Bats finally wake up in victory by Rays

by Gary Shelton on May 3, 2021

in general

Meadows' homer led the Rays' comeback./STEVEN MUNCIE

Monday, 4 a.m.

You come out of a coma with the twitch of a toe. Maybe a flicker of an eyelid. It is something small, and you can only hope it means something larger.

So say hello the Rays' offense, which is on life support no longer.

The Rays' offense woke up a bit Sunday afternoon in a 5-4 comeback victory over the Houston Astros. The Rays improved their record to 14-15 on the year -- almost half of the wins (6) have been as the team came from behind -- and showed signs of ending a dismal offensive slump.

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For instance:

-- Left fielder Austin Meadows hit a 3-run homer to tie the game in the fifth inning, providing the key hit that manager Kevin Cash had talked about.

-- Center fielder Kevin Kiermaier had his third-hit of the day, an opposite field double, in the eighth and scored on an error to tie the game at 4.

-- Pinch hitter Manuel Margot singled to right field to knock in Meadows with the winning run in the seventh inning."

"It felt good," Meadows said. "It felt really good. Just piecing together good at-bats like we did and timely hits was key there. Today was a good stepping stone in the right direction.

“I think that was the spark that we needed with us being down 3-0 and not getting much going on. Being able to do that was definitely needed with us grinding it out the last few days and scratching and clawing for runs. That provided us with a spark. We took off from there."

Granted, five runs isn't exactly an explosion, and the Rays had just six hits, but the Astros made two errors, hit three batters and walked two.

“It was very welcome," Cash said of the homer. "Meadows provided just a big, big spark for us with a three-run homer. Three-run homers can keep you in ballgame and tie them up when needed. There were nice at-bats by the whole offense.  I felt like we were putting pressure on. It wasn’t a ton of runs, but we’ll take anything the way its been going."

The Rays cobbled together their pitching performance. Rich Hill started and had three strong innings before being pulled. Michael Wacha gave up four runs in 2 2/3 innings, but the bullpen held Houston there. Diego Castillo has his sixth save of the year.

Cash wasn't bothered by the Astros' errors or hit batters.

“Good offenses take advantage of whatever is presented that day," Cash said. "Whether it's a walk, a hit-by-pitch or taking advantage of a defensive miscue, It buys us a little time to get the bats going. "

The Rays now travel to Anaheim to play the Angels. Tyler Glasnow will pitch for the Rays against hohei Ohtani. The game begins at 9:38 p.m.

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