Souza’s home runs lead Rays to victory

by Gary Shelton on May 25, 2017 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Souza embraces Kiermaier after hitting two home runs./CARMEN MANDATO

Souza embraces Kiermaier after hitting two home runs./CARMEN MANDATO

Thursday, 2 a.m.

Steven Souza said he had to figure out a way to get a runner home.

He did.

After all, hitting the ball over the fence usually will get runners in from anywhere on base.

Souza homered twice Wednesday night, leading the Rays to a 5-2 win over the Angels, Tampa Bay's first win of the series. The victory snapped a three-game losing streak and brought the Rays back to within one game of .500.

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Ramirez settled down and threw well./CARMEN MANDATO

Ramirez settled down and threw well./CARMEN MANDATO

Erasmo Ramirez – like Alex Cobb the night before — spotted the Angels a 2-0 lead in the top of the first. This time, Ramirez gave up a home to Albert Pujols. This time, however, the Rays were able to come back.

Souza had had only one home run in his previous 22 games.

Rasmus has hit five home runs in the month of May./CARMEN MANDATO

Rasmus has hit five home runs in the month of May./CARMEN MANDATO

“It was good,” Souza said. “Like I said, the last couple of weeks have been a little rough and I’m just trying to put it past me and get back to being aggressive and being a threat at the plate. I was honestly just trying to get a good pitch to hit, whatever it was, and barrel it up. Really just trying to be in control of the at-bat and I got in some good counts to do some damage.”

Colby Rasmus and Souza hit back to back homers in the seventh.

“In his first at-bat he was ready to hit the fastball,” said Rays' manager Kevin Cash. “I think he swung at a breaking ball, but was out in front of it and stayed committed to the fastball and hit it a long way. That pitch appeared to be an inch or two off the plate, so it shows that he can cover pitches. He comes up and gets a breaking ball off his front foot a little bit. Strong guys can hit it

Kiermaier doubled in a run Wednesday night./CARMEN MANDATO

Kiermaier doubled in a run Wednesday night./CARMEN MANDATO

that far. Good to see Colby  do the same thing with the fastball ready to hit. A big home run to separate it from a 3-2 to a 4-2 game.”

Evan Longoria had a single in the sixth, but he was called out for flinching toward second base.

Erasmo Ramirez went six innings and gave up only the two runs in the first inning. He allowed four hits.

“Erasmo was outstanding,” Cash said. “Even after the two-run homer by Pujols, it didn’t faze him. We saw a very similar situation the night before with Alex and I think that just comes from the confidence and trust that you have plenty of stuff to navigate through that lineup and he did a really good job. The bullpen came in and did some good things. Alvarado, Stanek and Alex, but for those two young guys to continue to make big pitches, throw strikes. That’s important “

Beckman continued to play well of the Rays./CARMEN MANDATO

Beckman continued to play well for the Rays./CARMEN MANDATO

Said Ramirez: “No matter how many pitches you’re at I’m always in that pitch count at that moment. I try to execute every pitch I throw and I know that I can go deep in the game. I want to be able to make it to the 5th or the 6th... My mindset is executing pitches no matter my role. It’s been the whole year like that and it’s been working.”

The teams finish their four-game series today. Matt Andriese pitches for Tampa Bay.

Longoria after being called out at first for flinching toward second./CARMEN MANDATO

Longoria after being called out at first for flinching toward second./CARMEN MANDATO

 

 

 

 

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