After The Last Out: Rays Look For Series Win Sunday

Tampa Bay Rays Defeat Cleveland Indians
Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Charlie Morton delivers against the Cleveland Indians during the first inning of a baseball game, Saturday, May 25, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

Inexplicably, the start of the game was delayed 2:48 minutes due to rain, which ended up being a light rain lasting for about 10-minutes.

After the delay, the Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Cleveland Indians 6-2 to improve to 30-18 on the season. The Rays did not win their 30th game until June 11th last season, their 65th game of the year (30-35).

Tampa Bay improves to 17-8 on the road and have a chance to win the 4-game series with Cleveland in the finale on Sunday afternoon. Overall, they are 5-1-2 in their previously completed road series this season.

It was a nice bounce back win for Tampa Bay who suffered a 3-1 loss to Cleveland the night before going 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position. The resiliency of the 2019 Rays has been on display whether it’s answering the bell after blowing a 9th inning lead against the Yankees in New York or coming back after a frustrating loss like Friday night against Cleveland. “You want to have a club that can remember just enough of what took place the night before but not have it carry over.” Manager Kevin Cash said. “You want a little drive, a little motivation.”

It extends beyond a single game. Since losing four in a row to see their record drop to 14-8 on the year, they have won 16 of their next 27.

Charlie Morton (5-0, 2.54 ERA) worked six innings allowing one run on three hits while striking out a season high 10 batters while walking just two. He set season high in strikeouts as well as in pitches thrown (106).

Lowe Bounces Back:

Brandon Lowe didn’t allow Friday’s 0-4 with four strikeouts keep him down. On Saturday night he hit his team leading 11th homer finishing the night 2-for-3 with a walk. His double in the second inning came off the bat at 107.7 miles per hour and gave the Rays a 1-0 lead. His homer in the sixth extended the Rays lead to 4-1 and left the bat at 100.0-miles per hour

Choi Drives in Pham Who Extends Hit Streak To 11:

Ji-Man Choi hit his fourth homer of the year in the fifth inning, an opposite field shot, to give Tampa Bay a 3-1 lead. He drove in Tommy Pham who had singled to extend his hitting streak to 11 games.

Pham’s Homer Extends Rays Lead:

Pham extended the Rays lead to 6-1 belting his eighth home run of the year in the seventh inning. It was his third home run in his last four games.

Sadler Continues To Impress, Castillo Knocks Rust Off

Casey Sadler entered the game in the seventh inning and allowed a Carlos Santana homer in his second inning of work. Sadler, who was signed as a minor league free agent this winter, has had a very productive 2019 season for Tampa Bay.

Sadler, 28, underwent Tommy John surgery in 2015 and missed all of 2016. He appeared in 26 games across three levels of the minors with Pittsburgh in 2017 and made two appearances with the Pirates in 2018.

Tonight was Sadler’s seventh appearance with the Rays and each has been of the multi-inning variety. Overall, he’s pitched to a 1.76 ERA (3ER/15.1-IP).

Diego Castillo hadn’t pitched since May 19th in New York. It didn’t look like he had to knock off much rust working a scoreless 9th while allowing just a soft single.

Not All Sunshine And Lollipop’s:

After Brandon Lowe’s 2nd inning RBI double, Willy Adames chose to sacrifice bunt him to third. Kevin Kiermaier followed with a strikeout and Travis d’Arnaud grounded out to strand Lowe. It was an odd choice for a guy who entered the night batting .300/.382/.500 in the month of May. It was just the Rays third sacrifice bunt of the season so it’s a fair assumption that it was not called for from the bench.

Tampa Bay loaded the bases with 1-out in the fourth but Kevin Kiermaier and Travis d’Arnaud each struck out. The Rays are now batting .143 (5-for-35).

Carrasco Roughed Up, Smith’s Debut, Francona Ejetcted:

Carlos Carrasco (4-5, 4.60 ERA) takes the loss for Cleveland who drop to 26-26 on the season. He allowed six runs (five earned) on nine hits striking out six and walking one.

Josh Smith, 29, made his big league debut in relief of Carrasco and held the Rays scoreless through 1.2-innings of work, allowing a pair of hits and striking out three.

Indians Manager Terry Francona was ejected by third place umpire Eric Cooper in the sixth inning. Jose Ramirez squared to bunt and was hit by a Charlie Morton pitch. Third base umpire Eric Cooper ruled that Ramirez had offered at the pitch and ruled it a strike. Francona came out and said the magic words and spent the rest of the night in the clubhouse.

Bachelor Party:

During the rain delay, Rays reliever Chaz Roe joined a bachelor party in a game of beer pong.

The Bachelor Party was interrupted by umpire Joe West who instructed the group to remove their sign from the front of their suite.

Up Next:

Tampa Bay and Cleveland will finish their four game series Sunday at 1:10 pm. Ryne Stanek (0-1, 3.38 ERA) will take the mound for Tampa Bay. The Indians counter with Trevor Bauer (4-3, 3.95 ERA).

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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.