Raley’s 12th homer allows Rays to split

by Gary Shelton on June 16, 2023

in general

Raley hit his 12th home run./TIM WIRT

Friday, 4 a.m.

This time, the bat survived.

This time, the Tampa Bay Rays did, too.

The Rays completed a ragged four days in Oakland Thursday afternoon with a 4-3 victory thanks to an eighth-inning home run by Luke Raley and a solid night by their bullpen. The win allowed a four-game split with the As, who played much better than you might expect a last-place team to play.

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Raley, the burley first baseman of the Rays, hit a 1-0 pitch 410 feet for his 12th home run of the season. It goes to show the ups-and-downs of the game. The day before, Raley had been so upset over his 0-for-4 day that he had shattered a bat over his knee.

“The balls weren’t really traveling today," Rays' manager Kevin cash said. "But it takes a lot of wind to hold up him. He’s a strong guy." 

Not this time. This time, he took a breaking pitch from Austin Pruitt to right-center for the win.

The Rays won on a day they walked A’s hitters six times, which was why the game was so close. Two walks led to Oakland’s three-run fifth, and two more helped the As load the bases with one out in the seventh. The Rays escaped that jam when Jake Diekman got a ground ball to Taylor Walls with the infield in. Walls threw home to Frankie Mejia, who then threw to first for the double play. Robert Stephenson then came in and struck out Brent Rooker to end the threat.

After that, Jason Adam and Pete Fairbanks each retired the A’s in order. Fairbanks notched his sixth save.

Taj Bradley was sharp early, striking out 11 batters in his 4 1/3 innings. But he ran into control problems in the fifth. Five Rays’ relievers threw shutout baseball.

The rays now travel to San Diego to play the Padres at 9:40 tonight. Shane McClanahan will start  for the Rays against Yu Darvish.

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