This time, the Rays win their one-run game

by Gary Shelton on August 10, 2018 · 0 comments

in general

Yonny Chrinos won his first major league game in a five-inning stint. /JEFFREY S. KING

Yonny Chirinos won his first major league game in a five-inning stint. /JEFFREY S. KING

Friday, 3 a.m.

This much, you can count on with the Tampa Bay Rays.

It's going to be close.

They may win. They may lose. They may get lost on the way to the ballpark. But once the game starts, the Rays are going to keep it tight. It's going down to the final reel and the last breath.

The Rays played their sixth straight one-run game Thursday night, beating the Baltimore Orioles 5-4. Only once before, in 2010, have the Rays ever played six consecutive one-run games.

For the season, the Rays are 22-27 in one-run games, which leads the major

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Romo bounced back with his 14th save./JEFFREY S. KING

Romo bounced back with his 14th save./JEFFREY S. KING

leagues in one-run games and one-run losses. Of their defeats, 47.4 percent of them have been by one run, also the highest rate in the majors.

This time, the Rays came back from deficits of 3-0 and 4-3 to win and stay above .500 *(58-57) for the year. Jake Bauers' hit a two-run single in the seventh for the winning runs.

Bauers fields the ball for an out at first/JEFFREY S. KING

Bauers fields the ball for an out at first/JEFFREY S. KING

“Hopefully, we are looking at  (the one-run games) as a positive," Rays' manager Kevin Cash said. "We have to find ways to separate some games. But if you are in a lot of one-run games, that means you are in a lot of baseball games. There is no doubt that we are going to continue to find ways to be on top more than not and today was a good indicator.”

Pitcher Yonny Chirinos won for the first time in his career, throwing five innings of three-hit baseball. The only run he allowed was a home run to Renato Nunez.

Also of note was the performance of Sergio Romo, who notched his 14th

Brandon Lowe has gone 0-for-10 with the Rays./JEFFREY S. KING

Brandon Lowe has gone 0-for-10 with the Rays./JEFFREY S. KING

save a night after blowing his seventh.

“That’s a lot of the difference you see in a veteran pitcher who has been there, done that for a long time," Cash said. "Maybe some young pitchers might have some hiccups, but Sergio doesn’t think too much of it. He knows that if he makes his pitches he is going to have success.”

Bauers had three RBI on the night, the fourth time this season he's had three or more. He's had nine career go-ahead hits.

Duffy throws to first base to make a play./JEFFREY S. KING

Duffy throws to first base to make a play./JEFFREY S. KING

“Obviously the wins and losses are there the past six games here, but we’ve been in every ballgame," Bauers said. "Six straight one-run games. Obviously maybe the losses are piling up, but we are still in all these ballgames and I think that’s been the key for us.”

Bauers drove in Willy Adames and Mallex Smith in the seventh for the win. Bauers is hitting .302 with runners in scoring position.

“I was looking for something that I could handle and hit a line drive on," Bauers said. "Obviously it would have been easy to get jumpy and jump on something, but I tried to put a good swing on something and luckily got a line drive.”

The Rays now travel to Toronto, where Blake Snell will pitch against Marco Estrada in a 7:07 p.m. game. Snell's pitch count will be up to 75.

Ji-Man Choi celebrates his home run./JEFFREY S. KING

Ji-Man Choi celebrates his home run./JEFFREY S. KING

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