Morton keeps winning in 6-2 domination of A’s

by Gary Shelton on June 11, 2019 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Rays' Morton picks up his eighth win of the year./CHUCK MULLER

Tuesday, 4 a.m.

Someday, a bloop hit may drop in.

Someday, maybe the ball could bounce off of the catwalk.

Someday, there might be a throwing error, or an outfielder might misplay a fly ball, or a grounder might take a bad bounce.

Yeah, someday, Charlie Morton might actually lose a game.

But not now. And not yet.

Morton ran his record to 8-0 Monday night, and he extended his unbeaten streak to 21 straight starts in a 6-0 victory over the Oakland A's.  Never mind the spot of trouble he faced in the third. Never mind the power of the visiting As. This was Charlie's game, and once again, he made a memory.

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Kiermaier had a big night with both his bat and his glove./CHUCK MULLER

Morton, an off-season signing by the Rays, has had back-to-back scoreless starts. He retired the last 14 batters he faced, and for the night, he allowed just two hits.  Faced with the bases loaded and one out in the third, he had a strikeout and a grounder to get out of it.

The Rays were tied 0-0 going into the sixth inning, but Brandon Lowe, Kevin Kiermaier and Ji-Man Choi all hit two-run homers. Kiermaier also had another highlight-reel catch in center field.

Lowe has three home runs in two games./CHUCK MULLER

"Charlie Morton inspires me to make that catch," Kiermaier said. "I'm out there trying to make plays no matter what, whoever is on the mound for us, but anytime I see. a ball in the air over my head and I know it's not getting out of the yard, my eyes light up because I know I have the chance to make a play, gain some momentum for the team and get some oohs and has from the crowd.

"There are some variables that come into play right there, but it was a fun seventh inning for me. The way Charlie has been going for us all year, the spark and dominance he has brought to the table, I wanted to make that play for him right there."

Garcia is hitting .299 for Rays./CHUCK MULLER

So what was more fun for Kiermaier? His catch or his home run?

"I think I will always make more catches than homers I'll hit, so I will say the homer. It felt good to barrel one up right there. But like I said, defense is my bread and butter."

Said Morton: "I'm not even surprised by (the catches) anymore. They are awesome. You get so much confidence in the guys behind you. I feel like even if the ball is hit hard, you still have a chance with those guys out there."

The Rays are a team built around their starting pitching, but even for them, this is a good run. It was the Rays fourth start of their last six without giving up an earned run.

"(Morton) has been huge," Cash said, "especially with Glasnow going down.  He can only pitch every fifth day, but what he's provided us has been really, really impressive."

The Rays play Oakland again tonight at 7:10 p.m. at Tropicana Field. Ryan Stanek will pitch for Tampa Bay against Mike Fiers.

Thanks to the Yankees being rained out, the Rays are now in first place by themselves again.

Rays' Choi hit his 7th HR./CHUCK MULLER

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