KK finds a solution to a bad start for Rays

by Gary Shelton on April 28, 2022

in general

Kiermaier hit his second homer of the year./TIM WIRT

Thursday, 4 a.m.

When Kevin Kiermaier first asked to borrow a bat from Randy Arozarena, the response should have been simple enough.


After all, Arozarena hasn't been lighting it up, either. After Wednesday's 4-3 victory over Seattle (a rare enough occurrence), Arozarena is hitting his .203 on the season without a home run. Didn't Wander Franco have a spare bat lying around? Ji-Man Choi?

An, but give Kiermaier credit for stick selection. He's now five for his last 11, including both of his homers on the season, and is becoming the two-way threat he always wanted to be.

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Kiermaier hit his second homer of the week Wednesday night, a 2-run shot that gave the Rays their winning run against Seattle. Of course, nothing comes easy against the Mariners, who had won seven of their previous eight games. In that span, the Rays committed eight errors and hitting just .140 with runners in scoring position.

"I broke it my last at bat, but it went out a soldier," Kiermaier said. "It treated me well. I got another one.  We might have to put in an order ASAP."

Kiermaier's homer gave the Rays a 3-0 lead, but they had to hold on for the win. That was tough, considering that in seven of their eight losses, they've scored two runs or less.

Much of the reason Seattle couldn't muster more offense was starter Drew Rasmussen, who had one of his better starts. He earned his first win of the year after going six innings of shutout baseball, allowing just two hits and striking out nine.

"Uncle Drew was nasty," Kiermaier said.

"It was a very impressive outing from Ras," Rays' manager Kevin Cash said. "That might be the deepest that we’ve had him. He racked up some strikeouts. I think he was frustrated with the Chicago outing. He was itching to find a way to get deeper in ballgames and did tonight."

The Rays close out their series with Seattle in a 1:10 p.m. game today at Tropicana Field. Jeffrey Springs is scheduled to open for the Rays against Chris Flexen.

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