Another Rays’ pitcher saves another victory

by Gary Shelton on September 20, 2020

in general

Morton captured his second win of the season./JEFFREY KING

Sunday, 3 a.m.

What's so hard about shutting the door? What's the big deal about turning out the lights?

For the Tampa Bay Rays, it doesn't seem to be that hard.

Ryan Thompson became the 12th Rays' pitcher of the season to earn a save for his team Saturday night, getting the final two outs of a 3-1 victory over the Baltimore Orioles. That's come in just 35 victories, an amazing pace.

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Only one team has ever had 12 pitches earn a save in the history of major league baseball -- the 1973 Texas Rangers. But those Rangers -- a last-place team that lost 105 games -- had 162 games in which to do it. This team has had 53 (so far).

Once again, runs came hard for the Rays, who scored only on home runs by Yoshi Tsutsugo and Randy Arozarena. But that was enough. Charlie Morton started slow, but he went five innings for his second win of the season. The bullpen followed with four innings of one-hit baseball and gave up no runs.

That bullpen is the second-most used pen in the majors.

"It just shows how talented we think our guys are," said Rays' manager Kevin Cash. "the way they’ve gone out and preformed. all of them have shown the ability to (get a save)."

Morton had issues early and gave up a first-inning run when he hit a batter with the bases loaded. But he settled down and went five innings.

"The first two innings, he didn’t look too sharp," Cash said. "The ball was coming out of his hand fine.  It wasn’t sharp. He didn’t have his best command. After that, he settled in and competed. Most of all, we were encouraged we got him to the 95-pitch mark."

Said Morton: “It was a frustrating outing. It felt like I was throwing the ball okay. It felt like I was challenging guys. I just wasn’t putting guys away. I look up and I’m 30-some odd pitches deep in the first inning."

The Rays play their final game of the season against Baltimore today at 1:05 p.m. at Camden Yards. The Rays have not announced their pitcher, but the Orioles will start John Means.

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