Font goes 5.2 innings and gets his first big league win, shutting out the Yankees to take the series.
The “opener.” It’s a coined title given to the relief pitcher the Rays send to the hill to start or “open” a particular game. So far in 2018, it’s fared well for Kevin Cash despite the 5-8 record in those “opener” games.
Rays pitchers rank second in the AL with a 3.07 ERA since May 18th when the “opener” began. They’re also second with a 1.15 WHIP in that same span.
Saturday was another one of those “opener” days. RHP Wilmer Font would make his fourth said start against Sonny Gray of the Yankees.
THE FUTURE STRIKES EARLY
Rookie Jake Bauers would double home Kevin Kiermaier in the first to get the Rays out to a quick 1-0 lead. The second inning would bring home two more off Gray. C.J. Cron would notch his first hit that wasn’t a home run since June 1st leading off with a double to left. Daniel Robertson would double him home the very next at bat to make it a 2-0 lead. After Mallex Smith bunts Robertson to third, Willy Adames would single him home with the Yankees infield pulled in.
KIERMAIER DOING THINGS
Despite his struggles at the plate this season, Kiermaier hasn’t lost a step in the outfield. He likely saved a run in the third inning with a runner at second with a sliding grab charging in on a sinking fly ball hit by Brett Gardner.
GRAY LOCKED IN UNTIL…
Gray went four-straight innings retiring the Rays in order after his 2-run second inning. Then, with two outs in the seventh, Adames would hit his second career home run into the right field seats to make it a 4-0 lead for Tampa Bay.
Yank’s reliever Chasen Shreve would load the bases after a Bauers long ball missed the right field foul pole by an inch. Would have been a three-run bomb for the rookie. Wilson Ramos, who’s three-hit night Friday put him in the MLB lead for hits by a catcher, would strike out leaving them loaded.
ROMO ON A ROLL
RHP Sergio Romo has been the ninth-inning guy quite often lately. Coming into a 4-0 ninth inning is always a much more relaxed situation. He would sit down the meat of the Yankees order in order to close out the shutout for the Rays and secure a series victory against the first place team in the East.
RHP Wilmer Font gets his first MLB win v #Yankees today!#Rays #RaysUp pic.twitter.com/UZUvZTOqEI
— The Scrum Sports (@TheScrumSports) June 23, 2018
The Rays send RHP Matt Andriese (1-3, 3.68) to the mound looking for the sweep. The Yankees will send RHP Domingo German (2-4, 4.77) to try and avoid it.
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