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Rays 6 Giants 1: Civale shines in team effort win

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at San Francisco Giants Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Anyone notice that Giants pitcher Ryan Walker has KK eyes?

He’s also quite good.

Watching him strike out Yandy Diaz on three pitches led me to believe the Rays weren’t going to be getting much during his one opener inning. But Brandon Lowe seemed to realize that while Walker’s slider is unhittable, it’s also generally not in the zone — and he patiently drew a walk. An error put two men on base, Paredes dinked a two strike pitch into shallow center and what do you know, the Rays had a run. That was all they got — Josh Lowe struck out and Randy was thrown out trying to steal third (I know we should be annoyed by the outs on the bases but good lord this offense needs something to get going).

It looked as though the Rays were going to give that lead back very quickly. Aaron Civale took the mound for the good guys, and gave up a double to DH Job Pederson, followed by a long hit to deep left field to Wilmer Flores that scored Pederson. But wait! Flores’ ball had, upon review, been foul. Civale would retire the next two batters, but he continued his tendency over his 2 game Rays career to throw a lot of pitches.

Walker gave way to Ross Stripling.

The Rays doubled their lead in the fourth when Josh Lowe hit a solo home run that seemed to be floating out into the San Francisco sky forever before it decided to clear the wall.

And then the next inning they doubled it again with this B-Lowe home run. I like this math class!

Paredes, Arozarena and a SF error combined for another run, to make it 5-0, and then run number 6 came in a very exciting form: an inside the park home run by Luke Raley, who I do concede is fast but he still looks like he’s stumbling around the bases when he runs, which makes his ability to get all the way home even more astounding. Check out these crazy bounces:

We learned on the broadcast that this was the first pinch hit inside the park home run in Rays history.

As the Rays piled on the runs, Civale was pretty good, mostly scattering a few weak hits and limiting his pitches. He got through six shut-out innings. In other words, he was the guy the Rays thought they were getting in this trade.

His replacement, Hector Perez (newly recalled) made things interesting in the seventh. He loaded the bases on three hits and walked in a run. To be clear, only one hit was a particularly well hit ball, but the Rays coaching staff determined that they needed someone else to clean up the mess. Colin Poche came in and got the quick inning ending double play to keep the score 6-1. Indeed, the Rays four double plays were a key reason the Giants didn’t really get traction today, despite having a number of base runners.

Adam and Fairbank each pitched a scoreless inning to close out the game.

The one downside to this game: Jose Siri left after hurting his wrist while sliding into second. Need I note that the Rays can’t afford an injury to Siri?

But on the positive side: the Rays came through the loss of two key players, and managed another series win. It’s on to Anaheim to continue the road trip.