Rays’ offense keeps rolling in big win over Baltimore

by Gary Shelton on September 9, 2018 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Kiermaier helped to lead a potent Rays' offense./JEFFREY S. KING

Sunday, 2 a.m.

Maybe the outfielders should back up.

Maybe the opposition should get the married men out of the infield.

Maybe the Tampa Bay Rays need to buy more light bulbs for the scoreboard, just in case.

The sweet-hitting Rays -- and have you ever heard that before? -- kept it up Saturday night, clocking the last-place Orioles for the second straight night. This time, it was 10-5, one night after the team won 14-2. It was the Rays' 10th straight victory at home, one short of the record.

Kiermaier had two more hits for the Rays./JEFFREY S. KING

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Yarbrough won his 14th game of the year./JEFFREY S. KING

In their last 16 games, the Rays are averaging 6.25 runs. They have scored five runs or more 11 times, and they have collected double-digit hits 12 times. For a team that occasionally froze up offensively at the first of the year, the fireworks are welcome.

Wendle turns the game-ending double play./JEFFREY S. KING

"It was another night where our offense really rolled and kind of picked us up," Rays' manager Kevin Cash said. "We got the lead, gave a little bit back, and that was kind of the story of the game. But, impressed overall with the at-bats and the early runs off (David) Hess, who is a guy that’s kind of troubled us in the past. And then he kind of did.

"He got a little bit nasty on us and quieted us down for a little bit, which is something we had seen, but the guys stayed at it with their approach, and it seemed like we got big hit after big hit. On the pitching side, there were some big outs that needed to be (made). I thought (Ryne) Stanek did a nice job, (Adam) Kolarek did a nice job, and then (Jose) Alvarado came in and got a big out.”

Pham makes a catch in the Rays' win./JEFFREY S. KING

The Rays jumped to a 5-0 lead, but the Orioles battled back to 5-3. Tampa Bay then went up 7-3, but Baltimore again cut the deficit to two runs. Finally, the Rays pulled away.

“We’ve kind of gotten to the point where we really believe in ourselves," said third baseman Matt Duffy. "We feel like we are flying under the radar with some of the other teams in the American League, but we think we can beat anyone. We truly believe that and we carry that confidence with us every day. That gives us a little more edge since we fly under the radar we do know what we are capable of. Again, we are just doing a really good job of attacking.”

Mallex Smith, Kevin Kiermaier, Willy Adames and Duffy all had two hits.

On the mound, Ryan Yarbrough wasn't at his sharpest, but he collected his 14th win, tying a rookie record held by Rolando Arrojo.

Brandon Lowe applies the tag for the out./JEFFREY S. KING

“It’s a nice feeling," Yarbrough said. "Obviously we still have a long ways to go so at this point we are focusing on finishing this year strong. We all think that
we are in this race right now. That’s my main focus, but it’s obviously
a pretty cool accomplishment. I knew about it a little bit ago because I heard about it from someone so it was a cool thing, especially with some great pitchers here. Plenty of season left, we’ll see what happens.”

Twelve of Yarbrough's wins have come on bullpen nights, where Yarbrough is usually the second pitcher into the game.

"We’ve done it a long time now, basically all season, so it’s become really comfortable," Yarbrough said. "Something that with our communication we know. It’s not like one of those things last second you don’t know what’s going on. It makes it a little easier, but yeah, it’s definitely become more comfortable as the season has gone on.”

Lately, the Rays offense has been relentless in their efforts.

“Even on the road trip I started to sense that a little bit. Back in the Atlanta series, the Cleveland series, when we were starting to score runs and then adding to it. And tonight, it seemed like we needed every bit of it in the end.”

The Rays have another bullpen night set for today. Ryan Stanek will pitch for the Rays against Baltimore's  Josh Rogers. The game begins at 1:10 p.m. at Tropicana Field.


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