Rays Survive Red Sox, Argument With Bullpen

by Gary Shelton on July 25, 2019 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

The Rays won the game, but it was protested./TIM WIRT

Thursday, 3 a.m.

Sometimes, the Tampa Bay Rays look as if they could do this all of the time.

Sometimes, they can't.

For a day, however, the Rays were contenders in the wild-card race once again, beating the Red Sox 3-2 with a familiar formula. They received good starting pitching for Charlie Morton (seven innings, two earned runs, 11 strikeouts) and shutout relief pitching. They came from a two-run deficit to beat David Price, their old ace. And they came out on top with an in-game spat with Boston manager Alex Cora.

It was only the second time in nine games that the Rays have won. In that tailspin, they have fallen behind Cleveland and Oakland in the wild-card race, although Wednesday's victory puts them back in front of Boston.

Cora wasn't happy with the Rays' substitutions./TIM WIRT

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Morton struck out 11 to win his 12th./TIM WIRT

Morton allowed only five hits in wining his 12th game of the season.

“There appeared to be some confusion, but we are confident that we
got it right at the end of the day," said Rays' manager Kevin Cash. "Obviously, it wasn't customary what took place, but I’m glad the guys executed the pitches. A lot

Pham homered for the Rays./TIM WIRT

of delays in there, but fortunate that both Chaz (Roe) and AK kept their heads and made big pitches because they were facing the teeth of their lineup, which is really, really good.

“I wasn’t privy to all the conversations, especially between Alex and the group over there so I’m not sure exactly what was being said. My big concern is whatever is taking place, can we speed it up because I have a guy on the mound who is just standing there, which is a little uncharacteristic in a game, in any game and it was tight at that point.”

The Rays did one of their double-substitutions with pitchers, entering both Chaz Roe and Adam Kolarek. Cora believed the Rays fudged the rules to do so.

Brosseau reacts as the Rays beat the Red Sox./TIM WIRT

"The pitcher went to a position and we felt that they made some illegal substitutions," Cora said. "It was a mess at one point and I wasn’t even able to keep up with Angel. We protested the game and let’s see where it goes.

“There’s a lot there. They brought in the lefty for Charlie and then they brought in Roe for Choi. They kept the DH at that moment, so they had a pitcher, a first baseman, they had a pitcher on the mound and they still had a DH. It’s kind of hard to explain, sorry I can’t go over it because there’s a lot. It’s just an illegal substitution, so we’ll see what happens.”

Morton was effective, but almost as impressive were the two shutout innings by the Rays' relievers. The bullpen has been shaky lately.

“They got it done," Cash said. "We’ve talked let’s find a way to make the big pitch, get the big hit, make the big play. We did those things today and we came up with a much-needed win.”

Pagan got his seventh save of the season./TIM WIRT

Morton felt good about going to 12-3.

“I felt good," he said. "I think we did a good job of mixing and keeping them off balance. I felt like they were protecting against the curveball and I happened to throw a fastball and [then] they were looking for heater and I threw a curveball and I’m talking late in counts. I think for that team, to get through that lineup and get seven innings in — it feels really good.

“Besides from it being a close game, a win right there is pretty big. Head to Toronto and then back to Boston to face them again. We had a little bit of a slide there and are trying to stop it from continuing and get some momentum going the other way.”

Said Price: “The way he’s thrown the baseball all season long for these guys, he’s got 11 or 12 wins and a sub-2.50. It’s very impressive, so knowing you’re going up against him, you get staked to an early 2-run lead and to give that up and give up those three runs in the fourth and the fifth inning was tough.”

Heredia had a run-scoring double./TIM WIRT

Joey Wendle had two hits of the five hits for the Rays.

“Seeing where we are and our trend over the past week or so has been frustrating, but I think our team has a good grasp on the fact that we have two months left of the season," Wendle said. "We’re a good team and we’re in a really good spot right now. Hopefully we can use that win to propel us into something in Toronto.”

The Rays have today off, then go to Toronto for three games. The Rays' pitcher has yet to be determined, but the Blue Jays will start Jacob Waguespack.

Kolarek was perfect in relief./TIM WIRT

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