Rays keep the Pirates away from home

by Gary Shelton on May 4, 2023

in general

Thursday, 4 a.m.

Some times, it is as if there is a school zone sign at second base. Slow down, chuckleheads.

At third, there is a stop sign at third.

At home, there is a no parking sign.

For the opponents of the Tampa Bay Rays, these are the signs of the base paths. No trespassing. Fines may be doubled. There are traffic lights and detours, speed bumps and traffic cones.

Just ask the Pittsburgh Pirates, a team that has beaten up on the National League this season, in an 8-1 game.

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In two losses. against nine pitchers, the Pirates have two runs. In 18 innings, they have had 17 runners in scoring position, and they have gotten none of them home. In 64 at-bats, they have struck out 19 times.

Wednesday, it was Shane McClanahan's turn. He pitched six innings of five-hit baseball, running his season record to 6-0. He struck out nine batters and allowed just one run. Chase Anderson, freshly up from the minors, pitched three innings to get the save. Anderson has pitched pieces of 10 years in the majors, but it's his first career save.

"Shane was really good again," Rays' manager Kevin Cash said. "We know how talented he is. He’s  starting to find that level of consistency that the elite ones do."

Offensively, the Rays got a 455-foot home run from Josh Lowe (the team's longest of the year) and a 425-footer from Wander Franco.

Franco had a second hit and drove in three runs. His highlight play, however, might have been fielding a grounder in the seventh, flipping it up to himself, then throwing Bryan Reynolds out at first.

The Rays play the Pirates again today at 1:10 p.m. at Tropicana Field. Zach Eflin will start against Vince Velasquez.

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