Rays homer their way to big win over Sox

by Gary Shelton on September 8, 2021

in general

Zunino hit two homers and a triple./TIM WIRT

Wednesday, 4 a.m.

The finish line, evidently, is somewhere over the fence.

More and more, the Tampa Bay Rays seem to be closing in on it.

The Rays powered their way to yet another win over the Boston Red Sox Tuesday night,12-7, expanding their American League East lead to 9 1/2 games over the New York Yankees and 10 games over the Red Sox.

Content beyond this point is for members only.

Already a member? To view the rest of this column, sign in using the handy "Sign In" button located in the upper right corner of the GarySheltonSports.com blog (it's at the far right of the navigation bar under Gary's photo)!

Not a member? It's easy to subscribe so you can view the rest of this column and all other premium content on GarySheltonSports.com.

Mike Zunino and Nelson Cruz each hit two home runs for the Rays in the bashing. Together, the two had seven hits, eight RBI, four homers, a double and a triple.

The Rays led 12-1 at one point, but the Red Sox scored six runs (on eight hits) in two innings against the Rays' David Hess, making his first appearance for the Rays.

Over the last two games against the Sox, the Rays have scored 23 runs on 33 hits. It was a far cry from the last time the Rays faced Boston pitcher Eduardo Rodrigues, who shut them out 4-0.

“It was a really solid adjustment that we made on Rodriguez early on," said Rays' manager Kevin Cash. "I know we added on a little later, but the way he threw the ball against us a week ago, I felt like we picked it up a little better. We put pressure on him in every inning other than the first."

For the Rays, Zunino had struggled over the last 10 days, but with a triple and two homers had one of his more memorable nights.

"It’s going to continue to get better for him," Cash said. "He got hot and saw a lot of pitches he could handle. "

Cruz, too, has struggled since coming over the to the Rays. But he had two homers, a double and a single.

"We add a very special hitter who is certainly going to do his part to  continue to help the offense," Cash said, "but when you add another elite bat like that in the lineup, everyone  else probably see some better pitches to hit. "

Jordan Ludlow had three hits and three RBI.

Wander Franco reached on a walk, stretching his on-base record to 37 games, the most in American League history for a player 20 years or younger. Franco trails former Red Frank Robinson by six games.

The Rays got a solid start by Drew Rasmussen, who went five innings (six hits, one earned run) for his first win as a major league starter.

The Rays will close out the series with Boston tonight at Fenway (7:05 p.m.). Tampa Bay will start Shane McClanahan against Boston's Nathan Eovaldi.

Previous post:

Next post: