Rays’ streak reaches 10 after walkathon

by Gary Shelton on May 24, 2021

in general

Meadows walked on a nine-pitch at bat to tie the game in the ninth./STEVEN MUNCIE


As furious rallies go, the may have been the slowest in the history of baseball.



Then walk, walk, walk. And just like that -- yippee -- the Tampa Bay Rays were winners.

The Rays' winning streak reached 10 in a row Sunday afternoon -- the second-longest in the history of the franchise -- with a 6-4 comeback victory over the Toronto Blue Jays. The passes were free by Toronto, but the price was costly.

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Simply put, the Jays forgot how to throw strikes. They had the Rays on the ropes, but when it came down to it, Toronto could not get the ball over the plate.

"If they (the Rays' hitters) don’t see what they like, they’re willing to take and not panic in the at-bat," said Rays' manager Kevin Cash. "They showed lot of patience and the willingness to take a walk."

Actually, except for Austin Meadow's nine-pitch walk to tie the game, only so much credit can be given to the Rays for the walks. Yanny Diaz walked on four pitches.  Manuel Margot walked on five. Mike Brosseau walked on four. None of them were hitting more than .255.

 "It started with coming into the dugout in the top of the ninth," said Phillips, who singled in the Rays' first run in the ninth. "Everyone knew we were going to put together good at-bats. That was the discussion with everyone.  'Hey, let’s do what we do.' Luckily things went our way."

They didn't go the Jays' way. Reliever Tyler Chatwood lasted only two-thirds of an inning and gave up two walks and two hits. He was pulled -- and argued about it -- in favor of Travis Bergen, who walked three. Both pitchers threw only nine strikes in 22 pitches.

Still, winning is good whichever way it comes. The Rays don't have enough 10-game winning streaks (two in their history) to quibble.

It's odd. In 2004, the Rays won 12 games in a row in June, three by walkoffs. But that team would win only 70 games all season.

This one? This one pulled into a tie for the AL East lead with Boston on Sunday.

Margot and Francisco Mejia each had two hits for Tampa Bay.

The Rays close out their four-game series with Toronto in Dunedin today at 1:07 p.m. Ryan Yarbrough will pitch for Tampa Bay. The Blue Jays have not announced their starter.

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