Kiermaier leads the Rays to a victory over Dodgers

by Gary Shelton on May 23, 2019 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Kiermaier’s three-run homer separated the game./JEFFREY S. KING

Wednesday, 4 a.m.

The night before, he had left the park shaking his head.

Kiermaier celebrates his home run./JEFFREY S. KING

He had been thrown out, making the first out of an inning at third, a no-no in baseball. A potential rally had been lost there. True, he was trying to make a play at the time. But somewhere in the middle, there were doubts for Kiermaier.

Wednesday night, he left no room for doubt.

Keirmaier threw the potential go-ahead run out at the plate in the sixth inning, and then added a three-run homer in the seventh to help lead the Rays to an impressive 8-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Rays and Dodgers were tied 1-1. but the Rays scored seven runs in the seventh (Avasail Garcia also hit a three-run homer in the inning) to gain a split for the series.

Kiermaier threw the go-ahead run out at the plate./JEFFREY S. KING

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Chirinos pitched well in the victory./JEFFREY S. KING

“I had A feeling that ball was going to be hit to me,” Kiermaier said. “I got a good hop. It was a heck of a play for Travis (d’Arnaud). I short-hopped it which you don’t want to do. But I was trying to get it back in as quickly as possible. I knew I had him once I threw it. I’ll take those when I can get them.”

Said manager Kevin Cash: “For him to do what he did on defense and on offense when we needed a little breathing room… We haven’t had much lately.”

Heredia makes a running catch for Rays./JEFFREY S. KING

The Rays are now 28-18. still second in the AL East.

“We needed a win today,” Cash said. “A lot of things went our way. Yonny pitched a tremendous game, i thought. He gave up one solo homer to an imposing lineup.

“We talked about it – creating momentum. I don’t know how you do it, but you have to have some guys have some good at-bats or make a good play like (Kiermaier’s). We didn’t have any lately, the last couple games and it wasn’t easy today.

Wednesday was the 70th time the Rays have used their opener strategy over the last two seasons. They are 41-29 (.586) over those games. Ryan Stanek went 1 2/3 innings in starting his 13th opener and didn’t allow an earned run. Yonny Chirinos went the next 3 2/3 innings.

The Rays took a 1-0 lead on Tommy Pham’s homer. The Dodgers tied it, but Brandon Lowe drove in Austin Meadows with the go-ahead run. The blasts by Garcia and Kiermaier opened up the game.

The Rays play in Cleveland tonight at 6:10 p.m. They’ll use another opener against the Indians’ Adam Plutko.

Meadows scores the Rays’ go-ahead run./JEFFREY S. KING

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