Newcomers help the Rays sweep the Red Sox

by Gary Shelton on August 2, 2019 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

McKay won his second game as a Ray./JEFFREY S. KING

Friday, 4 a.m.

So that's how you say hello.

The firm handshake. The confident smile. And a big performance that hints that you can help this team win.

And welcome to the Rays, guys.

The Rays completed a sweep of the Boston Red Sox Thursday night, winning a 9-4 victory. It was their fifth sweep of the year, although two of the sweeps were only two games.

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Mike Zunino had a home run for the Rays./CHUCK MULLER

The Rays scored 23 runs in their three wins over Boston, only one shy of an eight-runs-a-game average. They had 36 hits in the series and 15 walks.

As impressive, their bullpen had three straight solid games.

Thursday night, the newcomers to the team also played well. Both Jesus Aguilar and Eric Sogard had two hits, and reliever Nick Anderson threw a scoreless eighth with two strikeouts.

“Our front office looks really smart right now, don’t they?" manger Kevin Cash joked after the game. "They worked hard. It’s always nice to see those guys come in and have an immediate impact. "

The Rays won because their bullpen, which had been wobbly, had 13 relievers pitch 14 2/3 innings over the three games. The bullpen gave up six earned runs, four of them by Ryan Yarbrough in his win. That means the other 12 pitchers gave up just two earned runs.

Brendan McKay won his second game for the Rays, allowing three earned runs over 5 1/3 innings.

"He battled," Cash said. "He got his strikeouts. He made some big pitches. He fell behind a little bit. But he’s learning on the fly. You’re not going to face many offenses better than the one he faced tonight and he kept them fairly quiet."

The Rays had 12 hits in each of the three wins of the series. Tommy Pham and Mike Zunino had two hits as well as Aguilar and Sogard.

"It was a nice run they had on this road trip," Cash said. "They really put together some games where the bats came alive. Hopefully that continues."

The Rays currently hold the second wild-card position, a half-game ahead of Oakland and 3 1/2 ahead of Boston.

The Rays have not determined their starter for Saturday night's game against Miami at Tropicana Field, but the Marlins will start Elieser Hernandez. The game begins at 6:10 p.m.


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