Rays come back strong, bash Kansas City

by Gary Shelton on May 11, 2017 · 0 comments

in general

Colby Rasmus celebrates after hitting a grand slam./STEVEN MUNCIE

Colby Rasmus celebrates after hitting a grand slam./STEVEN MUNCIE

Thursday, 2 a.m.

The Tampa Bay Rays took out some of their frustrations on the Kansas City Royals Wednesday night.

The Rays, after losing two straight to Kansas City and four of their last five overall, erupted for 12-1 victory over the Royals. Tampa Bay had lost back-to-back frustrating games before its win.

The Rays had 16 hits in winning by their biggest margin since last August. Colby Rasmus drove in four runs on a grand slam, and Logan Morrison added three.

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Chris Archer./STEVEN MUNCIE

Chris Archer was dominant in the victory./STEVEN MUNCIE

Tampa Bay finally gave Chris Archer (3-1) plenty of run support. Archer pitched eight innings and allowed only five hits. He struck out 11 and didn't allow a run.

“Archer came out, we really needed a quality outing and he provided that for us,” Rays' manager Kevin Cash said. “He was tremendous. He’s been on a nice little run here, getting deep into ballgames, limiting his pitch count, his punch-outs, giving us every opportunity to win the game. I know the game got separated there at the end, but we really need that from a bullpen standpoint. It’s nice to see him step up and provide that.”

Ricky Weeks Jr. celebrates his home run./STEVEN MUNCIE

Ricky Weeks Jr. celebrates his home run./STEVEN MUNCIE

Archer was dominant from the first pitch, throwing one his better games.

“I think this was the game where I executed at the highest level,” Archer said.
Corey Dickerson noticed: “That was one of the best times I’ve seen him. The way he controlled the game, his emotions. It seems like he held his emotions back a bit and pitched a really good ballgame. He threw a lot of strikes and did really well. We felt that and I feel like it helped our offense out too.”
Archer's one speed bump was when hit Salvador Perez. Archer said it wasn't intentional, but Perez wasn't buying it.

“Yeah, of course, he threw at me,” Perez said. “I think he was mad. I don’t think that’s the right way. He never throws the first pitch inside — we see all the reports he has. He never throws inside. We don’t come out and let the (expletive) guy throw 95 MPH and try to hit you. That’s (expletive). That’s what I think.”

Jumbo Diaz celebrates after getting strike three in the 9th inning./STEVEN MUNCIE

Jumbo Diaz celebrates after getting strike three in the 9th inning./STEVEN MUNCIE

Offensively, Morrison is off to a strong start a year after last year's slow start. Morrison says he could do better.

“I’m definitely not happy or content where I’m at right now,” Morrison said. “I feel like I’m leaving a lot of at-bats. On a negative note of where I could be or should be, maybe getting deeper into counts or not swinging at pitches that I shouldn’t be, pitch selection. You battle that a lot, but when you’re feeling good, you swing at a lot of stuff you shouldn’t and when you’re not feeling good, you take stuff you shouldn’t. I think I need to get pitches more over the plate and lay off the pitches like sliders down and in or fastballs that are up and out of the zone. That would help me out a lot. If it’s not showing up in hits or average-wise, on-base percentage, things like that when I’m out on base for Colby and those guys, the better it’s going to be for our team and our lineup.”

The Rays are now 17-19 on the season. They wrap up their four-game series with a 1:10 p.m. Game today when Jake Odorizzi pitches against Jason Vargas.

Tim Beckham makes a play at shortstop./STEVEN MUNCIE

Tim Beckham makes a play at shortstop./STEVEN MUNCIE

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