Rays beat Boston again to keep winning streak alive

by Gary Shelton on August 26, 2018 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Kiermaier hit a triple in the Rays' big sixth inning./JEFFREY S. KING

Kiermaier hit a triple in the Rays' big sixth inning./JEFFREY S. KING

Sunday, 3 a.m.

In the beginning, it was the Boston Red Sox who helped lead to the low expectations of the Tampa Bay Rays.

Now, it is the Red Sox who are helping to convince the world that these Rays are better than you'd expect.

The Rays, who started the season by losing seven of eight games to Boston, beat the Red Sox for the third straight game -- and their fourth in their last six games -- with a 5-1 victory Saturday night. Not bad, considering that the team started 1-6 against Boston.

It was a solid win for the Rays, who are 12-4 in their last 16 games. Tampa Bay can finish at .500 by going 12-20 for the rest of the year.

Kiermaier's average is slowly getting better./JEFFREY S. KING

Kiermaier's average is slowly getting better./JEFFREY S. KING

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Perez had a sacrifice bunt for the Rays./JEFFREY S. KING

Perez had a sacrifice bunt for the Rays./JEFFREY S. KING

It was the seventh straight win for Tampa Bay, which is now eight games over .500.

The key to the game?

“Our pitching," manager Kevin Cash said. "We’ve talked about it now, we’ve been on a nice little run here and it’s been outstanding. For Yarbs (Ryan Yarbrough), I know he’s used to starting, but to do something different. He was used to coming in behind an opener and today we needed him to start. He gave us ve really solid

Yarbrough threw five solid innings for Rays./JEFFREY S. KING

Yarbrough threw five solid innings for Rays./JEFFREY S. KING

innings of work. Any time you go up against that team, that lineup and you limit them offensively, you are doing a lot of things correctly. He set the tone and from there the rest of the bullpen came in and did a nice job.”

Yarbrough threw the first five innings and allowed just one run on five hits. Ryne Stanek then came in, picked a runner off first and struck out J.D. Martinez to escape the sixth inning. Stanek got the win for the Rays.

In the Rays' half of the sixth, Kevin Kiermaier tripled and scored on a wild pitch. Willy Adames walked and scored on a sacrifice fly by Joey Wendle.

"That was a big hit," Cash said of Kiermaier's triple. "That was a huge hit. Probably the biggest one of the night. Lead-off triples really can set the tone and it makes the other pitcher or pitchers be very selective in their approach in what they are trying

Romo saved his 18th game./JEFFREY S. KING

Romo saved his 18th game./JEFFREY S. KING

to do. We drew some good walks in there. We really made them throw a lot of pitches and throw pitches in situations where we had guys in scoring position and we ultimately capitalized.”

Tommy Pham homered for the Rays in the seventh, and Ji-Man Choi tripled in Matt Duffy in the eighth. It was Pham's first home run as a Ray.

“Truthfully I didn’t think I had enough power to hit a home run because my grip strength isn’t quite there, but I have enough,” Pham said.

Yarbrough was pleased with his effort.

“It was good" he said. "Obviously they are a really great lineup and they are really aggressive so strength-on-strength just a matter of getting out there, making pitches and really stranding some runners in the middle innings.”

The Rays go for a sweep of the Red Sox today at 1:10 p.m. Blake Snell starts for the Rays against former Ray Nathan Eovaldi.

Wade Boggs threw out the first pitch for Rays./JEFFREY S. KING

Wade Boggs threw out the first pitch for Rays./JEFFREY S. KING

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