’d be thankful for pretty soon.
Top of the fourth Heim hit a leadoff solo home run. The next three batters were out, but the Rangers were on the board. Bottom of the inning Peralta drew a walk, but a strikeout and double play ended the inning.
The top of the fifth lasted roughly seven years, with Semien getting a one-out single, then Lowe getting a two-out single. Garcia walked to load the bases but a flyout finished things off. Still I think I aged 100 years in that single half inning. Gray lasted a mere single batter into the fifth, and gave way to Hearn, who then immediately gave up a solo home run to Walls (his first HR batting righty). Siri then singled. Paredes then came in to pinch hit for Aranda.
Jalen Beeks was next in for the Rays but everything got held up as an umpire and two security guards just stood around in right field for unspecified reasons. The delay amounted to nothing and the Rangers went 1-2-3. Unfortunately in spite of some very looooong flyouts, the Rays also went 1-2-3.
Beeks had another 1-2-3 in the seventh. Bottom of the inning the Rays got some teeth, as Choi got a one-out walk, then Siri got a two-out single, followed by Paredes doubling to score Choi and Siri and putting the Rays up 5-1. Now that I’ve used the phrase “Rays got some teeth” I’m wondering if rays have teeth. And since I just googled it, I’m going to tell you: no, not the way we do. They have modified scales, called “dermal denticles” which literally means “skin teeth” and now you all have this cursed knowledge as well.
Former friend Nathaniel Lowe singled to start the eighth off of Adam, but a popout and double play took care of the side. Bottom of the eighth a Peralta single was the only baserunner and was erased by a double play.
Raley was next up for the Rays and took care of the Rangers in order.
Final: Rays 5, Rangers 1