By: Garrett Ballard
The Tampa Bay Rays beat the Kansas City Royals 7-1 on Thursday. The bats were on fire for Tampa Bay, striking early and late to propel the Rays to a big win.
Rays’ offense awakens early, and then late
The scoring started with the very first batter of the game for the Rays. Yandy Diaz came up to the plate and took the second pitch of the game deep to left field to break the scoring open. Diaz’s home run was his seventh of the year.
The offense took a back seat to pitch until the seventh inning, however. The Rays scored five of their seven runs in the seventh inning. Six straight Tampa Bay batters had hits in the seventh inning, including a two-run double by Diaz and an RBI double by Randy Arozarena.
To round out the scoring, Christian Bethancourt hit a solo home run in the eighth inning to bring the score to 8-1.
Pitching shines in the middle innings
Luis Patino started the game for the Rays, his first start since July 23rd. Patino pitched 5.2 scoreless innings, recording four strikeouts in the process. He pitched the entire time with a one-run lead and his work allowed them to maintain that lead.
Colin Poche came on in relief for Patino, pitching 1.1 innings, and just got the job done. He recorded no strikeouts but also gave up no hits and he did not walk any batters.
Shawn Armstrong closed the game out for Tampa Bay. He pitched two innings, recording one strikeout, and just gave up a solo home run.
The Rays and Royals are playing another game on Friday. Brady Singer (6-4, 3.29 ERA) is the starter for the Royals on Friday. Singer last pitched against Tampa Bay on July 23rd and recorded 12 strikeouts. For Tampa Bay, Shane McClanahan (11-5, 2.28 ERA) is on the mound.