Souza has adventurous night in Rays’ victory

by Gary Shelton on May 27, 2017 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Archer was terrific in throwing into the eight./CARMEN MANDATO

Archer was terrific in throwing into the eighth inning./JEFFREY S. KING

Saturday, 2 a.m.

He was off at the crack of the bat.

He was covering the ground in right field quickly. The ball was headed toward the gap, but Steven Souza Jr. kept pushing. Finally, realizing the ball was going to be beyond him, he left his feet and dove headlong...

...and the ball fell a first-down away from him.

It was a funny moment in a laughable win for the Rays, 5-2 over the hot Minnesota Twins. Souza said he lost the ball in the lights and “hit the deck to avoid getting hit in

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Souza Jr. hit a home run to stop the laughter./STEVEN MUNCIE

Souza Jr. hit a home run to stop the laughter./STEVEN MUNCIE

face.” But it looked as if Souza had stretched out to catch the ball and fell far short.

“Everybody knows I'm going to lay it on the line,” Souza Jr. said. “Sometimes I make a fool of myself, sometimes I make plays. It went into the lights. I just hit the deck. It landed about 40 feet away. I didn't want to get hit in the face. I didn't know what was going on.”

The Minnesota fans stood and cheered Souza, and the Rays players had a solid giggle over it. As for Souza, he homered in the

Kiermaier had two hits, including a homer./CARMEN MANDATO

Kiermaier had two hits, including a homer./CARMEN MANDATO

eighth inning  to make up his misplay. He also had a nice catch in right earlier in the game.

“Good effort,” Cash said. “You're never surprised with anything he does. That's Souz.”

Souza was only one of the Rays' players who deserved notice Friday night. There was Chris Archer, who was superb. He threw 7 2/3 innings, gave up five hits and two earned runs and struck out 11. There was Alex Colome, who got four outs, including a strikeout of Miguel Sano in the eighth. There was Logan Morrison, who had a two-run homer. There was Kevin Kiermaier, who had two hits, including a two-run homer.

Colome recorded his 13th save./TRAVIS PENDERGRASS

Colome recorded his 13th save./TRAVIS PENDERGRASS

The win was the third straight for the Rays. It was the 14th straight game against a team that is over .500.

“Dicky (Corey Dickerson) got so hot, and has been hot,” Rays' manager Kevin Cash said. “But LoMo is right there with him, I know the averages separate them, but the damage he's doing and the big hits he's had...he gives a really good at bat.You rarely see him expanding out of the zone. He's patient waiting on his pitch. It's nice to be able to plug him in the middle of the lineup.”

Archer's 11 strikeouts put him just behind Boston's Chris Sale in the strikeout race in the American League.

Archer, in particular, singled out Colome. “I don't ever like to give up the ball,” he said, “but if I have to give it for Colome, I'll rest easily.”

The Rays improved to 26-25 on the season.

Tonight, Tampa Bay sends Jake Odorizzi to the mound to face the Twins' Adalberto Mejia.

Morrison has had a lot of big hits for the Rays./STEVEN MUNCIE

Morrison has had a lot of big hits for the Rays./STEVEN MUNCIE

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