Once again, Slam Brothers close the door for Rays

by Gary Shelton on April 17, 2019 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Castillo earned his second save of the year./JEFFREY S. KING

Tuesday, 3 a.m.

Around the Tampa Bay Rays, it is fashionable to talk about the starters.

Alvarado has been solid in the late innings./JEFFREY S. KING

Maybe, though, a little more emphasis should be placed on the finishers.

Sure, the starting pitching was solid again for the Rays. Tyler Glasnow went seven innings and allowed only two earned runs to improve his record  to 4-0.All in all, it was a nice out.

On the other hand, how about the slam brothers, the backend relieve duo of Jose Alvarado and Diego Castillo.

So far, the duo has been flawless. They have nine appearances each, and

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Glasnow is now 4-0 on the season./JEFFREY S. KING

they've combined for six saves on six opportunities, and they've struck out 23 batters in 18 innings.  Opponents are hitting .111 against Castillo and .154 against Alvarado.

Each player threw a perfect inning inning again Tuesday night.

Lowe throws out an Orioles' baserunner./JEFFREY S. KING

The Rays improved to 13-4, the best 17-game start in club history. They are 7-1 in their last 8 games and have outscored opponents, 51-23, over that stretch. Last season through 17 games, the Rays were 4-13 and 10.5 GB of the Red Sox in the division

“It was a good win after the off-day," Rays' manager Kevin Cash said. "Glasnow was really, really good again. I think you could argue that this might have been one of his better starts so far because it didn’t come as easy for him or didn’t appear to come easy. He had to make some pitches, probably had to make some adjustments on the fly because they challenged him and got some singles. They got 5, 6, 7 hits, whatever it was, off of him, but it was good for him to hang in there, give up the two [runs], keep it right there and give us a chance."

Garcia is pushing for more playing time./JEFFREY S. KING

Cash said such an outing can boost Glasnow's confidence.

“A lot," he said. "You'd like to think a lot. I think his confidence, it certainly is at a pretty high level right now, but this only helps because you are going to have some starts where everything is clicking and the results are just coming or they appear to be coming a lot easier. That wasn’t the case today. They had some lengthy at-bats. They laid off some pitches and found some holes to get hits so he had to really stay sharp and stay focused and settle everything down and that’s what he did.”

Glasnow was pleased.

Austin Meadows has been hot for the Rays./JEFFREY S. KING

“I was able to mix in a couple of different pitches. I showed them the changeup, threw some curveballs for strikes and chase. I think it was not everyone being able to see the fastball. I think it’s just a matter of putting your head down. Every inning should be the same mentality wise. It was a little tough in the first there, but I felt good all game and kept attacking.”

Avisail Garcia hit a two-run homer to lead the Rays.

"When you play every day you make the adjustments," Garcia said. "You get more at-bats, so you make adjustments. I’m just trying to do the best for my team. You play hard and never give up on anything. Defense, hitting, I’m feeling great.

“Confidence is what this team is all about. We never give up on anything.

Pham makes a catch in left field./JEFFREY S. KING

If we’re losing, we’ll try to come back and win the game. That’s how baseball is. You never give up. You just try to do your best every day and every at-bat.”

Said Cash: “We are going to have some challenging decisions coming up eventually when some of these guys get healthy again, but Avi has certainly picked us up in a big way and he will continue to do that. It will be a lot of mixing and matching. He is a tough guy not to have in the lineup. We like when he comes up in game situations, big at-bats, where he can change the game for us like he did today.”

The Rays trailed 2-0 going into the bottom of the fourth, but Garcia gave the Rays a 3-2 lead with a two-run homer. Garcia later singled in Yandy Diaz for an insurance run.

The Rays play Baltimore against tonight at 7:10 p.m. at Tropicana Field.  Ryne Stanek starts for the Rays against David Hess.

The roof celebrates another Rays' win./JEFFREY S. KING


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