By: Garrett Ballard
The Tampa Bay Rays beat the Baltimore Orioles 4-1 on Sunday afternoon. Starting pitcher Drew Rasmussen had a perfect game going through eight innings and led the Rays to this win.
Drew Rasmussen dominance
Rasmussen was untouchable for just about the entire game, throwing ten or fewer pitches in all but two innings. His final stat line was 8.1 innings pitched, 1 hit, 1 earned run, and seven strikeouts.
“One pitch at a time, let them make early outs,” said Rasmussen when asked about his efficiency.
Jorge Mateo broke up the perfect game and no-hit bid in the ninth inning with a double right down the third baseline. “I think perfect games and no-hitters and that kinda stuff are things that just happen,” said Rasmussen. “It was a cutter over the middle of the plate and he put a good swing on it.”
“He put together a special, special outing,” said manager Kevin Cash. “Obviously wanted to see him get it, but really, really pleased with how efficient he was.”
The Orioles were swinging at a lot of Rasmussen’s pitches but were missing. “He had probably the best breaking balls that I’ve seen this year,” said Cash.
Rays’ teammates supporting Rasmussen
Taylor Walls, the starting shortstop and pitcher Jason Adam, who came on in relief of Rasmussen gave Rasmussen nothing but praise post-game. While there were no real standout defensive plays, Walls and the rest of the defense were consistent behind Rasmussen.
“I haven’t ever seen him better than what he was today,” said Walls. “That was an unreal game to watch, that was fun,” said Adam.
Adam inherited a baserunner from Rasmussen and was set on not letting that run score. “This guy was pitching his butt off for eight and a half innings, so let’s not let that run score,” he said.
Adam came in and struck out two batters to secure the win for Rasmussen and the Rays.
This win means the Rays now hold the winning season record in case there is a tie in the postseason standings between the Rays and Orioles.
“I knew that going in,” said Cash. “There’s a lot of games left.”
“That’s huge,” said Adam. “This year with no tiebreaker and it was a good momentum win for us going into New York and the next month.”
Cash and Adam both echoed the same sentiment. This season’s series win is important, but there are a lot of games left and the Rays have to take care of business.
The Rays travel to New York to begin a series on Monday night. The first game of the series is set to start at 7:10 P.M. Eastern on Monday. Gerrit Cole (9-4, 3.38 ERA) is the probable starter for the Yankees. The Rays are yet to announce their starting pitcher.