One big pitch keeps the Red Sox at bay for Rays

by Gary Shelton on April 28, 2019 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Alvarado saved the day with a big pitch./JEFFREY S. KING

One pitch. Sometimes, a baseball game.

Sometimes, it doesn't matter thatmore than 300 pitches are thrown. Sometimes, it doesn't matter that 11 pitches are throwing them. Sometimes, you can take a snapshot of one pitch, and it will tell you all you need to know about a game.

Take Saturday afternoon, when the Rays survived a bumpy finish to edge the Red Sox, 2-1.

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Rays' Morton got his third win./CHUCK MULLER

This time, that pitch was by Jose Alvarado, who gave up a hit and a walk in a stint that lasted 2/3 of an inning.

Still, when it counted, Alvarado got Jackie Bradley Junior to swing at a 3-2 pitch that was out of the strike zone. The bases were loaded at the time.

After that, Emilio Pagan came on for the save, retiring three straight batters after he gave up a leadoff single.

“We had to keep our poise, because they certainly put pressure on us," said Rays' manager Kevin Cash. "The concern is that we didn't make a couple of plays on defense. There were a couple of leadoff walks if you’re going to nitpick. It turned the lineup over a couple of times. We had to see some good hitters a little too much that allowed us to put a lot of pressure on us in the eighth and ninth innings. But saying that, we made some really big pitches when we had to."


Zunino played well in 2-1 win./JEFFREY S. KING


The Rays beat former Tampa Bay ace David Price. Yandy Diaz hit a first-inning home run, and Mike Zunino doubled in a run in the fourth. Mookie Betts hit a home run in the eighth.

It was a good game for Zunino, who also picked a runner off of first and blocked several pitches in the dirt.

"A lot of times you don’t even think about it," Cash said. "But the kind of stuff he’s blocking with Castillo, Alvarado and Pagan -- that’s some electric stuff to be able to corral it right there. You saw where Bogaerts was getting in his  lead. Anything that gets outside the dirt, he’s going to score on."

The Rays face the Red Sox today at 1:05 p.m. at Fenway Park for the final game of the series. Tyler Glasnow will face Chris Sale, who is off to a 0-4 start.

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