Tampa Bay Rays sweep Los Angeles Angels | July 31st – August 2nd, 2018

7/31/20186:49:30 PM - Photo by Mary Holt

St. Petersburg, FL – Strange things continue to brew down in Saint Pete. After taking two of three versus the Yanks, the Rays got spanked by the lowly Orioles up in Camden Yards. Outscored 37 – 12 in the final three games of the four-game set. OUCH! Fear not Rays fans, it was just a brief road trip and back to the friendly confines of the Trop. The Rays are 20-4 (.833) at Tropicana Field since June 11, the best home record in the majors during that stretch. We’ll drink to that!

The Rays continued with the “bullpen in reverse” in the rubber match. A strategy they’ve used since mid-May, starting a reliever known as an “opener” instead of a traditional starting pitcher. Right-hander Hunter Wood, who became 15th starting pitcher Tampa Bay has used this season, a franchise record, struck out five of the seven batters he faced in two scoreless innings. Left-hander Jalen Beeks replaced Wood to start the third and threw four hitless innings, striking out three, before faltering in the seventh.

“Good for Jalen Beeks,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “First win. That’s probably the story.”

Tampa Bay acquired Beeks from the Red Sox on July 25 for right-hander Nathan Eovaldi. The left-hander made his Rays debut last Saturday in Baltimore and allowed eight runs on 10 hits and three walks while striking out one in 3 1/3 innings. Thanks Boston. The Angels scored twice against him in the seventh, but he left with a much-improved line, having allowed two runs on two hits and one walk while striking out four to earn his first Major League win.

“It’s amazing what throwing the ball over the plate and throwing strikes can do,” Cash said. “Kyle is a magic man. Him and Stan [Boroski, bullpen coach] have Jalen buying in a little bit. It was nice to see. To get some confidence. He pitched really well.”

The Rays host the White Sox next, followed by a rematch against the Orioles. They then hit the road to take on the Blue Jay, Yanks and Red Sox. Hopefully, their road woes trend will come to an end. That’s something we can all drink to.

Did You Know?

Beeks became the 21st pitcher to record a win this season for the Rays.


Photo Credit – Mary Holt  |  Instagram  |  Twitter

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