Rays beat the Blue Jays again in front of tiny crowd

by Gary Shelton on May 29, 2019 · 4 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Garcia had an inside-the-park home run./CHUCK MULLER

Wednesday, 4 a.m.

They are off to a great start … and the community seems to ignore them.

They have young stars … and the local fans yawn.

They are on a roll … and the seats remain empty.

The Rays, once again, are unable to reach the community in which they play. Tuesday night, they drew just 5,796 fans  to the Trop to watch them beat the Toronto Blue Jays, 3-1. That’s 723 fewer fans than a game  against Minnesota on Sept. 5, 2017, when a hurricane was in the forecast.

Garcia has had an impressive May./CHUCK MULLER

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Meadows continues to swing a torrid bat./CHUCK MULLER

The few who were in attendance saw the Rays win their fourth straight and sixth of their last seven games. Ryan Yarbrough again was effective, although he allowed the first two runners of the third inning to get to second and third with no one out.

“He’s throwing more strikes,” Rays’ manager Kevin Cash said. “He’s controlling the

Castillo recorded his sixth save./CHUCK MULLER

count better. His stuff appears to be the same. Yarbs does a good job. He goes out and competes and I think when he gets in those situations like he did in the 4th inning with [runners on] second and third [base]. He has that knack to really put the blinders on and focus on what he’s trying to do. He made some big pitches.”

Said Yarbrough: “That’s not how you draw it up to begin with, how you want to put yourself in that situation. Working with Travis [d’Arnaud] for the first time, really trying to get inside on them and get soft contact for the first two outs and then with two outs, (Brandon) Drury, you try to get him out of the zone. Everything worked out in our favor.”

The Rays scored twice on home runs. Avi Garcia had an inside-the-park homer, and

Pagan had another impressive outing/CHUCK MULLER

Austin Meadows hit his third homer in three days. Travis d’Arnaud hit a sacrifice fly to drive in Garcia with the third run.

“I think it’s my first one,” Garcia said of the inside-the-park homer. “It was great. It was fun. This is the best feeling ever. A winning team like this, a great group. Everybody is humble, everybody works hard for everybody. They have my back and I have their back. I think it’s a great group and I appreciate that I’m here.”

For the Rays, it was another close win.

“We play a lot of close ballgames,” Cash said.  “I think it’s been that way for many years here because we are built on run prevention so we are going to keep it tight. You’d like to think that these experiences are going to help as the season goes, but nobody is getting in the way if we feel like separating the game every now and then. That’d be nice.”

The Rays go for another win over Toronto today at 7:10 p.m. at Tropicana Field. Blake Snell (3-4) will pitch against Trent Thornton.

Yarbrough ran his record to 4-1./CHUCK MULLER






{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Rick Martin May 29, 2019 at 11:19 am

I think that the area has resigned itself to accept that this team isn’t here for long and it’s really some other city’s team playing in St Pete and in waiting. I have a partial season ticket package and refuse to worry about the Ray’s attendance issues. I do think there’s likely a huge stay at home audience watching on Fox Sunsport TV – I’m sure Mr Sternberg is making income there.


Gary Shelton May 29, 2019 at 11:54 pm

Actually, the Rays have one of the worst TV packages in the majors. I’m sure the added value of the franchise will pay off when these guys sell the team, but the guys who think their are hidden millions are fooling themselves.


BILL MYERS May 29, 2019 at 8:56 am

Is it too early to start talking postseason play? I don’t think that would jinks them. But I’m still smarting a bit from the Bolts postseason fiasco! So let’s talk about attendance. Schools almost over so families can enjoy more nights out soon. There is still the traffic battle. TV and radio keep a lot of fans at home. So I guess it is up to the Rays organization to make it more fun than staying at home. Postgame concerts, themes, and more freebies might work.


Gary Shelton May 29, 2019 at 11:57 pm

Every team plays in a city where school is almost over. Every town has traffic problems. TV and radio keep fans home elsewhere, too. The Rays are winning. That should be enough to bring more fans.


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