Rays bats wake up in big win over Atlanta

by Gary Shelton on July 28, 2020

in general

Tyler Glasnow had a strong opening start./JEFFREY S. KING

Tuesday, 4 a.m.

There for a while, it appeared the bats of the Tampa Bay Rays were trying to keep their social distance away from the baseball.

Despite winning two of their first three games against Toronto, the Rays simply didn't hit enough to inspire a lot of confidence. They led after only five of 28 innings.

That changed Monday night, when the Rays overpowered the Atlanta Braves in a 14-5 victory, scoring the most runs they have scored in a single game since one late in 2015. Newcomer Hunter Renfroe hit two home runs -- the team had five total -- and Jose Martinez, also an off-season acquisition, hit one.

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"It was a good offensive night," said Rays' manager Kevin Cash. "It was needed. We were confident we were going to be fine, but it was a quiet weekend. We were fortunate to come away winning two of those games. Tonight, it was good to put up a big crooked number led by Hunter and Martinez. We needed to get them going because they're such big parts of our lineup."

Renfroe, acquired in the Tommy Pham trade to San Diego, was 0-for-7 in the opening series against the Blue Jays. He had his first hit and then hit two homers (and four RBI) to lead the Rays, who scored eight times in the fourth inning.

"It was cool," Renfroe said. "Getting the first hit out of the way was good for me."

For the Rays, there was plenty of help. The team had 13 hits and scored in six straight innings. Mike Zunino, Joey Wendle and Martinez all had homers.

But it wasn't just a good offensive night. Tyler Glasnow started and struck out nine, and the team struck out 19 as a unit. Glasnow allowed only one hit in his four innings.

"I thought he was outstanding," Cash said.

The Rays are at Tropicana Field again tonight at 6:40 p.m. Yonny Chirinos will start against Kyler Wright.

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