Rays’ offense erupts in victory over Minnesota

by Gary Shelton on May 31, 2019 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Adames enjoyed the easy victory./CHUCK MULLER

Friday, 4 a.m.

Who are these guys?

Can we keep them?

And is it legal for them to run the bases like that?

The heavy-hitting Tampa Bay Rays (and there's a description that isn't often used) walloped the hot Minnesota Twins Thursday night, rolling to a 14-3 victory on a night when every bat in the lineup got a hit. It was the most runs, and the most hits (16), this team has had in a game this season.

Often, when this team wins, it wins via its starting pitching, and sometimes because of its bullpen, or its defense, or getting a hit in a key moment. But this time, they were Murderer's Row, scoring 11 times in the third and fourth innings.

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Morton kept his focus in the big win./CHUCK MULLER

Austin Meadows, who continues to play like an all-star, had four RBI for the Rays, including a bases-loaded double that scored three in the second. Brandon Lowe had three RBI and both Christian Arroyo and Ji-Man Choi knocked in two.

Pham left the game with a leg cramp./CHUCK MULLER

The Rays have now won eight of their last nine games, including six in a row, and trail the Yankees by one-half game in the AL East. The Rays have scored five runs or more seven times in their last 11 games and are averaging 5.9 runs per game. They are 22-3 when scoring five-plus runs and 27-5 when scoring four or more.

“It was impressive," Rays' manager Kevin Cash said of the outburst. "It just kept going. We did it against a guy who has really put together a good season in Martin Perez. You could tell the first couple of at-bats that he had good stuff, great stuff.

Choi had a two-run homer for the Rays./CHUCK MULLER

The cutter was going. We pieced it together. And then Meadows comes up with a huge hit to clear the bases and then it seemed like from that point everybody caught fire and got pitches they could handle and found a lot of grass in the outfield.”

Meadows continues to impress for the Rays. His average is now up to .361.

“(I'm) seeing the ball well," Meadows said. "I think that’s the only way I can put it. My work in the cage. Things are going well. Going up there and being aggressive and swinging at my pitches in the zone, I think that’s the biggest thing.”

Said Cash: “It’s such a simple swing. He sees everything really well. You don’t see him expand much out of the zone. When it’s in the zone he’s getting it on the barrel.

Garcia had three hits for the Rays./CHUCK MULLER

He's a good hitter whose playing great right now."

Meadows was impressed with his teammates, too.

“That was awesome," he said. "Being able to do that 1-through-9, the offense was incredible. It was contagious tonight and it was a lot of fun to be a part of tonight. I think it’s contagious, honestly. 1-through-9 hitting is contagious and that’s what showed tonight.”

Charlie Morton ran his record to 6-0 with the Rays, pitching seven innings and allowing only four hits. Morton didn't walk anyone, but he took greater pleasure in pitching threw seven innings.

"I think working into the 7th," Morton said. "As a starting pitcher, you want to do

Arroyo had a nice birthday./CHUCK MULLER

that. You want to work into the 7th inning every time. For me, it’s been awhile so just working into the 7th inning.”

Said Cash: “I thought he was outstanding. I was glad to see how efficient he was – get through seven, could have gone back out, but that was plenty of work. It’s not always easy to pitch in those types of games when they get separated like that. You don’t want to change your approach too much, but you want to be efficient. Charlie has been around long enough to know that you still have to get outs and the last thing you want to do is tax the bullpen. I was really impressed with his performance.”

Heredia had a hit for the Rays./CHUCK MULLER

Arroyo was recalled from Durham on his 24th birthday and had two hits.

“It’s awesome," Arroyo said. "I don’t think I could have written this up any better. Qhen we are in the minor leagues, we pay attention to the big league team. It’s pretty special. I think obviously we are pretty legit. We have a really good squad here. Today the offensive outbreak was awesome, especially against a really, really good Twins ball club. What, best record in the big leagues right now? To come out and do that against a team of that caliber, it’s pretty special. For me, personally, I just wanted to help the team win. One at-bat at a time. One pitch at a time."

The Rays play the Twins tonight at 7:10 p.m.  at the Trop. Ryan Stanek will pitch for the Rays against Jose Berrios.

Cash enjoyed the offensive fireworks./CHUCK MULLER


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