Rasmussen nearly perfect in Rays’ victory

by Gary Shelton on August 15, 2022

in general

Monday, 4 a.m.

To put it into perspective, David Price was never this good.

Neither was James Shields. Or Blake Snell. Or Charlie Morton or Matt Moore or Scott Kazmir or Alex Cobb or anyone else in the pitching heavy history of the Tampa Bay Rays.

Drew Rasmussen flirted with perfection Sunday afternoon. He took a perfect game into the ninth inning against Baltimore, dominating in a 4-1 victory over the Orioles.

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In the history of the Rays, only Matt Garza -- who completed his no-hitter in 2009 -- has been better than Rasmussen was on Sunday. Only a ninth-inning double by Jorge Mateo spoiled his day (Mateo scored two wild pitches later).

"Perfect games, no hitters and that stuff are things that just happen," Rasmussen said.  "If you make quality pitches you can limit hard contact and you have a chance to go deep into games, give your team a chance to win. It would have been cool not give up a hit but it’s just how it goes."

In his previous start, Rasmussen threw three innings of no-hit baseball before being pulled. This time, his pitch count was so low that Cash left him alone.

"He put together a special, special outing," Rays' manager Kevin Cash said. "Obviously, I wanted to see him get it. With how efficient he was, he made it easy for Kyle and I to let him go a little farther.

“The Orioles were aggressive. I don’t fault them for that. He had the best breaking ball I’ve seen this year and they had to respect that. When they saw the cutter or fastball, they had to jump on it."

The Rays got all the runs they needed when Randy Arozarena hit a three-run homer in the third. Arozarena is hitting .342 against Baltimore this year and .372 over the past two years.

The Rays travel to New York tonight for a 7:05 p.m. game against the Yankees. The Rays have not announced a pitcher, but Gerrit Cole will start for New York.

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