You like high-scoring games? Well we got you a high-scoring game here.
Taj Bradley made his MLB debut today as the Rays’ starter, and yes, it was adorable:
Proud parent content >>>> pic.twitter.com/9pH0R19XZ5— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) April 12, 2023
He got through the first with only a leadoff walk against him. Then in the bottom of the inning the Rays did their thing with Franco getting to first on a fielding error, then naturally he stole second. Paredes drew a walk, then Arozarena homered to bring all three home and put the Rays up 3-0 in just the first inning.
Bradley shut down the side again in the second inning, but the Rays had to settle for a Franco double and no additional runs.
Bradley continued a solid campaign in the third, certainly a nice showing to this point for the rookie, but the Rays’ bats were equally silent in the bottom of the inning.
Things started to get a little bumpy for Bradley in the fourth. A Verdugo double kicked things off, Then a Turner single scored Verdugo, giving the Sox one run and Bradley his first rough outing. In the bottom of the fourth the Rays drew blood again. Walls doubled, then Bethancourt singled sending Walls to third. Brujan reached on a bunt single to load it up. A Diaz single scored Walls, then a Franco double scored Bethancourt and Brujan. The Rays were up 6-1.
The Sox weren’t content to let them win easily though. McGuire got a one-out single, then a Hernandez double scored McGuire. Verdugo, having himself a night, then scored Hernandez. That was the end of the night for Bradley, who in spite of the runs still had himself a pretty nice-looking start. His final line was 5 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 8 K on 78 pitches.
Bottom of the fifth saw the Rays get some ground back. Ramirez walked, but Walls grounded into a fielder’s choice to erase the baserunner. Bethancourt then doubled to score Walls, and Brujan singled to score Bethancourt. Diaz was hit by a pitch but the Rays settled for the two extra runs.
Beeks was on in relief in the sixth and gave up a double to Turner, then a Tapia groundout scored Turner to give the Sox one more. The Rays would have to bide their time, as they didn’t score any runs in the bottom of the inning.
Thompson and Poche both did work in the seventh, with Thompson giving a leadoff single to McGuire then a double to Hernandez. Poche came on and gave up a home run to Devers to score three runs and suddenly the score was 8-7 Rays and things weren’t quite SO certain. In the bottom of the seventh the Rays went scoreless, which wasn’t ideal given the tiny gap in the score.
Adam came on in the eighth and kept the score the same, then it was up to the Rays in the bottom of the inning to put in some distance, and they did just that. Franco (dang Franco is so good) doubled to lead off the inning then a Paredes groundout sent Franco to third. Arozareno hit a sac fly to score Franco, giving the Rays a 9-7 lead.
Fairbanks came on to close it out and gave up one single but no scoring runs, and the Rays closed out their 12th victory in a row, and Bradley got the win in his debut game.
Final: Rays 9, Red Sox 7