Bullpen, defense allow the Rays to snap a losing streak

by Gary Shelton on June 21, 2019 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Pagan is on his way to being the Rays' closer./JEFFREY S. KING

Saturday, 3 a.m.

Hey, there are more victories to be had out of the Tampa Bay roster.

The way they were playing, who knew?

The Rays snapped a four game losing streak, and a skid of 2-8 in their previous 10 games. Tampa Bay held off Oakland, 5-3, on Friday night behind solid pitching from the bullpen (really) and an impressive defense.

The Rays are now 44-32 on the season.

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Adames was stellar on offense and defense. /CHUCK MULLER

"Obviously, it was a much needed win," said Rays' manager Kevin Cash. "It took every bit of our roster to get it done.  But at the end of the day, the guys got it done. We made some big pitches when we needed to. Some tremendous plays defensively and some timely hits. We had a rough go for three days in New York and then last night. It was nice to see the guys bounce back and find a way to win a game."

This time, the Rays relied on an old formula to win -- pitching and defense. Seven Rays' pitchers held Oakland to three runs. Chazz Roe, Oliver Drake and Emilio Pagan all pitched two-thirds of an inning without allowing a run to nail down the win.

"(Pagan) has  been outstanding for us," Cash said. "You could argue he’s been the MVP of the bullpen to date. He’s committed to the zone so much. He trusts his stuff. He’s been big. Righties, lefties ... it doesn’t matter the situation, he seems to take a calming approach in whatever situation he’s pitching in."

The pitching was helped by several nice plays by the Rays' pitching. In the bottom of the seventh, Tommy Pham picked up a ball on the outfield fence and threw it to Willy Adames, who spun and threw out Khris Davis at the plate. On the next out, Brandon Lowe made a diving stop and threw to a Ji-Man Choi, who dug the ball out on a nice stop.

The Rays also had 10 hits, including three each by Lowe and Adames, who combined for three RBI.

The A's, on the other hand, were a bit wobbly with their own defense, including a misplayed fly ball by Stephen Piscotty in the ninth.

The Rays and A's play the third game of their four-game series today at 4:07 p.m. at Oakland Coliseum. Yonny Chirinos pitches for the Rays against the A's Mike Fiers.


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