If you are going to outperform expectations you will need to get some sweeps during the baseball season. The Rays have been up and down recently. They suffered one of the worst losses in team history in a 17-1 loss to Baltimore on Sunday. Instead of dwelling on that loss they instantly turned things around. Wednesday they completed a 3-game sweep of the Kansas City Royals on the road. They did it without Jake Faria having his best stuff. CJ Cron led the way for the offense as he hit his 10th homer of the season and scored 3 runs in the 5-3 victory.
The Rays bats got going early on. They scored 3 runs off of former Ray Jason Hammel in the very first inning. They loaded the bases early on and Denard Span scored off of a Brad Miller groundout. Adeiny Hechavarria then came through big time with a 2-RBI single to cap off that great 1st inning. Cron continued Jake Faria’s run support when he hit a rocket shot homerun in the 3rd inning. Faria started to struggle in the 4th inning with his control. He only allowed 1 run in that inning off of a sacrifice fly, but you could tell the wheels were starting to come off.
Cron scored his 3rd run in the top half of the 5th inning to get that run right back. Faria couldn’t hang on that much longer though. He only got one out in the bottom half of the 5th inning as the contact from the Royals’ bats continued to get louder. John Jay scored on a Jorge Soler double and then Soler scored after stealing 3rd and being driven home by a Mike Moustakas sacrifice fly. That would be the last out that Faria would record as Chaz Roe came in to stop the bleeding. Faria finished allowing 3 runs on 4 hits in 4 ⅓ innings pitched. His control was the issue as he walked 4 batters and threw 89 pitches in the short outing.
Roe was able to stop the bleeding in the 5th and then Kevin Cash turned to Matt Andriese to really shut things down. Andriese delivered in a big way. He pitched 3 innings of scoreless ball including getting out of a tricky 8th inning where the go-ahead run in Escobar came to the plate.
After the rough start to the game Hammel was able to get through 6 innings allowing those 5 runs and the homer to Cron. Alex Colome came in to shut things down in the 9th. The Rays closer did just that as he struck out Moustakas to end the 5-3 game and get his 3rd consecutive save.
The cross country road trip for the Rays continues on Thursday night. Tampa Bay begins a 4-game set against the Los Angeles Angels with Chris Archer on the hill. 1st pitch is scheduled for 10:07 from Southern California. Our coverage gets going at 9 with Steve Carney and the inside pitch on 620 WDAE.