Eflin leads Rays to sweep of Pittsburgh

by Gary Shelton on May 5, 2023

in general

Friday, 4 a.m.

Upon further reflection, Zach Eflin may have been a bargain.

Eflin, the Rays' prize free agency addition last off-season, ran his record to 4-0 with a dominating performance in a 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates. He pitched seven innings and struck out 10 -- seven of them looking.

The Pirates, who have dominated in the National League this year, struggled in three straight losses to the Rays. They scored just four runs, and they were a combined one-for-21 with runners in scoring position.

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Eflin has been sharp so far, but this was his most dominating performance. The Pirates two-runs came on a ninth-inning double by Carlos Santana.

"Some guys out-stuff you," Rays' manager Kevin Cash said. "Some guys out-execute you. (Eflin) has a combination of both."

The Rays didn't have a lot of base traffic on Thursday, getting only five hits. But three of those were solo home runs by Taylor Walls (his fifth), Randy Arozarena (his eighth) and Yandy Diaz (his eighth). As a team, the Rays have 67 home runs on the year, the second-most in 32 games in baseball history.

The Rays now face the Yankees at home. Tampa Bay has not announced a starter for tonight's 6:40 game at Tropicana Field. The Yankees are starting Jhony Brito.

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