Fifth Shutout On The Year Leads To Much Needed Rays Win
After suffering one of their toughest losses of the season on Thursday evening the Tampa Bay Rays came back to defeat the Los Angeles Angels by a final score of 3-0 on Friday night to even their series at a win apiece.
The win improves the Rays record to 19-24 and with the loss the Angels fall to 22-19. It was the fifth shutout on the year for the Rays pitching staff.
Chris Archer (2-2, 4.59 ERA) earned the victory by holding the Angels off the board for 5.2 innings on just two hits walking five and striking out five.
The Rays once again turned to their bullpen to work the final three plus innings. Juan Carlos Oviedo followed Archer to the mound to end the Angels sixth inning, Jake McGee and Joel Peralta each worked scoreless innings in the seventh and eighth innings respectively to set the stage for Grant Balfour.
Balfour only faced three batters on Thursday night allowing back to back walks and a single before being lifted from the game for Brad Boxberger who allowed the eventual game winning home run.
Less than 24-hours later Balfour was back on the mound looking to redeem himself and close out a Rays victory. He retired both Hank Conger and pinch hitter Nick Green on infield popups to James Loney for the first two outs of the inning. He struck out Howie Kendrick to end the game and pick up his eighth save on the season.
After a 22-pitch first inning he settled down to retire the Angels on just 39 pitches over the next three innings and had retired the first two batters of the fifth inning on 9-pitches before inexplicably losing control.
He issued consecutive walks to John McDonald, Erick Aybar, and Mike Trout to load the bases for Albert Pujols who rolled a grounder to third baseman Evan Longoria who stepped on third for the force out to end the inning and protect the Rays slim 1-0 lead.
Jered Weaver (4-3, 3.14 ERA) took the loss allowing two runs (earned) on three hits striking out five and walking two.
He allowed a solo home run to Yunel Escobar on an 0-2 pitch in the top of the fifth inning. It was the first home run allowed by Weaver on an 0-2 pitch in his career (445 plate appearances).
The Rays got their second run in the top of the seventh inning. Evan Longoria walked to lead off the inning and got himself into scoring position by stealing second base for his first stolen base since last July 10th against the Minnesota Twins. James Loney followed with a long single off the wall in right to plate Longoria and extend the Rays lead to 2-0.
After Juan Carlos Oviedo and Jake McGee combined for 1.1 innings of scoreless relief the Rays turned to Joel Peralta to protect the 3-0 lead. Peralta answered the call and kept the Angels off the board to set up the save opportunity for Balfour who came in to work the ninth and picked up is eight save on the season.
Tampa Bay Times Marc Topkin Reports Kevin Kiermaier On His Way To Team:
— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) May 17, 2014
Tampa Tribune Roger Mooney Updates Kiermaier Roster Move:
#rays Jennings placed on bereavement list due to death in family. Kiermaier recalled
— RMooneyTBO (@RMooneyTBO) May 17, 2014
Possible Injury: Ryan Hanigan
Unrelated to Kiermaier’s arrival the Rays may have to deal with a minor injury to catcher Ryan Hanigan who appeared to grab at his hamstring while running out a ground out.
— Rays Index (@RaysIndex) May 17, 2014
#Rays Hanigan says it’s either a cramp or a mild strain in right hamstring but either way expects to be okay
— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) May 17, 2014
Figueroa Makes Major League Debut:
Cole Figueroa came in to pinch hit for Logan Forsythe in the top of the eighth inning and popped out to shortstop Erik Aybar. With his appearance he became the fourth member of the Jason Bartlett trade completed on December 17, 201o. In that deal the Rays sent Jason Bartlett to the San Diego Padres in exchange for Figueroa and relievers Cesar Ramos, Bradon Gomes, and Adam Russell.
Yunel Escobar‘s Perfect Night:
Yunel Escobar was 3-3 with a home run and a walk to raise his season average from .245 to .260.
Oviedo Extends Streak:
Since allowing three earned runs to the Boston Red Sox in two-thirds of an inning on April 28th Oviedo has appeared in six games spanning 7 scoreless innings allowing one hit striking out six and walking one.