Rays Win Another Close One, Lose Font To Injury

Rays Improve To 12-14 In June

The Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Houston Astros 3-2 but lost Wilmer Font to a lat strain.  Manager Kevin Cash expects Font to miss significant time.

Wilmer Font (2-3, 5.93 ERA) picked up the win and Jose Alvarado earned his second save as the Rays improve to 12-14 in June and 40-41 at the seasons half way point. For reference, they were 41-40 at the midway point last season.

Tampa Bay improves to 6-1 on their current nine game homestand and are 8-3 over their last 11 games. They are 16-15 over their last 31 games.

Tampa Bay has allowed just three runs over their past 40 innings of work. Pitching is what won the game for the Rays today and will continue to carry the team moving forward. “If we are going to win a lot of games and we are going to string a bunch together, we have to have good pitching.” Kevin Cash said. “…The timely hitting is great but we have to stay in the ballgame.”

It was the 35th 1-run contest that the Rays have played this season. They are 15-20 in such games but they did begin the year 0-5 and are 15-15 since.

Gerrit Cole (9-2, 2.50 ERA) allowed three runs, but just one earned, over six innings in taking the loss for the Astros who fall to 55-29 on the season.

Font Exits With Injury:

Wilmer Font was sailing along holding the Astros scoreless through the first five innings before walking Jake Marisnick to open the fifth inning. He then fell behind 3-1 to Alex Bregman before Kevin Cash and the trainer came out to check on him and removed him from the game. The injury is a right lat strain, he’ll be evaluated further Saturday. Font allowed just one earned run on one hit while striking out three and walking two.

Taking Advantage Of Mistakes:

Tampa Bay jumped out to a 3-0 lead with against Gerrit Cole in the fourth inning. Daniel Robertson and Joey Wendle singled to open the inning putting runners on the corners. Adeiny Hechavarria sent a fly ball that Jake Marisnick was unable to hold onto as he crashed against the wall allowing Robertson to score and for Hechavarria to reach first.  Mallex Smith bunted Wendle and Hechevarria into scoring position.  Kevin Kiermaier sent a chopper to short but Marwin Gonzalez‘s throw evaded the scoop attempt of AJ Reed allowing both Wendle and Hechavarria to score.

Castillo Allows First  Homer:

Diego Castillo replaced Wilmer Font with a man on and a 3-1 count to Alex Bregam. He got the count full before allowing a 2-run homer that cut the Rays lead to 3-2.  It was the first home run Castillo has allowed since his debut on June 6th  (12.1-innings).

Pen Does It’s Job:

Chaz Roe replaced Diego Castillo and worked a scoreless eighth. Sergio Romo got the first two outs in the ninth before allowing a base hit to Evan Gattis. Jose Alvarado threw one pitch and retired Marwin Gonzalez to end the game.  It was the fifth time in franchise history that a reliever recorded a 1-pitch save.  He joins Fernando Rodney, Dan Wheeler (twice), and Travis Harper.

Rays Prospects Get Recognition:

Baseball America’s updated list of their Top 100 prospects includes seven Rays.  Willy Adames (11), Brent Honeywell (18), Brendan McKay (26), Jesus Sanchez (32), Jake Bauers(41), Wander Franco (83), and Ronaldo Hernandez (92). As an organization Tampa Bay’s seven prospects ranked second behind the San Diego Padres who had 9.

Up Next For Rays:

The Rays and Astros play the third game of the four game series Saturday afternoon at 4:10.  The Rays will face Justin Verlander (9-3, 1.82 ERA) will take the mound for Houston. Ryne Stanek (1-1, 1.85 ERA) will play the role of the opener for Tampa Bay.

 

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I am a fan of all sports but am most passionate about baseball. From the fanatical to analytical, nothing about the game escapes me. Being born and raised in Northeast Ohio I'm very familiar with the heartache and pain that sports can bring and hope that I bring some understanding of the other side to my coverage. I will focus mostly on baseball but also cover the Tampa Bay Lightning, one of the most electric franchises in all of sports. Always willing to converse about any sport and have only one rule and that is be respectful at all times.