Tyler Glasnow strikes out five in his first two innings of MLB work since May.
ST. PETERSBURG – Adrenaline is a thing. Just ask the Rays “opener” today as Glasnow struck out the side in the first inning hitting triple digits on the gun a few times. Twelve pitches got him through the first. The second was a different story.
After Austin Meadows hit his seventh home run off Blue Jays pitching this season (and 28th of 2019 overall), Glasnow gave the lead up in the second inning allowing a two-run home run to Randal Grichuk to go along with a couple walks in the inning.
Kevin Cash would let his young righty get through two full, however, and the Rays bats would answer right back.
Big fifth inning for the offense
After some big at bats in last night’s victory, Daniel Robertson picked up where he left off. With one out in the bottom of the third and Kevin Kiermaier and Willy Adames aboard, Robertson would give the Rays their lead back with a two-RBI triple.
Avisail Garcia‘s ground rule double in the fifth drove home Joey Wendle extending the lead to 4-2. With one out a couple hitters later and Meadows on third, Ji-Man Choi‘s sac fly gave the Rays a three-run lead. Then, a man who actually leads the Rays in RBI since May 11, Travis d’Arnaud just missed his 17th home run of the season with an RBI double off the top of the left field wall.
The Rays took a 6-2 lead into the sixth.
The bullpen stepping up
It’s been a very good home stand for the Rays. The bullpen is a huge reason why they finished it with a 9-1 record. Heading into today’s game, the relievers posted a 2.08 ERA in 43.1 innings of work. That continued Sunday starting with 2.2 innings of scoreless relief from Trevor Richards who followed Glasnow. Diego Castillo also worked two scoreless frames with three strikeouts.
History was made in the seventh inning. Castillo struck out Jonathan Davis for the 1,438th strikeout of the season for Rays pitching. That broke a club record for a season set back in 2014.
Have a day Avi!
With one away and one aboard in the seventh, Garcia connected on a two-run bomb into the left centerfield deck, his 19th of the year.
Garcia now has 8 RBI in his last nine games.
Another long-awaited return
LHP Anthony Banda also made his return, and his 2019 debut in the ninth. It was 15 months ago that Banda went under the Tommy John knife. With an 8-2 lead, Cash decided to let his lefty get some work in. It quickly turned into a rough debut.
After a quick mound visit from pitching coach Kyle Snyder, Banda got himself out of the inning and closed out a 8-3 victory and the first ever four-game sweep of the Blue Jays.
“Really impressed with Anthony Banda,” Cash said post-game. “That’s a long road back.”
The Rays have an off-day Monday before beginning a three-game series in Texas against the Rangers.
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