Rays’ aggressiveness pays off vs. Sox

by Gary Shelton on June 5, 2023

in general

Diaz ran a long way after clinching hit.

Monday, 4 a.m.

They have won games with power. They have won games with speed.

During the hot start of the Tampa Bay Rays, they have won with pitching. They have won with defense. They have won by scoring early and by scoring late.

And sometimes, they have won when their opponent forgets how to play baseball.

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The Rays took a 6-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox Sunday when a hit-and-run by Yandy Diaz turned into a hit-and-run-and-keep-running. Do you want to call it a Little League home run? Maybe. you should call it Little League defense.

Go back to the sixth inning, when the Rays were leading 4-2. Manny Margot was on first, and broke toward second. Diaz hit a soft grounder that got into right field.

Sox' right fielder Alex Verdugo softly threw the ball back toward second, and third-base coach Brady Williams sent Margot around third. The Red Sox threw to the plate -- too late. Catcher Connor Wong took the throw, then threw to second to try to get Diaz out. But his throw went into center field, where the outfielders were still out of position from the hit. Diaz scored standing.

The aggressiveness wasn't anything new for the Rays. They have now stolen successfully in their last 30 attempts.

The Rays' Taj Bradley wasn’t as sharp as he has been, walking three and giving up six hits, but he won his fourth game. Shawn Armstrong pitched the final two innings in his return from the injured list.

The Rays got two hits from each Diaz, Josh Lowe and Luke Raley.

The Rays are now 5-1 against Boston this season.

Tampa Bay closes out its series against Boston today at 4:05 p.m. Shane McClanahan will start for the Rays against Brayan Bello.

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