Can’t believe they had a day off yesterday, in the middle of a three game series. Weird. Anyways, Rays have much more confidence in today’s game, with Sugar Shane on the mound:
It’s a great day for baseball indoors #RaysUp pic.twitter.com/JtMToiDJw5— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) May 24, 2023
Let's keep it going! #NextLevel pic.twitter.com/YmcTpxN4XE— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) May 24, 2023
Isaac Parades got things started with an RBI single with 2 outs in the bottom of the 1st inning to bring home Wander.
Famous lefty smasher Luke Raley opened the 2nd inning with a solo blast, his 10th of the year
Two batters later, Jose Siri wanted in on the action and ALSO hit a solo HR to give the Rays a Quick 3-0 lead.
Blue Jays scored their first run of the game in the 4th inning after a 1 out double by Bo Bichette. Vlad Jr. singled to bring Bichette home and cut the Rays lead to 3-1.
In the bottom of the 4th inning, Rays had an answer with a Christian Bethancourt single followed by a Manuel Margot Triple to reestablish a 3 run lead.
Wander Franco, who was 1 for 1 with a walk, singles to bring home Margot from 3rd base and its 5-1 Rays
I haven’t talked about McClanahan because he was that good. Again! For the first 4 innings he only threw 11 pitches!
Shane would go 7.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, Z E R O walks, and 7 Strikeouts. It is the 6th game this year where Shane has given up 1 run or less.
He had more swinging strikes (15) than average pitches per inning (12)!
Kevin Cash went to set-up man Jason Adam, in which should’ve been a solid hold for a solid reliever, but we all know it wasnt.
First pitch from Adam to pinch hitter Cavan Biggio was absolutely crushed.
A 422-foot blast from Biggio pic.twitter.com/2NmOWd1Px3— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) May 25, 2023
The next pitch? A Ball! But the pitch after that was a triple by Nathan Lukes, with NOBODY out. After falling behind 3-1 to George Springer, Adam did get him to ground out, but Lukes from 3rd scored and the Rays lead is cut down to only 2 runs.
Kelly then gave up a single to Bichette (after a 9 pitch battle) and a walk to Vlad Jr to put two runners on with only 1 out, and that would be enough for Kevin Cash, as he went to Kevin Kelly to face the potential winning run in Matt Chapman.
Kevin Kelly masterclass pic.twitter.com/QanXXtro1a— Taylor Jenkins (@TJenkinsTampa) May 25, 2023
A HUGE double play to keep the lead at 2!
In a lot of these games, we’ve seen the offense bail out bad bullpen outings. This time, we saw the Rays’ offense give some relief to not a “bad” outing, but a shaky one.
Luke Raley got hit by a pitch to open the bottom of the 8th inning, and on a Christian Bethancourt single, Raley got a great read and moved all the way to 3rd base to put two runners on with nobody out, and Jose Siri up to the plate.
Rays get back one of those runs, and extend the lead 6-3.
Josi Siri singled, and Bethancourt tried to pull a Raley, but was thrown out at 3rd base. A groundout by Margot moved Siri to 2nd base, and a single by Wander Franco (his 3rd of the night) brings Siri home and gives the Rays back those two runs.
Rays would go to the 9th inning with a 4 run lead, which still doesn’t seem like enough runs. But where Jason Adam faltered, Pete Fairbanks stood tall, giving up only a broken bat single, but closed the door on Whit Merrifield, Alejandro Kirk and Cavan Biggio to end the game.
Its good to have Pete back!
Rays win 7-3, move to 36-15 on the season, and 3.5 games ahead of Baltimore. The final game of this series is tomorrow at 1:10 PM with Blue Jays’ Alek Manoah taking on the Rays’ Zach Eflin.
That's more like it pic.twitter.com/06Oycrr6a6— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) May 25, 2023