A sweep of Detroit inches the Rays closer to contention. Yes, we said it. Contention.
The Rays sent RHP Hunter Wood to the hill to make his first career start. It would be the 14th different starting pitcher used by Tampa Bay this season.
The Tigers would counter with Jordan Zimmerman making his 12th start of 2018.
“The Outlaw” gets ’em goin
Kevin Kiermaier told the media on Tuesday he’s feeling a lot more confident at the plate. He hit the one-out triple that led to the walk-off win on Monday night. Wednesday, he hit his second home run of the season into the right field seats to lead off the third and get the Rays ahead 1-0.
Kiermaier would finish the day with his first three-hit ballgame of the season and a five-game hitting streak alive and well.
McCann can, and did
Tiger’s catcher, James McCann, deposited an 0-2 pitch from Matt Andriese into the left field seats in the fourth inning to give Detroit a 2-1 lead. This came after the Rays left two runners in scoring position in the third with one out.
C.J. Cron, who has been as hot as any Rays hitter of late, crushed his career-high 18th home run in the seventh. The three-run shot gave the Rays a 4-2 lead and came with two away against Zimmerman. He would finish the Tigers series 6-for-12 with three doubles, a home run, and four RBI.
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The Rays were 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position today before the blast by Cron.
Toasty? We think so.
Mallex saves the day
After Carlos Gomez threw a ball away getting it back into the infield, the Tigers had a runner on third with two outs in the eighth off Diego Castillo. This followed a lead-off double by Nick Castellanos.
With a potentially bad inning afoot, Mallex Smith saved a run and extra bases with a diving catch in left field to retire the side. Smith had just been moved from right field to make way for Gomez. Castellanos was nearly gunned down at second on his double had Joey Wendle held onto the laser from Mallex.
Sergio slams the door
He’s settling in quite nicely in the ninth inning. That being Sergio Romo who slammed the door shut with a 1-2-3 ninth inning today to secure the three-game sweep of the Tigers. It would be Romo’s 11th save of the season.
Manager Kevin Cash: “Good win. I think this win speaks volumes about our club.”
Kiermaier: “You see a lot of people growing in here. This all starts with our pitching staff and what they’ve done. Offensively, one through nine, you just wonder who’s gonna be the guy to step up today. We don’t depend on just one person each and every day. We’re just getting started and we’re having a lot of fun.”
The Rays travel to Minnesota for a four-game series against the Twins. LHP Blake Snell takes the hill Thursday looking for his 13th win of the season. That would tie former Ray LHP Matt Moore for most wins by a pitcher before the All Star break in team history.
At 48-44, the Rays are now nine games out of the final wild card spot in the American League. It’s also the fifth five-game winning streak of 2018.
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