Lowe’s late home run lifts Rays over Royals

by Gary Shelton on May 3, 2019 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Friday, 4 a.m.

For a while, it looked like another close game that might slip away.

Though a successful start, that has been sore spot for the Tampa Bay Rays. They are just 1-5 in one-run games this year, and here they were, tied with Kansas City at 1-1 in the ninth inning.

And then Brandon Lowe changed everything.

Lowe, the AL rookie of the month for March-April, launched a 2-2 pitch just over the right-field wall Thursday, lifting the Rays to a 3-1 victory and a series split over the Kansas City Royals.

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Lowe, who was hitting only .154 after four games and just .222 after eight, has been hot lately.  He's hit in seven straight games, and he's .370 over that stretch. He's first among AL rookies in average (.304), on base percentage, slugging percent and homers (seven). He now has 21 RBI.

All of which led to him being named as the AL Rookie of the Month Thursday.

This, however, was better.

"I was really not trying to do a whole lot with Robbie (Daniel Roberson) on first," Lowe said. "I  knew all I had to do was find some grass and he’d be off. I was just trying not to strike out ."

Said Rays' manager Kevin Cash: "To win an award like that, you've got to be doing something right. It was a huge  clutch situation. It looked like he got out in front of it a little, but we’ve all talked about his power. For him not to be the biggest guy in the world, he can generate and he carried it over the wall."

Pitcher Charlie Morton was excellent for the Rays, throwing 6 2/3 innings and allowing only one earned run. The bullpen had a clean day, with Adam Kolarek getting the win and Diego Castillo getting his fourth save.

“He was outstanding," Cash said of Morton. "He had a couple of leadoff doubles he had to navigate around. I’m not even sure the (runners) got to third either time. He had everything going. It looked like he had a good feel for the breaking ball. For him  to quiet that offense like he did today was impressive."

Morton thought he had to work out of too much trouble.

"Limiting runs is good any way you’re doing it," he said. "But I'm  going against the averages right now."

The Rays had tied the score in the fifth inning when Willie Adames made a nice read on a ball that fell in front of speedy Billy Hamilton. He scored from second on the play.

The Rays now move to Baltimore. Tyler Glasnow, who was named the AL pitcher of the month Thursday, will start against Dan Straily. The game is scheduled to begin at Camden Yards at 7:05 p.m.



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