Rasmussen solid again as Rays beat Royals

by Gary Shelton on August 21, 2022

in general

Sunday, 3 a.m.

If Shane McClanahan is the designated ace of the Tampa Bay Rays, what kind of card would Drew Rasmussen be?

A king, maybe. A jack? A second ace?

Rasmussen was terrific once again Saturday afternoon, running his record to 8-4 in a 5-2 victory over Kansas City. He had a no-hitter through five innings and continued the run of Rasmussen's career.

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In his last three starts, Rasmussen has pitched 17 1/3 innings and has given up just three hits.

Three games ago, he threw three innings of no-hit baseball in a stint that was scheduled to be short.

Two games ago, he had a perfect game after eight innings and finished with a one-hitter.

Saturday, he had the no-hitter going into the sixth inning until he gave up two hits (and two runs).

"He’s been on an incredible run," Rays' manager Kevin Cash said. "Today, I thought is stuff was maybe a tick better than what we saw against Baltimore. The breaking ball, the spin to it, the depth he was creating, the complement between the harder breaking ball and the softer breaking ball. He did it against a bunch of left-handed hitters. To pick up those strikeouts he did a tremendous job.

"It seems like his stuff has gotten a little crisper. The velocity is about the same.  The breaking ball had looked better."

Said Rasmussen: "Giving up hits is semi-luck but we’re really good defensively. If you get ahead of hitters and you create contact, it gives us a chance to make plays."

The Rays got all the runs they needed in the second inning. The team had four hits and three runs, including an RBI single by Yu Chang and an RBI double by Taylor Walls.

Yandy Diaz doubled in another run later, and Chang had a second RBI on a sacrifice fly.

Manuel Margot returned to the lineup for the Rays.

Tampa Bay and Kansas City wrap up their series today at 1:40 p.m. at Tropicana Field. Ryan Yarbrough will start for the Rays against Zack Greinke.

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