Rays Take Matinee, Complete Sweep of Royals

Rays move to 4-3 on road trip

A three-run first inning paced the Tampa Bay Rays, and the bullpen threw 4.2 innings of shutout baseball as the Rays took a 5-3 win on Wednesday afternoon to complete a sweep of the Kansas City Royals.

The Rays got the game started with an old-fashioned rally, loading up the bases before Brad Miller knocked home a run with a fielder’s choice and Adeiny Hechavarria singled home the second and third runs of the game.  C.J. Cron added a long home run, and scored the Rays’ fifth run on a double play that allowed him to cross home plate.  “[Cron is] getting hot at the right time,” said manager Kevin Cash after the game.

“Just being in the lineup is nice.  I’m able to make the adjustments necessary to compete at this level,” said Cron of his recent designated hitter status.  Cron is heating up from the DH spot, and as the Rays continue to play with their lineup he might find himself in that position more often.

Starting pitcher Jake Faria threw 89 pitches over just 4.1 innings.  He did not pitch long enough to earn the official victory, despite leaving with a lead.  The win was instead awarded to Matt Andriese at the scorer’s discretion.  Andriese allowed three hits and struck out three over three innings, giving up zero runs and keeping the Rays firmly in control.  “He really, really battled, I’ll give him credit for that,” said Cash before suggesting that control was not necessarily Faria’s best friend on Wednesday.  The Rays’ starter walked four batters and hit another, leading to the high early pitch count and all three of the Royals’ runs.

Alex Colome pitched a scoreless ninth inning to collect the save, his 9th of the season.  Colome has rebounded from an up-and-down April to have what so far has been a stellar May.  In 7.2 innings, Colome has allowed just one run while collecting four saves and striking out eight.  The Rays’ closer is coming around, and with Colome firing on all cylinders it will solve a lot of problems with a bullpen that is going to get a whole lot of work in 2018.

The road sweep is the first of the season for the Rays, save for two games against the Orioles with a rainout involved.  Because of the sweep, they have started to rebound from a 5-game losing streak to be 4-6 in their last ten games.

There will be no rest after the road sweep for Tampa Bay.  Their next game is Thursday night, a late night affair starting at 10:07 at Anaheim against the Angels.  Chris Archer gets the start for the Rays in the series opener, as the surging C.J. Cron faces off against his former teammates.

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Tim Williams has been covering sports since his days as a student at Northeastern University covering events such as the Beanpot. In the thirteen years since, he has covered college hockey, the NFL, Major League Baseball, the PGA Tour, and the National Hockey League. A native of the Tampa Bay area, Tim has returned home after living much of his life in the northeast, including sixteen years in the Boston area. These days the Managing Editor of Sports Talk Florida can be found on Florida's golf courses when he's not working.