New faces, but same results for Rays’ bullpen

by Gary Shelton on July 30, 2017 · 0 comments

in Baseball, general, Tampa Bay Rays

Boxberger loaded the bases in the ninth in Yankees' comeback win../JEFFREY S. KING

Boxberger loaded the bases in the ninth in Yankees' comeback win../JEFFREY S. KING

Sunday, 2 a.m.

Say this about the rebuilt bullpen of the Tampa Bay Rays.

Brett Gardner likes it.

In fact, Gardner is a huge fan after the first three games of the Yankees' series against the Rays. Gardner has had four hits in the series, including three in the ninth inning or later. He's had the game-winning hit twice in three games.

Saturday, he had a game-winning single in the bottom of the ninth against newly acquired Dan Jennings, who came on after Brad Boxberger walked the leadoff hitter (after getting off to an 0-2 count), hit Todd Frazier and gave up a bunt single to Ronald Torreyes. Earlier in the game, Chase Headley hit a home run off another newly acquired pitcher in Sergio Romo.

"They (the Yankees) are on fire right now," Cash said. "It seems like they have a lot of things going their way. Stuff's not going our way right now, but we have to find a way to overcome it."

It spoiled a fairly encouraging outing by Blake Snell, who allowed three earned runs in 5 1/3 innings.

The Rays had tied the game in the eighth inning on Lucas Duda's second home run in as many days. Steven Souza Jr. had his 22nd home run, and Peter Bourgos hit his fifth.

The Rays' bullpen gave up two earned runs Sunday in 2 2/3 innings pitched. That leaves the pen with an ERA of 4.39. The Rays have lost 33 games in which they were ahead.

“We needed this game,” said reliever Brad Boxberger. “It's never a good idea to walk the leadoff hitter.”

Said Cash: "We just can't do that. They're in such a good spot right now as a club, you get the sense they're going to make you pay for it. They have the weapon to bring Ellsbury in there. He steals second uncontested. Walks come in to score. Our guys know that."

The Rays, currently behind Kansas City in the race for the final wild-card spot, wraps up its series with the Yankees today. Jacob Faria pitches in the 1:05 game against Jordan Montgomery.

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