The Tampa Bay Rays didn't need a riverboat to cruise through Cincinnati on Tuesday night.
After dropping the series' first game, they bounced back to win 10-0 over the Cincinnati Reds to even the series for the Rays' first win in the Queen City since 2014.
Here is how it all went down.
The Rays' offense got off to a slow start in the first inning against Reds starting pitcher Nick Lodolo as Yandy Diaz and Wander Franco lined out to right field. Absent getting any hits in the inning, the Rays did get a lone baserunner when a pitch hit Isaac Paredes. As Randy Arozarena struck out in the next at-bat, nothing came from the baserunner.
Taj Bradley simultaneously came to play and didn't come to play. Jonathan India grounded out to shortstop to leadoff for the Reds. TJ Friedl then managed to single to right field, but the Reds couldn't bring him home as Jake Fraley and Tyler Stephenson struck out swinging to start a nine-strikeout night for Bradley. His stuff was nasty.
The Rays compensated for the slow start in the first, with a big inning in the second. After Harold Ramirez started the inning with a strikeout, Taylor Walls quickly got the Rays back on track with a solo homer (102.0 EV, 38 deg, 379 ft) to left field. Manuel Margot popped out to shortstop before Francisco Mejia and Vidal Brujan reached base on a single and hit by pitch, respectively. Yandy Diaz then crushed a three-run homer (111.6 EV, 23 deg, 440 ft) to left field, scoring Mejia and Brujan. Wander Franco followed with a single, but Isaac Paredes struck out swinging to end the inning. Rays lead 4-0.
Yandy Diaz’s flyball rate has jumped from 31% last year all the way to 51% this year, which is a top-15 mark and the 2nd largest increase in baseball.— Rays Metrics (@RaysMetrics) April 18, 2023
His 5th HR of this season just came in his 69th plate appearance. Last season, he hit his 5th HR in his 373rd plate appearance
In the bottom of the second, the Reds' offense struggled again in the second inning, managing only a single from Wil Myers. Kevin Newman and Jason Vosler made outs, striking out swinging and lining out sharply to right fielder Vidal Brujan, respectively.
The Rays' offense picked up right where they left off in the third inning. Randy Arozarena and Harold Ramirez singled, and Taylor Walls hit a two-run triple to left field, scoring Arozarena and Ramirez. Manuel Margot followed with a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Walls. Rays lead 7-0.
The Reds failed to score again in the bottom of the third, with Friedl drawing a walk but the other two batters striking out.
Wander Franco started the fourth inning by getting hit by a pitch, but he was caught stealing second base. Isaac Paredes flew out to right field, and Randy Arozarena hit a solo homer (107.3 EV, 21 deg, 388 ft) to right center field. Harold Ramirez followed with a single, but Taylor Walls grounded out to end the inning. Rays lead 8-0.
Walls was a double away from hitting for the cycle but chose to crush a homer (98.4 EV, 38 deg, 365 ft) from the left side of the plate instead after hitting a right-handed homer earlier in the game. It's been an incredible display of Walls' power this season.
Bradley could not ask for more run support for his second start in the big leagues, even if only one run would do. He was impressive, finishing with 5.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, and 9K on 84 pitches. He dominated with the four-pitch mix of his fastball, cutter, changeup, and curveball, getting a strikeout with each. The future certainly looks bright for the top prospect.
The Rays added a tenth run in the ninth inning as former Rays player Luke Maile was on the mound for the Reds for the always fun position player pitching moment in a blowout. Francisco Mejia hit a line drive to score Taylor Walls to cap off the night fittingly.
The Rays will try to win the series tomorrow at 12:35 ET as Drew Rasmussen (2-1, 2.60) takes the mound opposite Levi Stoutt making his MLB debut for the Reds.