The Rays celebrated Easter by hiding plenty of baseballs in the outfield seats, extending their unbeaten streak to 9 in a row, and pushing the homerun total to 24, which is one shy of the record for the most ever through nine games.
A’s starter Kaprielian allowed the first run of the game by feeding a fastball inside to Wander Franco, who turned on the inside pitch and buried it 383 feet away in right field. The pitch wasn’t a mistake! It’s just really hard to find a hole in Franco’s swing.
Randy followed with a single — Wander’s homerun and Randy’s single were both ~108.5 mph off the bat — and then made his first steal attempt on the season during the following at bat, sliding in easily as the throw skipped into center field.
The Rays didn’t find a way for Randy to score but it was a nice bit of symmetry.
Brandon Lowe Grand Slam
The Rays loaded the bases in the bottom of the fourth when Harold Ramirez hustled out a two-on two-out groundball to short stop and slid safely into second base, catching the A’s completely off guard.
The next pitch was one you just stand back and watch:
Dawg, they're making this look easy (and grand) pic.twitter.com/NMyGJFuxos— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) April 9, 2023
Harold Ramirez then tagged on his own homer with a longball into the former Captain Morgan party deck, adding two to the Rays tally, sending Oakland into a full tailspin.
How much disarray were the A’s experiencing playing the Rays? In the sixth inning, with Brandon Lowe on first base, Wander Franco popped out to shallow center field, which four A’s players converged on. Once caught, the throw into first base... was to no one!
With nobody covering the bag, the ball skipped toward the home dugout and Lowe was able to advance all the way to third base, scoring easily on a hot shot from Randy the next AB. That pushed the score to 8-0 Rays.
Josh Lowe walked with the bases loaded for a 9-0 lead, but the sixth inning ended with a pop out to the pitcher for Margot.
The Rays added a tenth run in the seventh when Christian Bethancourt hit a double off the top of the wall at 404 center, and then Brandon Lowe singled him home through the right side. They added an eleventh after Harold Ramirez and Josh Lowe hit back to back doubles in the eighth.
But let’s not forget the pitching.
Drew Rasmussen was pumping 97 on the fastball and getting calls all day, not that he needed ‘em. The pop ups and strikeouts were coming just as easily as well, and his cutter had plenty of drop.
Through 7.0 IP, Ras tallied 8 strikeouts on one hit and no walks, with just over 80 efficient pitches thrown. It was a sterling performance, a masterclass for aspiring kids and his peers in the bullpens alike.
The Rays rotation is insanity.
Thompson pitched the eighth, and Adam the ninth. All-in-all it was an easy win.
- In the second inning, Manuel Margot got to second base on one of the oddest double’s you’ll ever see up the right field line.
- The Rays were playing this game with essentially one less man, as utility man Taylor Walls has a potentially tweaked elbow on his non-throwing arm, potentially hyperextending during Friday’s win. He’ll likely go on the injured list soon.
Taylor Walls’ non-throwing elbow has been bothering him since Friday night. Jonathan Aranda is here on the “taxi squad,” just in case. Cash said Walls would likely get imaging done tomorrow. #RaysUp— Kristie Ackert (@ByKristieAckert) April 9, 2023
- Multiple Rays players had fun with the kiddos this Easter. Randy Arozarena was kind to some fans pregame, while Thompson was dressed as a bunny for the players’ family egg hunt:
Happy Easter from the Trop, where Randy Arozarena made the day of some of the kiddos taking the field pregame— Tricia Whitaker (@TriciaWhitaker) April 9, 2023
He ran right up to the ones with his shirt on and surprised them with a hello and high fives. pic.twitter.com/aIQYqGncu2
- It’s a bit surprising that it took nine games to see Randy attempt a steal, but perhaps not as surprising was that today was also Luke Raley’s first steal attempt on the season. He was caught.
- It doesn’t matter who you’re playing, a +57 run differential is a strong performance. Let’s see if the Rays can keep building upon that against Boston tomorrow.