d’Arnaud (?) powers the Rays to win over Detroit

by Gary Shelton on June 7, 2019 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Rays' d'Arnaud had two home runs/CHUCK MULLER

Friday, 4 a.m.

Travis d'Arnaud?

Really?

Travis "Feared in the Deep" d'Arnaud? Travis "the Hammer" d'Arnaud? Travis "Back Them Up" d'Arnaud?

Yeah, him.

D'Arnaud, that slugging machine of the Tampa Bay Rays, powered his team to a 6-1 victory over the Detroit Tigers Thursday afternoon. d'Arnaud, who hadn't had a home run since March of 2018, launched two two-run homers to lead the Rays' victory.

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Beeks ran his record to 5-0 for Tampa Bay./JEFFREY S. KING

All kidding aside, d'Arnaud has shown occasional pop in his career. He had three double-digit home run seasons from 2014-2017. But he hadn't homered as a Ray in his first 50 at-bats.

That changed Thursday, when d'Arnaud went deep in the fourth- and eighth-innings to lead the way.

"They were big," Rays' manager Kevin Cash said. "We needed them. He chose to go to maybe the deepest part of the ballpark into that bullpen. He’s worked really hard on his swing since he got here. He didn’t have the most fair opportunity throughout the early part of the season. He’s got some pop in his bat and he showed it today."

The Rays won again with their opener strategy, as Jalen Beeks ran his record to 5-0 (he was 5-0 with the Rays last season). He threw 4 1/3 scoreless innings.

"Jalen was outstanding," Cash said. "Our pitching in general was really, really good the last couple of days. Jalen has been on a good run."

The Rays now face a difficult series. They use an opener three times in four days against the Boston Red Sox. They play tonight at 7:10 p.m.  in Fenway against the Red Sox, and their starter is yet to be determined. Rick Porcello pitches for Boston.

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