Rays homer their way to victory over Detroit

by Gary Shelton on June 19, 2017 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

After homering twice, Morrison now has 21 on the year.

After homering twice, Morrison now has 21 on the year.

Monday, 1 a.m.

After two straight games of small ball, the Tampa Bay Rays evidently missed hitting home runs.

Sunday, they made up for it.

The Rays hit five home runs in their 9-1 bashing of the Detroit Tigers Sunday, including two by Logan Morrison and a grand slam by Steven Souza Jr. The Rays finished their road trip at 3-3 and are two games over .500 as they return home tonight.

Rookie sensation Jacob Faria won his third straight game, striking out a career-high nine batters and allowing only six

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Souza had a grand slam to lead the Rays.

Souza had a grand slam to lead the Rays.

hits. Faria scuffled in the first inning, throwing 28 pitches, but went on to pitch seven innings.

“It's not the easiest thing in the world to pitch with a big lead,” said manager Kevin Cash. “Everyone says just throw strikes, just throw it over the plate. But that's when a lead goes from 7-1 to 7-4.”

Faria, just one season removed from a 1-6 record at AA Montgomery, has been efficient since joining the staff. Only Jeremy Hellickson won his first three games as a Rays starter (Doug Waechter won his first three, too, but one was as a reliever). Faria has an ERA of 1.37.

“It's just going back to trusting what these guys are doing,” Faria said. “Trusting what the coaches are giving me. Trusting what the other starters are giving me. Trusting what (Norris) is giving me. I'm the new guy. It isn't like I'm bringing something extremely different to the table.”

Longoria hit his 10th home run of the season.

Longoria hit his 10th home run of the season.

The Rays have had quality pitchers over the years, but except for Hellickson, no one compares. In 2008, David Price's first three appearances (relief) ended in no-decisions. In 2012, Chris Archer lost two of his first three with a no-decision Matt Garza had three no-decisions. Alex Cobb got one win and two no-decisions. Scott Kazmir was 1-1 with a no-decision.

Faria? He's 3-0, and watch him go.

“I think it's his poise,” said Souza Jr. when asked about the most impressive thing about Faria. “He's come up here and acted like a professional from the first day. He's throwing strikes and pounding the zone.”

The Rays, who have 109 homers on the season, scored eight of their nine runs via the long ball. Derek Norris and Evan Longoria hit homers besides Morrison and Souza, who had two hits each in the game.
Corey Dickerson, who had been hitless the two previous games, had three hits to get his average up to .330.

Jake Odorizzi pitches in tonight's series opener against the Reds at home. For Cincinnati, Scott Feldman pitches.

Faria won his third game in a row for the Rays./STEVEN MUNCIE

Faria won his third game in a row for the Rays./STEVEN MUNCIE

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