McClanahan at his best in toughest moment

by Gary Shelton on April 6, 2023

in general

Thursday, 4 a.m.

Overall, it was not the best of Shane McClanahan.

Break it down, however, and it was terrific.

Go to the bottom of the fourth inning, an inning when McClanahan was looking rather pedestrian against the Washington Nationals. He had given up a doub.le and four straight singles to start the inning, and the Rays were clinging to a one-run lead that looked in danger.

And then McClanahan became Shane once again.

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He struck out C.J. Abrams on three pitches, two of them clocking at 99 miles an hour.

Then he struck out Lane Thomas on three straight pitches, including a 99-mph and a 100-mph fastball.

From there, the Rays took over and won a 7-2 game over the Nationals. The Rays are now 6-0 on the season. McClanahan is 2-0.

“Sometimes, it's really nice when you settle in and cruise," McClanahan said. "It’s not as sweet as the ones where you really earn it. I had to battle. It was a fistfight."

McClahahan gave up five hits and four walks.

"I’m really  impressed with Shane," Rays' manager Kevin Cash said. "Sometimes your best outings are the ones you’ve got to work through, grind through a little bit. "

The Rays continued their offensive assault, scoring seven runs on 11 hits. Wander Franco and Harold Ramirez each homered for the Rays, whose 13 dingers is tied for the major-league lead. Franco, Randy Arozareana, Taylor Walls and Ramirez all had two hits.

The Rays have now scored 44 runs in their six games.

After a day off, Tampa Bay returns to Tropicana Field to start a series with the A's. Friday night's game begins at 6:40 p.m. Zach Eflin will start for the Rays against Ken Waldichuk.

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