Cash pulls Chirinos despite no-hit effort

by Gary Shelton on May 28, 2019 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Austin Meadows kept his offense on fire./CHUCK MULLER

Tuesday, 4 a.m.

Once again, Kevin Cash has broken up a no-hitter.

Despite watching Yonny Chirinos dominate the Toronto Blue Jays for five innings Monday afternoon, Cash went decisively to his bullpen. To Cash, it didn't matter that the Blue Jays had no hits, or that he had only two walks, or that Chirinos had thrown only 69 pitches when he got the hook. Around the Rays, limiting the pitches of his pitchers seems to be a higher priority than flirting with history.

"We’re going to prioritize the guy’s health and be responsible," Cash said. "I don't even think I knew he had a no-hitter until the fans were booing after (Oliver) Drake gave up a hit. I wasn't worried about it."

All of which leads to a familiar question: Will a Rays' pitcher ever be allowed to make a run at a no-hitter?

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Choi celebrates after scoring on a hit and an error./CHUCK MULLER

“I was a little surprised," Chirinos said. "I always try to plan to go out there as long as I can. You can only control the things you can control. I had no control of that. Just got to go out there the next time and prepare.”

The Rays scored eight times, including a two-run homer by Austin Meadows. Meadows has seven hits over his last two games.

“I think that’s the way baseball is," Meadows said. "It’s a game of ups and downs.

Chirinos threw a no-hitter for five innings./CHUCK MULLER

I’m having my ‘ups’ right now. For me, I’m just going up there confident, seeing the ball well, being aggressive – things are working out right now.”

Meadows was impressed with Chirinos.

“He’s incredible," Meadows said. "Every time he goes on that mound, he’s incredible. He’s fun to watch. That sink he has. Controlling the zone. Throwing strikes. It’s fun to play behind him.”

Kevin Kiermaier made a nice catch in the fourth off of Rowdy Tellez racing into left-center, leaping and hitting the wall as he brought in the catch.

“Rowdy Tellez, I’ve seen him hit many long homers," Kiermaier said. "He has great

Rays' CF Kevin Kiermaier made a highlight-reel catch./CHUCK MULLER

power and can hit the ball a long ways. I was already giving him respect, playing a little bit deeper. When I saw the ball hit off the bat, I just kept going. As I got closer, as an outfielder you feel your instincts tell you that wall is creeping up. I timed my jump perfectly, caught the ball at its highest point.

"I was happy to see the ball go in the glove right there because I was just hoping for the best. I knew I had a good bead on it, but you start flying everywhere and body parts are just going everywhere, you just hope to come down with the play since you’re so close to it. It felt great. The crowd reaction was awesome. Tommy Pham’s reaction was awesome. (Avisaíl García) ran all the way over from right field. Definitely one of the better plays

Rays' SS Willy Adamas was solid at short./CHUCK MULLER

I’ve made, I think, throughout my career, and I love doing it in front of the home crowd ... For a tight ballgame there, it was a huge play."

Said Cash: “Another day at the office. That’s him. He does it all the time. We see him cover so much ground out there. You get spoiled because if it stays in the park, you think he’s going to catch it.”

Travis d'Arnaud also had three hits for the Rays, while Tommy Pham and Ji-Man Choi had two.

Pham still isn't satisfied with his hitting despite a 13-game hitting streak.

“It’s better, but I’m hitting too many hard-hit grounders. That’s really bothering me. I’m working on trying to improve that. I feel like I got some good pitches tonight. I just beat them right into the ground and that’s frustrating.”

The Rays are now 32-19 on the season. Tonight, at 7:10 p.m. at Tropicana Field, the Rays send Ryan Stanek to the mound against Clayton Richard.

Garcia is called out at third after review./CHUCK MULLER

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