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Rays Rewind: Crash and Burn in First Road Trip

The Tampa Bay Rays begin their first road trip of the season with the best opening week record in team history, 5-2.  

This trip would consist of a 3-game series against the Yankees and a 4-game set vs the Red Sox. This is how the Rays crashed and burned in their first road trip of the year.

The Rays started their first road trip in the crux of baseball’s evil empire, Yankee Stadium on their home opening day.  Playing the Yankees for their season home opening series would be challenging for any team, but the Rays would be hopeful after winning the series against them at Tropicana Field.

New York Yankees

Game-1 of the series against the Yankees could not have gone much worse for the Rays.

Yankee starter Michael Pineda had one of the best games of his career, taking a no-hitter into the 7th inning.  Rays captain Evan Longoria finally broke the silence in the 7th with a double, but would be stranded.  The lone run for Tampa Bay would come off the bat of Logan Morrison in the 8th and would be his 2nd home run of the season.

Run production was not the only issue in game-1.  This was Rays starter Alex Cobb’s 3rd start of the season and it was a rough one.  Cobb would go for 7.1 innings and be responsible for allowing 4 of the 8 Yankee runs including 2 home runs.  Austin Pruitt would come in for .2 innings and account for the other 4 Yankee runs.  Yankees would win 8-1.

Game-2 the Rays bats would begin to wake up.

Three of the 4 total runs scored belonged to Rickie Weeks Jr.

Things were going well until the 5th inning when the Yankees started to chip away that the Rays lead.  Starter Blake Snell would load the bases and walk in New York’s 1st run.  The Yankees would score their 2nd run off a wild pitch in that same inning.   Snell would get out the inning with minimal damage and the Rays lead still intact.

In the 6th the Yankees would blow up the Rays bullpen and tact on 4 more runs to take the lead 6-3.  The 7th inning rookie Aaron Judge would hit his 3rd home run of the season off Erasmo Ramirez to put another nail in the Rays coffin and take the Yankees lead to 8-3.

Final score would be a 8-4 Yankees.

Game-3 the Rays starter Matt Andriese gave a solid 6 innings of work with 5 hits, but only 1 run scored on a solo home run by Aaron Hicks in the 1st.

Catcher Jesus Sucre would tie the game in the in the 2nd and in the 5th Peter Bourjos would hit his first home run to put the Rays in the lead 2-1.  They would hold the lead into the 7th. But the continued theme of a weak bullpen would strike in the bottom of the 7th. Hicks hit his 2nd home run of the game off lefty Xavier Cedeno, a 2 run shot to score the go ahead winning run.

Final score would 3-2 and the Yankees would sweep the Rays at home for the first time since 2009.


Next stop, Fenway Park.

Game-1 Chris Archer would have an epic performance only allowing 1 earned run in 5.2 innings.

Archer shut down the Boston Red Sox offense until the 5th. By then the Rays had put up an astounding 8 runs.  Tampa Bay bats were alive in this their first game at Fenway.

The Sox could only watch as Rays hitters hit home run after home run, including a grand slam by Logan Morrison in the 3rd.  When Archer left the game in the 6th, it would be with a healthy 8-1 lead.  Luckily that lead was in place when Austin Pruitt came on in relief and surrendered 4 runs in 2.1 innings.

Five runs is often enough for a Red Sox win. However, the Rays were on fire scoring a staggering 10 runs in their first game at Fenway.  Steven Souza Jr, Shane Peterson, and Morrison were the offensive standouts this game.

Finally, in game-4 of a 7-game road trip the Rays would get a win.  Final score 10-5 Rays.

Game-2 was basically a pitchers duel between the Rays and ace Chris Sale.

Starter Jake Odorizzi left the game just after one inning due to hamstring tightness. He has been placed on the 10-day disabled list.  

Due to the departure of Odorizzi, Erasmo Ramirez took over for a majority of the innings.  Ramirez pitched for 4-innings with 1 earned run that was a home run off the bat of Mitch Moreland in the 2nd.


The Rays would only score 1 run this game on a 2 out RBI single by Longoria to tie the game in the 3rd.

Red Sox catcher Sandy Leon would get a ground out RBI in the 7th for the go ahead run that would win the game.  Final score 2-1 Red Sox.

At this time, it seems like  Ramirez is the likely choice to fill the hole in the starting rotation while Odorizzi is on the DL.

Game-3 of this 4-game series against the Red Sox had a promising start.  

The Rays started in on Drew Pomeranz early and had a 3 run 1st on a triple by Brad Miller and an error to score Miller.  

This early momentum would quickly fade. The Red Sox responded by scoring 2 quick runs in the bottom of the 1st.  

Even homers off the bat of Dickerson and Tim Beckham were not enough to hold off the Red Sox offense.  Starter Alex Cobb and the Rays bullpen could not stop the bats as the staggering 7 earned runs vs the Rays 5.  Final score 7-5 Red Sox.
The pitching staff and offense seem to be more out of sync; when one is strong the other is not and vice versa.  If the Rays have any hope of finishing the season over .500 they need to pull it together ASAP.  The AL East is no place for a mediocre team.  

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