Romo shows up earlier than usual in victory

by Gary Shelton on July 27, 2018 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

The Rays couldn't wait to pitch Romo./JEFFREY S. KING

The Rays couldn't wait to pitch Romo./CARMEN MANDATO

Friday, 4 a.m.

He didn't turn off the lights.

He didn't choke away the opponent's last breath. He didn't put the final nail in the coffin. He didn't slam the door shut on anyone.

But Sergio Romo helped win the game.

Somehow, that seems as if it ought to be enough.

Romo, who has served as the Rays' closer in recent weeks (he has 12 saves), was out of order in a 4-3 victory over the Baltimore Orioles. Instead of saving him for the end, manager Kevin Cash decided to use him in the

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Hechavarria drove in a run for the Rays./CARMEN MANDATO

Hechavarria drove in a run for the Rays./CARMEN MANDATO

eighth inning to face Chris Davis,  Trey Mancini and Danny Valencia. That saved the ninth, against lesser hitters, for Austin Pruitt, who recorded his second save.

Although Romo gave up a home run to Davis, he retired the other two to aid the Rays' win.

Choi has been a hot streak for Rays./JEFFREY S. KING

Choi has been on a hot streak for Rays./JEFFREY S. KING

"There was no one else available," Cash said of why he used Pruitt. "That’s why we pitched Sergio when we did. He was going against the teeth of their lineup. The guy has no ego to do that. "

The Rays lead the major leagues in one-run games played (43) and lost (23), but they've won 10 of their last 14 one-run games to come to 20-23 on the season. Of the Rays' games, 41.2 percent have been decided by one run, compared to 27.7 percent of games in the majors.

Ryan Yarbrough got the win for the Rays, running his record to 9-5 on the season.

For the Rays, Ji-Man Choi had two hits. One of them was ruled a double,

Yarbrough took his ninth victory./JEFFREY S. KING

Yarbrough took his ninth victory./JEFFREY S. KING

but the Rays argued it should have been a home run (it went through a fans hands and off of his chest). In his last five games, Choi is hitting .389.

“I went out there and asked," Cash said. "They didn’t have anything conclusive to overturn it. It was an odd play. It looked as if it went through the guys' hands, hit the wall and hit the guy’s chest. If we’re right on that, it was probably a home run, but I don’t think there was any video evidence that supported it."

Joey Wendle also had two hits for the Rays, while Michael Perez had a double in his first game as a Ray.

The Rays play the Orioles again tonight at 7:05 p.m. Chris Archer pitches for Tampa Bay against Andrew Cashner (2-9).

 

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