Rays pound Cardinals with big offensive night

by Gary Shelton on June 9, 2022

in general

Thursday, 4 a.m.

Repeat after me: Those slugging, slamming Tampa Bay Rays. Those  raking, fearsome Tampa Bay Rays. Those relentless, rampaging Tampa Bay Rays.

Sounds odd, doesn’t it.

Ah, but for a night, the Rays hitters were hitters, hitters that made infielders nervous and pitchers bewildered. It was a glimpse into the way the other half — the half where batting orders are always lethal — lives. The Rays pummeled the St. Louis Cardinals Wednesday night, winning an 11-3 game that suggested the meek had inherited the Louisville Sluggers.

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— The 11 runs were a high for the Rays this season, and they left 12 men on base in only eight innings of at-bats.

— The 18 hits were also a high for the season..

— All nine players in the starting lineup had a hit. Seven of them — all but Yandy Diaz and Kevin Kiermaier — had a double.

— Five players had multi-hit games. Manuel Margot had four hits (and was on base five times) Randy Arozarena had three hits and four RBI.

— Whee!

It was a rare sighting, a Rays team racing around the bases. Coming into the game, the Rays ranked 12th of 15 AL  teams in average, 11th in on-base percent and 10th in slugging percentage and runs scored. In their previous 12 games, the Rays had scored four runs or fewer nine times, three runs or fewer six times and two runs or fewer four times. Over that stretch, they had totaled 38 runs, third fewest in the league.

“Good for those guys who have been grinding through it a little bit as of late,” said Rays’ manager Kevin Cash.  “We know first-hand how tough bullpen days can be. Add in that it’s an opponent that we’re not that familiar with. You’re facing a bunch of pitchers that we don’t have a ton of history with. I thought the at-bats were really good to get the three in the first and to continue to add. I was really impressed with our offense and impressed that they’ve been able to withstand a tough stretch.”

Arozarena had a solid night. 

“He’s laying off some pitches that he was expanding on, and when he does that, he’s just that much better of a hitter,” Cash said. “The pitches he can handle, He’s kind of proven that if it’s in the zone, he can do some special things. That’s what we’re seeing.”

The Rays hope the offense carries over to today’s 1:10 p.m. against the Cardinals at Tropicana Field. Shane McClanahan will start for the Rays. The Cardinals haven’t announced a starter.

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