Rays In Top Spot In Wild Card Standings
Tampa, FL – The Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Los Angeles Angels 2-1 in 10-innings on Friday night. The game winning hit came on a Brad Miller double in the top of the 10th scoring Wilson Ramos from first. Brad Boxberger (2-0, 0.00 ERA) worked a scoreless ninth for the win and Alex Colome worked a 1-2-3 ninth to pick up his 26th save.
The win improves the Rays to 48-43 on the season. It’s the first time this season that they have been five games over the break even mark and the first time since they were 42-37 through June 30, 2015. It’s also the first time they’ve been five over .500 this late into a season since finishing the 2013 season at 92-71.
The Rays, along with the Cubs and Angels, had been the only teams in baseball that had remained within four games of .500 (above or below) all season. The win was the clubs sixth straight extra inning win and overall they are 7-3 in such games.
In addition to moving five over .500, the Rays move into second place in the AL East for the first time since they were 5-4 through April 12th. They also are all alone on top of the AL Wild Card standings, a full game ahead of the New York Yankees.
Angels’ All-Everything centerfielder Mike Trout made his return to the lineup after a 39-game absence. Halos Starter Ricky Nolasco was brilliant holding the Rays to just two hits and one earned run over six innings of work. It was a tough loss for Cam Bedrosian (2-1, 2.12 ERA) and the Angles who slip to 45-48 on the season.
The second through fourth innings were taxing on Faria who was consistently falling behind hitters. He needed 64 pitches to navigate through those three frames and had to escape jams in each one.
After the fourth inning, Faria settled in and needed just 11 pitches to get through the fifth, 12 to finish off the sixth, and 11 to get two outs in the seventh.
“He continues to impress,” Rays manager Kevin Cash told reporters after the game. “For a young guy who has [seven] starts in the big leagues. His presence on the mound and the way he carries himself seems more like a veteran that’s been out there a lot more than he has.”
Faria (4-0, 2.00 ERA) made his seventh career start and notched his seventh quality start. He is the first pitcher to begin his career with seven straight quality starts since Masahiro Tanaka (16) in 2014.
His streak of seven straight quality starts is the longest by a Ray since Chris Archer had eight from August 28, 2016 through April 8 2017. He and James Shields (2006) are the only Rays starters in franchise history to begin their careers on a four game winning streak.
Rays’ ‘Pen Up To The Task:
Faria left the game after throwing 110 pitches and Cameron Maybin at first. Kevin Cash summoned lefty Adam Kolarek from the pen in hopes that he could hold the speedy runner Maybin close at first and present a favorable matchup for lefty Kole Calhoun. Unfortunatley, Kolarek did neither as he hit Calhoun with his first pitch and departed the game.
Tommy Hunter entered and retired Mike Trout on a groundout to second. Hunter remained in the game working a scoreless eighth. It was his eight straight scoreless appearance.
Brad Boxberger needed just 12 pitches to get through the ninth. It was his fifth straight scoreless appearance since coming off the disabled list at the end of June.
Alex Colome worked a perfect ninth inning to pick up his AL leading 26th save on the season. His last four appearances have been scoreless after allowing runs in his previous five straight.
Longoria And Miller:
Longoria had a pair of hits including his 13th homer in the first inning. The only other Rays run scored on Brad Millers’ RBI double in the 10th. Miller finished the night 1-for-4 and since coming off the disabled list last Friday he’s 5-for-13. That includes a game winning homer against Boston and last night’s game winning double.
Up Next For Rays:
The Rays have won or split 14 of their last 17 series (10-3-4), dating back to May 12-14 at Boston. They will look for another series win Saturday night as they send Alex Cobb (7-6, 3.75 ERA) to the mound. The Angels counter with Jesse Chavez (5-10, 4.99 ERA).