Rasmussen Allows Just One Hit Over Seven InningsFollow @Steve_Kinsella1
St. Petersburg, FL – The Tampa Bay Rays ran their win streak to nine in a row defeating the Oakland Athletics 11-0 on Sunday afternoon.
Manager Kevin Cash is happy to ride the wave that the team is on. “I don’t not want to ride it!” Cash joked. “Stay out of the way and let them play.”
The Rays used the familiar pattern of power by belting another three homers including a grand slam by Brandon Lowe. They also received another stellar performance by a starter. This time, a seven inning scoreless outing by Drew Rasmussen.
Rasmussen (2-0, 0.00 ERA) picked up the win with seven scoreless innings, allowing just one hit, striking out eight and walking none. He retired the last 16 batters he faced. He threw 83 pitches with 61 for strikes.
In his two starts this season Rasmussen has not allowed a run spanning 13 innings, allowed just three hits, striking out 15 and not issuing a walk.
Rasmussen was followed to the mound by Ryan Thompson who worked a scoreless eighth and Jason Adam who worked the ninth.
James Kaprielian (0-1, 11.67 ERA) takes the loss for the Athletics who fall to 2-7 on the season. Oakland has lost 7 of it’s last eight games after defeating the Los Angeles Angels 2-1 on Opening Day.
Wander Hits Homer In First:
Wander Franco gave the Rays an early 1-0 lead taking James Kaprielian’s 3-2 pitch in the first inning out to right for his fourth homer of the season.
Grand Slam Extends Lead:
The Athletics played sloppy defense in the fourth inning, but credit Harold Ramirez for elite hustle to force the mistakes. Ramirez sent a slow grounder to third baseman Jace Peterson who elected to throw Ramirez out instead of going for the force out at second. Ramirez beat the throw, it was just the first hustle play involving Ramirez during the inning. Ramirez was urged by first base coach Chris Prieto to extend his leadoff. The extra feet worked as Ramirez was able to hustle safely into second on a groundball to shortstop Aldemys Diaz extending the inning for Brandon Lowe.
“Credit to Harold Ramirez, effort getting down the first base line” Kevin Cash said. “Heads up play be him and Chris Prieto getting off first base to where he could be safe at second on the force, potential force and get Brandon to the plate.
Brandon Lowe made the Athletics pay for the extra outs delivering a grand slam to put the Rays up 5-0. It was his second homer in as many days and his third career slam. Lowe finished the game 2-4 with a walk, homer, and 5 RBI.
Ramirez Hits Rays Third Homer:
Harold Ramirez hit the Rays third homer of the game, a two run shot pushing the Rays lead out to 7-0. It’s Ramirez’s third homer of the year. Ramirez finished the game a triple shy of the cycle going 3-for-4 with a walk and 2 RBI.
Tampa Bay, with the help of the Athletics, continued to add to their lead. In the sixth inning Brandon Lowe walked. Wander Franco popped out to the second baseman in shallow centerfield. Tony Kemp saw that Lowe had drifted midway to second and fired the ball back to first to try and get the double play.
Unbeknownst to Kemp, first baseman Ryan Noda had vacated the bag to cover second and the ball sailed into the stands moving Lowe to 3rd. He came in to score on a single by Randy Arozarena.
Luke Raley and Harold Ramirez each drew walks to load the bases and Josh Lowe also worked a walk to score Arozarena and the Rays lead was extended to 9-0.
Christian Bethancourt led off the bottom of the seventh with a double and scored on a RBI singly by Brandon Lowe to extend the Rays lead to 10-0.
The Rays added their final run in the bottom of the eighth on a Harold Ramirez double and Josh Lowe single for the 11th run of the game.
Up Next For Rays:
The Tampa Bay Rays will host their AL East rival Boston Red Sox for a four game series starting Monday evening at 6:40 pm. Josh Fleming (0-0, 15.00 ERA) starts for the Rays. Nick Pivetta (0-1,1.80 ERA) gets the start for Boston.