Rays Complete Season Opening Sweep, Defeat Tigers 5-1

Springs Tosses Six No-Hit Innings, Rays Offense Continues To Back Solid Pitching

(AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

St. Petersburg, FL – The Tampa Bay Rays completed their season opening sweep defeating the Detroit Tigers 5-1 on Sunday afternoon at Tropicana Field.

Jeffrey Springs (1-0-, 0.00 ERA) picked up the win for the Rays who improve to 3-0 on the season. It marks the fourth time the Rays have swept a season opening series. They swept the Baltimore Orioles in 2022, the New York Yankees in 2012, and the Detroit Tigers in 2002.

Joey Wentz (0-1, 5.06 ERA) allowed three earned runs in 5.1 innings on four hits while striking out three and walking one. Detroit falls to 0-3 on the season for the first time since 2018. It also marks the first time the Tigers have been swept by the Rays since July 9 through 11, 2018.

Springs delivered six no-hit innings while striking out a career high 12 batters and walking one. Manager Kevin Cash admitted that the decision to remove Springs while ptiching a no-hitter was tough in respecting the work of his starter. Other than that it wasn’t a tough decision. “Sometimes we got to protect them from themselves, totally respect the magnitude of throwing six no-hit innings.” Cash said. “Kind of gut wrenching. I apologized to him. I felt that sometimes we just got to make some decisions that are best for our team.”

From Springs perspective he admits to always wanting to give more, but understood that it’s his job to pitch and not manage. He repsects the managers decision. “As a competitor you want to pitch as much as possible, but that’s not my job to look ahead and manager that’s up to him.” Sprins said. “I’m going to go out there and take the ball and I trust him 100-percent.”

The performance by Springs finished a sparkling opening of the season by the Rays starters who pitched to a remarkble 0.53 ERA (1ER/17.0IP) in the three game series. It’s the lowest ERA for the rotation through the teams first three starts in franchise history.

The offense continued to get timely hitting and runs across the plate as well. Randy Arozarena opened the scoring belting his first home of the season in the fourth inning. The homer went 436 feet, the second longest of his career after the 445-shot he hit against Steven Matz in Toronto on April 23, 2021.

Isaac Paredes added an RBI single and Jose Siri delivered a 2-RBI single to extend the Rays lead to 4-0 in the sixth inning. The Rays finished their scoring in the eighth inning as Brandon Lowe singled, moved to third on an RBI double by Josh Lowe, and came into score on a wild pitch by Chasen Shreve.

Brandon Lowe left yesterday’s game with a right toe contusion. He came off the bench as a pinch hitter with a walk and a single in two plate appearances and scamprered painlessly around the bases reaching third after his walk and scoring after his single.

Colin Poche gave up an infield single to lead off infield single to Riley Greene leading off the seventh inning to end the Rays no-hit bid. The ball was hit to Luke Raley at first and Poche was unable to out race the speedy Greene to the bag to record the out. Ryan Thompson made his season deubt working a scoreless eight to keep the shutout intact but Jake Rogers homered off Jalen Beeks leading off the ninth to end the scoring at 5-1.

Zimmer Honored As Inaugural Member Of Rays Hall of Fame:

Prior to the game, the Tampa Bay Rays inducted Don Zimmer as the inagural member into their newly created Hall of Fame. Zimmer spent 11 seasons as an advisor (2002-2014) with the Rays up to his passing on June 4, 2014 at the age of 83. His #66 is one of three numbers retired along with Wade Boggs No.12 and Jackie Robinson‘s No.42. The team Most Valuable Player award is named after him.

Retiring Zimmer’s Number in 2015:

Up Next For Rays:

The Tampa Bay Rays will depart the sunshine state for the first time this season and head north to Washington D.C. to take on the Nationals in a three game series beginning Monday night at 7:05 pm. Drew Rasmussen will make his season debut for the Rays. The Nationals will counter with right hander Trevor Williams.

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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.