Kings of the road? Rays win away from Trop

by Gary Shelton on August 11, 2020

in general

Kiermaier drove in three runs for the Rays./TIM WIRT

Tuesday, 4 a.m.

Perhaps they overcame their crippling fear of pillow mints.

Perhaps they finally got used to hitting in the wrong dugout.

Perhaps their bats finally didn't get lost.

Whatever, the Tampa Bay Rays managed to overcome that mean old highway Monday night, winning for the first time away from home. The Rays won their fourth in their last five games, holding off the Boston Red Sox, 8-7.

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For the second straight game, the Rays fell behind 3-0 before coming back to win. This time, it was the bottom of the batting order that led the way: No. 7 hitter Manuel Margot had four hits, No. 8 hitter Kevin Keirmaier knocked in three runs (and had two hits) and No. 9 hitter Michael Perez had two hits and two RBI.

For Margot, who entered the game hitting .091, the two doubles and two singles were nice. He had only three hits on the year coming in, and his father Emmanuel had just died from Covid-19 complications.

“I felt like he was there with me," Margot said through an interpreter. "I was thinking of him. He was a mentor for me. Every time I struggled, he was the guy I called to get some feedback."

Kiermaier said he spoke to Margot throughout the game.

"I told him during the pitching change: This is the game that’s going to get you locked in," Kiermaier said. "He's going to go ball out from here on out. You don’t realize what a game like that can do. I expect to see great things from him."

The Rays used seven pitchers, with Aaron Loup getting the win and Andrew Kittredge getting the save.

The Rays had a season-high 16 hits, more than they have had in any two road games this season.

"We talked about it in the eighth inning," said Rays' manager Kevin Cash. "Take away one game against Atlanta early on, we had not seen the offenve go out there and top to bottom have some success. Even when we didn’t get hits , we had good at-bats." 

The Rays play Boston again tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Fenway Park. Kittredge will open for the Rays against Boston's Martin Perez.

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