Rays show their strengths in win over Angels

by Gary Shelton on August 23, 2022

in general

Tuesday, 4 a.m.

If the Tampa Bay Rays are going to survive this wild-card chase -- and it's still too early to tell -- this is how they do it.

The Rays exhibited their formula for success in Monday night's 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. It was their eighth win in 10 games.

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Want to see the Rays be successful: This is how they will have to do it.

-- Good starting pitching. Jeffrey Springs got his sixth win of the year (three losses) by going 5 2/3 innings, giving up just one earned run. That earned run came when Mike Trout actually double-hit the ball and blooped it into center field.

-- Good relief pitching. When the Rays have been good this season, it's because of their matchups. Monday night, they coaxed 3 1/3 innings out of the pen, which gave up one hit and no runs.

--- Good defense. Shortstop Taylor Walls had an exceptional night with the glove.

-- Riding Randy. Randy Arozarena stayed hot, breaking a 1-1 tie with his 17th homer of the year in the fifth inning.

"The quality of his at-bats certainly feels like it has improved," Rays' manager Kevin Cash said. "He’s been pitched tough."

The Rays don't often win with fewer than three runs. They're 13-43  when scoring three runs or less as compared to 52-12 when scoring four or more.

Still, the bullpen is eighth in the majors with a 3.33 ERA and has combined for most 509 in the majors at 509 innings.

"Just the way they executed in pretty dominant fashion," Cash said when asked what impressed him about the pen. "We picked up a bunch of strikeouts. JB (Jalen Beeks) was certainly a highlight. Certainly (Shawn) Armstrong to come in and get the save. He hasn’t been in that situation very often."

Beeks stuck out Shohei Otani to end the sixth.

"He got ahead of him," Cash said. "That last pitch -- I don’t know anyone who can hit that pitch the way it darted on him."

The Rays and Angels play again tonight at 7:10 p.m. at Tropicana Field. Corey Kluber will start for the Rays against Jose Suarez.

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