Rays 8, Red Sox 2: The Sweet Taste of Victory

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The Tampa Bay Rays debut for baseball’s top prospect was one of the most exciting regular season games in franchise history and tonight we were treated to the encore.

Rich Hill was the starter for the Rays and the roster underwent a few changes after Taylor Walls sustained a wrist injury. The roster adjustment provided our first glimpse of Wander Franco playing the shortstop for the Rays.

Rich Hill got off to a rough start in the first run. After only needing three shots to take out Danny Santana, he made Alex Verdugo walk to give the Red Sox their first scorer of the game. Things momentarily seemed to fall back into place with a JD Martinez flyout that Manuel Margot made an impressive catch along the wall to hang. Then the anxiety-provoking streak of a wild throw displacing Verdugo to second place, an RBI single against Xander Bogaerts and hitting Rafael Devers with a pitch put the Red Sox up 1-0 with two runners. Fortunately, Bogaerts got caught trying to steal third place to close the round before things got really out of hand.

At the bottom of the first, Brandon Lowe’s struggles continued with one out for the first out, followed by Ji-Man Choi with one out for two quick outs. Wander continued to add to his tradition by showing good discipline at the plate and walking five lengths of Garrett Richards. Three shots later, Austin Meadows unloaded on a Richards fastball for a two-run homerun (EV 105.1, LA 28, 413 feet) to give the Rays a 2-1 lead. Richards propelled Randy Arozarena to the next bat and managed to get out of the inning on a Joey Wendle pitch.

Hunter Renfroe dominated the second with a first pitch single that looked like another tough end. Margot made another impressive catch in right field to take out Christian Vazquez and has always been so good that it’s easy to not appreciate his defensive gifts. After a flyout from Enrique Hernandez for the second out, Hill marched Dalbec, giving the Red Sox runners the first and second. Hill came out of the second set the same way he started the first, taking Santana out on holds.

The Rays offense came to life at the end of the second set. Brett Phillips walked in with one out and then stole the second for his 10th steal of the season. Then Zunino came home and sent an 86.4 MPH cursor down the left field wall for a two-run home run (EV 98.6, LA 29, 374 feet) to extend the Rays’ lead to 4-1.

Richards gave Lowe a brace on the next strike at bat, prompting the first of three mound visits the Red Sox would use in the inning. With two strikeouts, Franco continued to add to his developing legacy by beating a ball on the ground with a sprint speed of 29.4 fps to reach the first safely on a throwing error blamed on Hernandez. As the round continued, so did Richards’ lackluster performance. He walked Meadows and hit Arozarena to charge the bases and end his day. Brandon Workman entered the game in relief and closed in the bottom of the second, which allowed Wendle to blend into a force in the second. The rays lead 5-1 after two innings.

Early in the third, Hill got off to a quick start again with a three-pitching Verdugo strikeout, followed by a single to JD Martinez on a 2-0 count and a walk to Bogaerts to give Boston two baserunners on one. outside. Devers called and worked at bat to a full count before a flyout to center field. After a quick tour of the mound, Hill got Renfroe a strikeout to end the inning. The resilience of the Rays defense in this game to find ways out of potentially bad situations was more like the way the Rays play in defense than in recent games.

There was a bit of excitement late in the third for the Rays offense even without them getting a hit. With two strikeouts, Zunino and Lowe have scored back-to-back goals. The two riders moved up to third place on a reverse gear, but found themselves stranded on a field of Ji-Man Choi.

In the fourth inning, both pitchers called the team out in order. Yacksel Rios replaced Workman for the Red Sox.

If you like walking, this game is for you. Rich Hill took out the first two hitters in the top of the fifth before putting Martinez and Bogaerts on the march before flying Devers to close the first half of the inning.

In the bottom of the fifth, a walk from Brett Phillips produced the only base runner for the Rays as the 5-1 lead held into the sixth inning.

Last night’s game opener is tonight’s sixth inning pitcher as Andrew Kittredge came in to replace Hill who ended his night with 5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER and 5 K on 97 shots. . Kittredge was very effective in his appearance starting with a three-pitched strikeout against Renfroe. Enrique Hernandez was the only Red Sox hitter to reach base safely when he hit a brace with two strikeouts to left field.

Josh Taylor has come to replace Rios for the Red Sox. Franco continued to show great vision by turning a seven at bat into a walk. Austin Meadows followed with a rushing single and Franco rushed to dive safely for third. No extra points would score, as a practice from the Arozarena line to left field would end the round.

Jeffrey Springs came in for the Rays in the seventh. He had Santana struck out for the third time in the game. Verdugo walked on a walk and would be the Red Sox’s only base runner as Springs was efficient and relied heavily on his lead to pass the seventh.

In the late seventh, former Rays pitcher Matt Andriese took the mound for the Red Sox. Joey Wendle started for the Rays and was hit by a curve ball from Andriese and would move up to second on a single from Margot. Andriese managed to get both Phillips and Zunino to hit at bat to bring Brandon Lowe to plate with two outs and two outs. Lowe took a first throw change at 86 mph left over Andriese’s plate and threw it over the center field wall for a three-run homerun (106.9 EV, 25 LA, 423 feet) . For all of Lowe’s difficulties, when he’s able to put them together, you quickly remember his offensive talent. The rays lead 8-1.

Springs gave Devers a brace to start the eighth inning for his final batter. Ryan Thompson came in and allowed Renfroe to hit the shortstop for the first outing of the inning. He wouldn’t have had a clean set as Vazquez hit a 2-0 Sinker for an RBI line scoring Devers to make it an 8-2 game.

I tried to do this whole recap without mentioning anything in the sticky stuff area, but Kevin Cash had to bring a new cap to the mound for Diego Castillo before inning ninth. It will take some time to get used to all these new protocols, however, it took little time and effort for Castillo to end the game. He only needed 11 shots to take the team out. and end the Rays’ seven-game losing streak.

It was nice to see quality release from Brandon Lowe and continued performance from Mike Zunino and Austin Meadows. Of course, the focus continues to be on Wander Franco who, despite going 0-3 tonight, was on base three times and scored a point thanks to good plate discipline and good agitation. Losing streaks will happen and good teams will overcome them and they are a very good team.

Those teams are back tomorrow night at 7:10 p.m. as the Rays look to improve their 5-4-2 series at home this season.



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