Meadows leads Rays to series win over Astros

by Gary Shelton on April 1, 2019 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Meadows celebrates with his teammates./TIM WIRT

Monday, 4 a.m.

When you are young, tomorrow seems like a thousand year's from now.

You work, and you wait, and you wonder. This guy gets his turn, and that one. And you do not. This guy moves forward, and that guy gets better, and

Meadows drove in all three runs for the Rays./TIM WIRT

you run in place. Injuries slow you down.  You aren't quite sure what the bosses think of you. You get to play, but only a little.

And finally, your day comes.

Better take advantage, or it will be someone else's turn.

Understand, then, how rewarding the past few days have been for Austin Meadows, tomorrow's star. On Thursday, he led off the game with a home run. Then Sunday, he drove in three runs, including a two-run homer to center, to lead a 3-1 win over the Houston Astros.

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Chirinos was sharp for seven innings./TIM WIRT

It was an impressive opening series for the Rays, who won three of four against the Astros, winners of 103 games last year.

"It's hard, waiting," Meadows said. "You can't help but measure yourself against other players, against other pitchers. You wait and you wait and you wait. I don't think anyone knows how hard that is. But it makes you

Beeks was effective in the bullpen./TIM WIRT

stronger, mentally. That's why you have to take advantage of it when you do get your shot."

Last fall, for instance, all of the noise was about rookies Willie Adames and Jake Bauers. But Bauers has been traded, and Adames is still waiting for his first hit. Meadows, meanwhile, has been impressive.

For the series, the Rays' scored 11 runs. Eight of those came with two out.

Meadows wasn't the team's only star. Yonny Chirinos, who found out he was starting "at about 9 p.m." the night before, was the Rays' most impressive starter of the four. He went seven innings, and he gave up only two hits and only one earned run. He struck out six.

Castillo earned his first save of the season./TIM WIRT

"It was good to see," Rays' manager Kevin Cash said. "It was a last-minute decision to start him because we ran through our bullpen and thought with their lineup it made the most sense and Yonny made us all look fairly intelligent. For a day.”

After Chirinos came two innings where four Rays' relievers allowed only one hit and no runs. The Rays' bullpen has been impressive so far, going 13 innings without giving up a run. In all, Rays' pitchers have given up four runs in their last three games.

“It’s definitely different," Chirinos said of starting. "When you start the game, you have to more time to prepare, but you have to be prepared at all times, depending on what the manager has to say.”

Meadows said he's having fun.

"I think for me as I’m on the field being healthy and taking care of myself," Meadows said. " Going out there each and every day whether it’s being a pinch hitter or playing every day just trying to help the team win. That’s

Robertson breaks up a double play./TIM WIRT

the mindset that I have each and every day, whether it’s on the bases, in the outfield, or at the plate. For me, being able to help the team win in any aspect of the game and we’ll go from there.”

“I feel like I’m seeing the ball well. I’m just being aggressive up there.
I feel like I’m taking advantage of pitchers mistakes. The Astros are a tough team; they have really good pitching. For us, it’s a matter of waiting on mistakes. They’re going to spot up, they’re going to pitch, but for us it’s being able to adjust and make those adjustments to help the team win.”

Perhaps the only negative of the day for the Rays came when Joey Wendle left the game with a hamstring pull.

“It didn’t feel like anything too serious, but I definitely felt a little pull there," Wendle said. "Just a little hamstring grab, hopefully nothing serious at all.”

The Rays will now host the Colorado Rockies at Tropicana Field. Tonight's game begins at 7:10 p.m.

Adames tags out Marisnick; for the series, the Rays threw out four Astros trying to steal./TIM WIRT

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