Major League Baseball finally started this week. The Tampa Bay Rays got off to a slow start in game-one. They did, however, rebound well over the weekend.
Their first game of the season was on Friday, and t didn’t end up going their way. In a matchup between new Blue Jays’ ace, Hyun Jin Ryu, and Charlie Morton, the Rays gave up six runs in the middle frames. They staged a small comeback, but couldn’t make up two runs, losing 6-4.
Saturday’s game went quite a bit differently. Both starting pitchers went more than five innings, shutting down the other’s offense. The Rays took a three run lead in the eighth, and kept their 4-1 lead through the ninth.
Sunday’s game was a thriller. Neither starter went the distance, and each bullpen gave up a couple of runs. The Rays went into the bottom of the ninth down by two, and scored a pair to tie the game with two outs.
Following regulation, the Tampa Bay Rays surrendered a run in the top of the tenth thanks to the runner placed on second base. In the bottom half of the frame, Jose Martinez led off with a walk. Kevin Kiermaier finished the game with his first hit of the season, a two-RBI triple. Rays win 6-5 after 10 innings.
AL East Standings
Tampa Bay Rays: 2-1 Baltimore Orioles: 2-1 New York Yankees: 2-1 Boston Red Sox: 1-2 Toronto Blue Jays: 1-2
Batter of the Week: Brandon Lowe
.455/.500/.818, 3 RBI
Tampa Bay Rays’ 2019 All-Star Brandon Lowe is off to a good start this season. Through three games, the second baseman has had a major role in the team’s run scoring.
He pinch hit and played second in game-one. He didn’t get a hit, but ended up on base thanks to a pair of walks. Lowe put the Rays ahead in game-two, hitting a two-RBI triple in the eighth inning.
In game three of three, he went three-for-five with two doubles. One of those hits netted the late RBI to tie the game at 4-4. Overall, Lowe made an impact in each of the three games he played in.
Pitcher of the Week: Ryan Yarbrough
1 GS, 5.1 IP, .190 AVG. Against, 0.938 WHIP
Even though Yarbrough didn’t get the win on Saturday, his work did not go unnoticed. Sandwiched by two lackluster starting performances, Yarbrough’s 5.1 innings of scoreless ball was just what the Tampa Bay Rays needed to take away from the opening weekend.
The regular season fourth starter didn’t rack up a ton of Ks, but he also didn’t do things that would hurt the team. He only gave up one walk and allowed just four hits.
Yarbs provided just what the Rays needed. He forced the Jays into soft contact, allowing the defense to cleanly retire batters. If he can continue this type of play throughout the season, the Rays will be so much more prepared for a deep playoff run.
The Week Ahead
After taking two of three from the Blue Jays, the Rays have a tough test to start next week. The Atlanta Braves are one of the best young teams in baseball, and the Rays play a four game set against them. Tampa closes the week with an away series in Baltimore.
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