Zunino’s memorable homer carries Rays

by Gary Shelton on April 23, 2019 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Zunino celebrated fatherhood with a home run./JEFFREY S. KING

Tuesday,  4 a.m.

Oh, baby. What a home run.

The newest father on the Tampa Bay Rays hit one mother of a home run in the seventh inning of a tie game Monday night, allowing the Rays to end a

Zunino has been hot for seven games./JEFFREY S. KING

four-game losing streak and earn a 6-3 win over the Kansas City Royals.

Mike Zunino hit his first home run of the year, driving a ball out to dead center. Zunino is hitting .375 over his last seven games, including six extra base hits.

For Zunino, whose wife just gave birth to son Rhett Michael, the home run was especially sweet.

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Adames slides in safely with a triple./JEFFREY S. KING

“That was a very special moment in my life and my baseball career, so it’s something I’ll remember for a long time," Zunino said. “That’s up there (as far as special moments), that has to be number one just for the timing of it. It’s one of those things that you remember certain ones and that’s definitely the top one.”

Garcia has played well in right field./JEFFREY S. KING

Said Rays' manager Kevin Cash: "“That’s got to be pretty special. I’m a big fan of Mike Zunino right now. That’s something he is going to be able to talk about for a long time. That’s awesome and the way it came and how big of a hit it was at the time was even more impactful. It was good to have him back. Mikey (Michael) Perez did a good job for us over the weekend, but Z has also done a good job. He works well with the pitchers and we saw that tonight.”

Yonny Chirinos went six innings for the Rays. He gave up three solo home runs but kept his team close.

Chirinos gave the Rays six solid innings./JEFFREY S. KING

“I thought he threw the ball really well," Cash said. "He left two or three pitches up that he would probably like to have back, but they were solo shots. We can stay in a ballgame with solo shots. He did such a good job of keeping the speedsters off base because they can really run when they get on base. He limited damage and got deep in a ballgame for us which we needed.”

The Rays seemed to be heading for their fifth straight loss until the seventh. Daniel Robertson knocked in a run with a ground ball, and Zunino hit his two-run homer. An inning later, Yandy Diaz hit an insurance home run.

The Rays play Kansas City again tonight at 7:10 at Tropicana Field. Ryne Stanek will start againsst the Royals' Homer Bailey.

Cashenjoyed stopping a losing streak./JEFFREY S. KING




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