Rays win the game, but lose another pitcher

by Gary Shelton on June 30, 2018 · 0 comments

in general

Wilmer Font has reinvented himself with Rays./STEVEN MUNCIE

Wilmer Font has reinvented himself with the Rays./STEVEN MUNCIE

Saturday, 3 a.m.

At the time he was finally arriving as a major league pitcher, Wilmer Font will evidently say farewell to the Rays for a while.

Font, on the heels of his finest outing, a one-hitter against the Houston Astros, had to leave Friday night's game after the fifth inning with a strained lat muscle (the latissimus   dorsi, located in the back).

The Rays' bullpen held up and the Rays won, 3-2. The Rays are now 6-1 on their homestand.

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Two runs scored when Kevin Kiermaier reached on an error../STEVEN MUNICE

Two runs scored when Kevin Kiermaier reached on an error../STEVEN MUNICE

Font has yielded one run or fewer in four straight starts before his injury.

“That last at-bat to Bregman ... that first pitch and the last pitch before we went out there," Cash said. "The first one we thought was a split. It was 86 mph and then when he threw the last pitch before we went out it was another 86 mph, but it ended up being a fastball. The Lat strain grabbed him.

Alvarado celebrates his second save for the Rays./STEVEN MUNCIE

Alvarado celebrates his second save for the Rays./STEVEN MUNCIE

"We’ll know more tomorrow, but in all likelihood he’ll probably miss a significant (amount of) time. It's unfortunate because he’s been throwing the ball so well for us and he did again tonight. He gave us a huge boost. He got us deep in the ballgame. He was going to continue going, but we’ll get him back healthy here soon.”

Font has been one of the more intriguing reclamation projects of the Rays. He was released by the Dodgers and A's this year, but he has found a home in the Rays' rotation.

“I feel good," Font said. "Team win, but the last (at-bat), I felt something in my lat. They said it was a lat strain.

Adeiny Hechavarria has starred at shortstop./STEVEN MUNICE

Adeiny Hechavarria has starred at shortstop./STEVEN MUNICE

“Everything was good (before the injury). We were working on the curveball. The fastball was good. Command was good tonight. The last two guys I didn’t feel I controlled the ball as well as I wanted to. Everything was good before that.”

The Rays took advantage of Houston errors for three runs in the third. Adeiny Hechavarria hit a sacrifice fly to center (which was dropped).  Joey Wendle and Hechavarria scored when Kevin Kiermaier was safe on a throwing error by Marwin Gonzalez.

The Astros  scored one a two-run homer by Alex Bregman (off Diego Castilla) in the sixth. But the Rays' bullpen shut out Houston the rest of the way.

Daniel Robertson runs to 3rd base./STEVEN MUNICE

Daniel Robertson runs to 3rd base./STEVEN MUNICE

“Our pitching," Cash said when asked why his team was able to win another close game (35 of 81 games have been decided by one run).np Definitely our pitching. If we are going to win a lot of games and we are going to string a bunch together, we have to have good pitching. And that’s what’s allowed us to do that.

"The timely hitting is great, but we have to stay in the ballgame. For us to have (allowed) three runs in 18 innings against arguably the best team in baseball, we should find a way to win one. You’d like to win two, but we’ll take this one tonight.”

The Rays play the Astros again today at 4:10 p.m. Ryne Stanek pitches against Justin Verlander.

Mallex Smith lays down a bunt for the Rays./STEVEN MUNCIE

Mallex Smith lays down a bunt for the Rays./STEVEN MUNCIE

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