Slow start can’t stop surging Rays

by Gary Shelton on July 1, 2023

in general

Arozarena's home run started the comeback./TIM WIRT

Saturday, 4 a.m.

Before you can fully appreciate the margin of victory, which was a lot, you have to first consider the depth of the hole they were in, which was deep.

The Tampa Bay Rays hammered the Seattle Mariners, 15-4, on Friday night. They pounded out 16 hits, and the game ended with Mariners’ fans booing. All 10 players who batted for the Rays had an RBI. Nine of them had hits. Eight of them scored a run. A game like that can make you forget about a bad start.

Content beyond this point is for members only.

Already a member? To view the rest of this column, sign in using the handy "Sign In" button located in the upper right corner of the blog (it's at the far right of the navigation bar under Gary's photo). Not a member? It's easy to subscribe so you can view the rest of this column and all other premium content on

Raley drove in three runs./TIM WIRT

Ah, but consider the way the game started. The Mariners beat up on Shane McClanahan, getting four runs and five hits on him and knocking him out of the game after three innings. Bryce Miller of the Mariners, on the other hand, was electric, striking out six of the 10 outs he recorded. But in the third inning, he developed a blister on the middle finger of his throwing hand. That led him to give up a two-run homer to Randy Arozarena, then forced him out of the game.

The Rays then scored 10 runs against the bullpen of the Mariners, getting 15 of their hits. They scored eight times in the eighth inning to clinch the game.

How good did the night end up for the Rays?


— Josh Lowe had three hits, including a homer and a double.

— Wander Franco had a double and a triple.

— Christian Bethancourt had three hits, including a double (that ticked off the left fielder’s glove)

— Luke Raley had two hits and drove in three runs.

— Jose Siri hit his team-leading 16th home run.

— Taylor Walls had two hits.

All in all, the game couldn’t have started more badly and ended up so comfortable.

McClanahan had his second consecutive poor start. Once again, his back tightened up and the team said it would consider putting him on the injured list. Rays’ manager Kevin Cash said that, at most, McClanahan would have pitched one more inning (he threw 66 pitches), so the team chose to play it safe.

It didn’t matter. Five Rays’ relievers shut the Mariners out on one hit the final six innings.

The Rays and Mariners play again today at 7:15 p.m. (Fox) Tyler Glasnow will start for the Rays against George Kirby.

Previous post:

Next post: