Rays’ Yarbrough falters in loss to Giants

by Gary Shelton on April 7, 2019 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Yarbrough had a tough fifth inning./JEFFREY S. KING

Sunday, 3 a.m.

And so, the Tampa Bay Rays have re-opened the discussion about their “opener” strategy.

The Rays went back to their opener Sunday, and they got the matchups they wanted. However, their third pitcher of the day — 16-game winner Ryan Yarbrough of a year ago — faltered, and the team absorbed a 6-4 defeat. It lowered the team’s record to 6-3 on the season.

Although some had expected Yonny Chirinos to pitch, five left-handed batters in the Giants’ lineup convinced manager Kevin Cash to change

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his plan, instead going with Ryne Stanek (who threw two perfect innings), then Jalen Beeks.

And then Yarbrough, who couldn’t get lefties out. In the fifth, he surrendered a walk, a single a double and a home run to Brandon Belt, and a 3-2 lead turned into a 6-3 deficit.

The most disappointing part of the inning?

“Probably the leadoff walk to a lefty,” said Rays’ manager Kevin Cash. “It was a little uncharacteristic. Not ideal.”

The Rays had scored two in the top of the fifth and threatened to score more. But Kevin Pillar made a diving catch on a bases-loaded liner by Tommy Pham.

Jeff Samardzija, a critic of the Opener Blueprint, started for the Giants.

The Rays play the deciding game of the series today against the Giants at 4:05. Chirinos pitches against Drew Pomeranz of the Giants.

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