Rays rise from canvas to come back for big victory

by Gary Shelton on June 15, 2019 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Rays RHP Emilio Pagan picked up his second win of the year./CHUCK MULLER

Saturday, 4 a.m.

Frankly, it was looking horrible, and miserable was right around the next turn.

The Rays were unraveling. They were on their way to their fourth straight defeat, and you could argue whether the pitching was worse than the hitting or the other way around. Blake Snell lasted only 10 outs. In five innings, The Rays had only one hit. It was the type of game that hinted at a new reality, one far from the fast start this team had during its early season.

And then it was wonderful, and splendid was coming up fast.

The Rays scored nine runs in two innings to rally to a 9-4 victory over Anaheim Friday night in their largest comeback of the season. Suddenly, everyone was carrying a club, and the Rays spun around the bases at a dizzying speed. It was the kind of win that made you think that other wins might follow.

So which Rays do you believe in? The team that fell horribly behind, or the team that charged from behind to take over the lead in the AL East?

Or both?

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Kiermaier comes off the bench to tie the game./CHUCK MULLER

“We needed one (win)," Rays' manager Kevin Cash said. "It didn’t start off good, but good to see the guys’ resiliency and coming back. (Andrew) Heaney was really, really tough. We knew that coming in — he’s having a solid season, a really good season. He’s tough on righties, he’s tough on lefties. He limits damage, but it was

Choi continues to stay red hot./CHUCK MULLER

nice that the guys stayed patient and finally got it going there once he ultimately came out of the ballgame.

“The offense had been kind of quiet so for them to get going collectively as a group is really nice and hopefully they will feed off of it and it will carry over into the next couple of days.”

The Rays managed just one hit in their first five innings. They had 12 in their last three at-bats.

It helped the Rays overcome another brief start by Blake Snell, last year's Cy Young Award winner. Snell was roughed up, the fourth time in 14 starts he hasn't finished

Willy Adames helped the Rays' comeback./CHUCK MULLER

five innings.

“No, he’s fine," Cash said when asked if he was worried about Snell. "He couldn’t quite command the baseball like he wanted. He had more in the tank, but given that he threw 105-106 pitches his last outing, coming back on normal rest, we aren’t going to let him sit out there for 90-100 pitches through four innings. That’s not how we are going to go about it. Blake is a big part of our season going forward and if anything, hopefully this kind of freshens him up a little bit. ...hopefully he’s raring to go out there against New York.”

Said Snell: "I probably didn’t show up ready, honestly. I had a lot of time to think about it and I didn’t come 100 percent ready to go more so on the mental side. It

Joey Wendle returned to the Rays' lineup./CHUCK MULLER

was frustrating. Frustrating day, but on the bright side the team backed me up. A lot of guys came in. I had a slow pace, slow tempo. It was hard for them to get going and a lot of that was on me. For the hitters and the team to come back when I put them in a hole like that, says a lot about this team and a lot about the guys who are in here and how much they compete on a day-to-day basis.

"Yeah, I wanted to stay in, but I’m not upset that I got taken out due to the lack of getting outs and throwing 25 pitches per inning. I understand it. I did it to myself. I have to be better and I have to be more consistent. I have to get outs quicker so I understand why I was taken out. More just frustrated with myself today."

Snell didn't last long against Angels./CHUCK MULLER

Austin Meadows had struggled lately, but his double helped turn the game around for the Rays.

“I’ve been working hard every day. Baseball is a game of a lot of ups and downs so for me to get that hit and get that rally going, it definitely helps my confidence. For me, I’m going to continue to work. You can’t really control your hits out there so for me obviously I hadn’t got a hit in a while, but being able to do that tonight, things are going to start going in the right direction hopefully.”

After Snell, five relief pitchers threw for the Rays without giving up an earned run.

"We’ve had nothing go our way the last three games," Kevin Kiermaier said. "This

Tommy Pham had two hits./CHUCK MULLER

first half of the day, you can say three and a half games where it’s just seemed like every ball we hit hard was right at guys and we’ve been outplayed. Half of this game and then the last three, we’ve been out-pitched, out-hit and I think that everyone else would agree with me saying that. I’m not bashing my team or anything, it’s baseball sometimes. We just haven’t been very clean and the start of that game tonight wasn’t looking good but we never gave up and that’s why you play nine innings. For us to have those two huge innings was our best two innings of the year. I know we hit a skid early in the year, we might have lost four or five in a row but it wasn’t looking good for us tonight. Their pitcher, Heaney threw great, Zilla didn’t have his best stuff, that happens as well,

but that’s why you have a bullpen. That’s why you have bench players, guys who got called out. Ji-Man, myself, B-Lowe, Travis all made a contribution and that’s why this game is so great.”

Said Tommy Pham: "This might be our best win all year.”

The Rays play the Angels again today at 1:05 p.m. at Tropicana Field. Tampa Bay will start Charlie Morton against Jose Saurez of the Angels.

Yandy Diaz had three hits for the Rays./CHUCK MULLER



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