Meadows’ return sparks Rays over Red Sox

by Gary Shelton on August 5, 2020

in general

Austin Meadows mad his return count./JEFFREY S. KING

Wednesday, 4 a.m.

Ah, yes. The good old days.

After a gut-wrenching slump (five games' worth), the Rays finally looked like the team you saw a year ago in Tuesday night's 5-1 victory over the Boston Red Sox. It looked good in 2019; it looked perhaps better this time.

-- The Rays finally saw Tropicana Field again. Tampa Bay is 5-1 at home this year.

Content beyond this point is for members only.

Already a member? To view the rest of this column, sign in using the handy "Sign In" button located in the upper right corner of the blog (it's at the far right of the navigation bar under Gary's photo)!

Not a member? It's easy to subscribe so you can view the rest of this column and all other premium content on

-- Austin Meadows returned to the lineup and had two hits, including a run-scoring triple.

-- Charlie Morton, after hanging up an 8.00 ERA in his first two starts, finally looked like the pitcher he was a year ago.

-- The bullpen, wobbly as of late, finally pitched with a lead. Nick Anderson got the save by striking out two batters with the bases loaded in the ninth. Pete Fairbanks struck out two with two on in the eighth.

All of which reminded you of the 96-win team of last season.

And wasn't it about time?

Rays' manager Kevin Cash said before the game that he didn't want to put any pressure on Meadows. Afterward, he admitted that wasn't the case.

"I did put pressure on him," Cash said. "I just didn’t tell you guys. We were telling him to get it together, we needed someone to get us out of this funk and he did that.

"His swings looked really good. Even in the strikeout in the first, he was fouling off 96, 97 (miles per hour pitches). It just looked like him. He looked pretty in sync."

Meadows, who missed the start of the season because of the Covid-19 virus, said he felt comfortable.

“It was good was just trying to continue what I did from last year," Meadows said. "It has been like 10 months since I played a game that counts. It was good to be out there. It's been a long hard road this year. "

Joey Wendle had three hits and Hunter Renfroe had a two-run double. Renfroe's double came after he fouled a pitch off of the catwalk.

For Morton, he went 5 2/3 innings and gave up only one run in getting the first win of the year for Rays' starter. It was crucial because of the losing streak.

"Because of the shortness of the season. Five games is a little more than a 13-game losing streak in a 162-game season," Morton said. "That’ the math. I do think we have a sense of urgency. We’re working on a shortened time frame."

The Rays play Boston again tonight at 6:40 p.m. at Tropicana Field. Ryan Yarbrough pitches for Tampa Bay and Martin Perez for Boston.

Previous post:

Next post: