Impressive All Around Victory In Front of 20,993 At Tropicana FieldFollow @Steve_Kinsella1
Tampa, FL – Shane McClanahan (1-1, 2.45 ERA) worked seven strong innings as the Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Boston Red Sox 5-2 to win the rubber game of the three game weekend series. Colin Poche worked a scoreless eighth and Ryan Thompson a scoreless ninth to pickup his first save on the year.
With the win the Rays improve to 9-7 on the season and they’ll enjoy a day off before welcoming the Seattle Mariners into Tropicana Field on Tuesday evening. They have won four their last five and are 5-2 in their last seven games.
Phillips Valdez (0-1, 3.24 ERA) takes the loss for Boston who fall to 7-9 on the year. Boston heads north of the border to take on the Blue Jays starting Monday night.
The Rays fell behind 2-0 in the first inning but came back to take the lead in the bottom of the fifth inning. Rich Hill had held the Rays scoreless through four innings and was replaced by Phillips Valdez to open the fifth. He hit Randy Arozarena and walked Wander Franco. Brandon Lowe pinch hit for Harold Ramirez and flew out to deep center allowing Arozarena to tag up to third. He then hit Yandy Diaz with a pitch to load the bases.
Ji-Man Choi pinch hit for Taylor Walls against Ryan Brasier and delivered a double off the wall scoring a pair of runs to tie the game. Dating back to July 22, 2021 Choi has reached base in seven consecutive pinch-hitting plate appearances. Manuel Margot grounded out to push the Rays lead to 3-2.
KK SCORES, BUT AROZARENA ADVENTURES ON THE BASES CONTINUE:
The Rays added a run in the sixth inning on a wild pitch by Jake Diekman allowing Kevin Kierrmaier to score from third. Randy Arozarena tried to score from second but was tagged out at the plate. It was the second time in the game that Arozarena was out on the bases. After the game, Manager Kevin Cash was asked about Arozarena’s aggressiveness. He joked and said maybe Arozarena thought he took an invisible pill this morning. “I want my guys to be safe” Cash said with a smile. “If you’re not going to be safe don’t go.”
The Rays finished the scoring in the seventh inning as Yandy Diaz hit his first homer of the season.
McCLANAHAN GIVES RAYS MUCH NEEDED LENGTH:
Shane McClanahan became the first Rays starting pitcher this season to work into the seventh inning this season. He retired Boston 1-2-3 before giving way to Colin Poche to open the 8th. In his seven innings of work McClanahan allowed two runs (earned) on six hits while striking out seven and walking none. The seven K’s matched a career high (2x) and was the longest start from a Ray since he completed seven innings on August 7, 2021.
Boston did their damage against McClanahan in the first inning getting both their runs on four hits over the span of the games first nine pitches. Entering the game, Rays pitching had allowed Boston just two hits in the previous 14 innings. McClanahan settled in and retired the next 12 batters in a row and 20 of the final 22 batters he faced. He made 86 pitches with 64 for strikes.
YANDY GOES YARD:
Yandy Diaz extended the Rays lead to 5-2 hitting his first homer of 2022 in the bottom of the seventh inning. The homer came in his 51st plate appearance. Last season, Diaz didn’t connect on his first homer until June 6th against the Texas Rangers. That homer came on his 227th plate appearance.
KIERMAIER’S WEB GEM:
INJURY PLUS COVID IL UPDATES:
Francisco Mejia (positive test) remains on the Covid IL. Kevin Cash said Mejia has mild symptoms (body ache) but was improving. A return is not known since the timeline is predicated on MLB policy (two negative test, clearance from board, etc.). Cash did note that another staff member has tested positive and admits that it is a challenge to contain the spread, but they will take precautions.
While Diaz returned, the Rays moved Jeffrey Springs to the Covid IL (close contact). His spot on the roster will go to Vidal Brujan who was called up to replace Diaz on the roster. With Diaz returning, Brujan will not only stay up with the club on Sunday, but he’ll get a start at 2b.
Ryan Yarbrough (groin) made a rehab appearance with he Triple-A Durham Bulls on Saturday and in terms of production it didn’t go well. Yarbrough faced 6 batters, walked four, gave up a single and was removed retiring just one batter. He made 27 pitches with 10 strikes.
NEXT UP FOR RAYS & RED SOX:
The Tampa Bay Rays have an off-day on Monday and then welcome in the Seattle Mariners for a three game series. Boston heads north of the border to take on the Toronto Blue Jays for four beginning Monday at 7:07 pm. Boston will open the series with Nate Eovaldi (1-0, 3.68 ERA) on the mound while the Blue Jays counter with Jose Berrios (1-0, 6.35 ERA).