Glasnow, Perez lead Rays to another victory

by Gary Shelton on March 31, 2019 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Tyler Glasnow gave. up only one run./JEFFREY S. KING

Sunday, 3:30 a.m.

Maybe there is something to this Tampa Bay Rays team, after all.

The Rays won their second straight game Saturday night, beating a strong Houston Astros team, 3-1, in a game you might not have expected the Rays to win.

For instance.

They struck out 13 times ... and won.

They scored only three times (last year, they were 18-54 when scoring three or fewer runs) ... and won.

They scored only eight times in the series ... and won twice.

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Michael Perez had two hits./STEVEN MUNCIE

And so it went. The Rays got strong performances from Tyler Glasnow, who gave up just one run in his five innings), catcher Michael Perez (who knocked in the winning run), outfielder Tommy Pham (who knocked in the insurance run) and Jose Alvarado (who picked up his second save in two nights).

“It was big," Rays' manager Kevin Cash said. "The highlight for me was probably Tyler Glasnow, and their pitcher (Collin) McHugh was tough. He had 8 or 9 strikeouts. He was tough and kept us quiet for a while, Then we were finally able to piece it together and get some big hits with guys on base. That was good to see. The way Glasnow came out, I know everybody was talking about his spring training, and not performing as well as he would have liked, but he certainly performed well tonight.”

Cash was impressed with Perez, who doubled in one run and singled  in his first game action of the season.

“The way he throws the baseball and the big hits (were impressive)," Cash said. "(He did) a tremendous job blocking the baseball behind. Glasnow throws a bunch balls in the dirt, that’s how he gets a lot of chase with the breaking balls and Mikey is like a brick wall back there, more times than not. And to be able to shut down a runner like (Jose) Altuve, that probably sends somewhat of a message to the Astros in that it’s not easy to walk into second base even with Glasnow on the mound.”

In three games, the Rays' bullpen has thrown 11 shutout innings.

“They’ve been outstanding," Cash said. "They’ve gotten big outs. The way the matchups have gone, we’ve been pretty fortunate with where the lineup is and turnover to this point. We aren’t always going to have those ideal matchups, but so far when we’ve called on them, they’ve done a nice job.”

The Rays struggled against Houston pitcher McHugh. The Astros struck out 13 Rays for the second straight night.

“I think going out there and getting the season feeling and really going out and wanting to get a win for your team," Glasnow said. "It felt good as the game went on. I felt like I started strapping up a bit.”

Glasnow didn't use the familiar pause in his delivery.

“It was in the bullpen and it just felt better to not do it and I said ‘forget it,' Glasnow said. "Let’s just go out there and compete.’ In spring, it was a little bit of half-and- half. I was doing the hesitation and I wasn’t sometimes when guys were on I was going normal.

“Wins are always great, but wins like this are extremely meaningful because everybody had a part in it. I think everyone today contributed and it was a special win.”

Pham's RBI single in the eighth  extended his on-base streak to 35 games, the longest on-base run in the majors and third-longest in franchise history behind Johnny Damon (39) in 2011 and Ben Greive (37) in 2001.

Rays reliever Adam Kolarek got out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth.

“In those situations, you try to stick with what you’ve been successful with in the past," Kolarek said. "For me, my sinker can get a lot of ground balls. In those kinds of situations, with good hitters that they have all the way up and down their lineup, I try to just stick with my best strength as opposed to attacking one of their weaknesses.

“I think any win can be energizing. You always want to start the season off hot and get the ball rolling as far as momentum through the season. I think we created a ton of momentum in August and September of last year. We knew coming into spring training that if we could create that same momentum early, then we’d be in a much stronger position come August and September of this year.”

The Rays play the final game of their series against Houston today at 1:10 p.m. at Tropicana Field. Yonny Chirinos pitches against Wade Miley.



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