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Rays slug their way to a 9-6 victory

Photo by Alex Walworth | The Scrum Sports

The Rays power their way to victory Saturday night with the help of four home runs.

ST. PETERSBURG — Fighting for their playoff lives, the Tampa Bay Rays could not afford to lose a home series against the Cleveland Indians – who own the first wild card seed coming into the weekend series.

Spoiler alert: they didn’t.

Saturday night’s game got off to a rocky start for the Rays as Carlos Santana started the homer-fest with a 2-run first-inning rocket off of Diego Castillo.

For Castillo, it’s the fourth appearance in a row where he’s allowed at least one earned run.

The Rays didn’t take long to get back into the game as Ji-Man Choi hit a solo homer in the second inning and Tommy Pham hit a 2-run bomb in the third inning.

“Really impressive. We needed it,” Kevin Cash said when speaking about the offensive outburst. “It was a tight ballgame there for a while, but certainly impressed with the at bats and getting the big hits.”

It was the 13th homer for Choi, who tied his season high with three hits in the game. Choi is now slashing .265/.361/.430 in 105 games this season.

The third inning homer was the 20th for Pham. It’s the third time in his career he’s reach the 20 homer mark and he’s only four steals away from becoming the second Ray to ever reach the 20-20 plateau.

“I made a smoothie for me an him [d’Arnaud] today,” Pham laughed about when asked about what was different in that game. “He said if we both hit homers you gotta keep making them and we won, so, deal. Zunino wants in now. He’s gonna buy me an apron. There’s a few guys that want in.”

Can’t Stop Won’t Stop

The offensive outburst didn’t stop there as Avisail Garcia and Travis d’Arnaud also contributed with home runs themselves.

The home run for Garcia was his first extra-base hit since returning from the IL. He now has 18 homers and 60 RBI this season.

d’Arnuad is now one homer shy of his career high, 16, which he set with he New York Mets in 2017. Maybe with the help of Pham’s smoothie’s he’ll reach that mark?

Oh Dorian

Due to the incoming Hurricane, the Rays have have made an adjustment to their upcoming series with the Baltimore Orioles.

Monday’s game on September 2nd will be played as scheduled at 1:10 p.m. The game on Wednesday, however, has been moved up to Tuesday where the Rays and Orioles will now be playing a traditional single-admission doubleheader. Game one of the doubleheader will start at 3:10 p.m. with game two starting roughly 30 minutes after the conclusion of game one.

Up Next

The Rays look to sweep the Indians as Charlie Morton (13-6; 3.11) squares off against Adam Plutko (6-3; 4.34). First pitch is set for 1:10 p.m. EST.

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