Big 7th inning leads to easy Rays’ victory

by Gary Shelton on August 19, 2022

in general

Friday, 4 a.m.

For one night, for one inning, they were the big boys.

For one game, for one at-bat, the Tampa Bay Rays were an offensive force.

Oh, it doesn’t happen often, and you can never expect it. But in the bottom of the seventh inning of Thursday night’s game, the Rays were a force. They had six hits, and they scored five runs, and they went on to beat the Kansas City Royals 7-1.

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The Rays were clinging to a 1-0 lead at the time, and after their blown loss to the New York Yankees the night before, who knew if that would hold up. But with one out, the Rays got ground-ball singles from Christian Bethancourt and Roman Quinn. Jose Siri beat out a chopper to short (Quinn had gotten to second in time to make the throw go to first). That brought up the hot Yandy Diaz — he had homered in the first — and he doubled in two runs.

Brandon Lowe singled home another run. Randy Arozarena doubled in another and Lowe scored on a wild pitch.

For an offense often out of rhythm, it was a rare sight.

“Roman Quinn’s base running set up that entire inning,” Rays’ manager Kevin Cash said. “We weren’t knocking the ball all over the place. I think Keller gave up 6-7 ground balls. For Roman to bust it to second and Siri to bust its down the line allowed us to open it up.'

Just as important, however, was  Luis Pitino, who went 5 2/3 innings of shutout baseball after being called up from Durham. He allowed just four hits.

The Rays play Kansas City again tonight at 7:10 p.m. at Tropicana Field. Shane McClanahan will start for Tampa Bay against Brady Singer.

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