A late-game comeback keeps the Rays undefeated

In game one of the three-game set against the Washington Nationals, The Rays sent Josh Flemming out on the mound to face Chad Kuhl. The Rays entered this game undefeated along with the Minnesota Twins.

The contest ended with the Rays being the only undefeated team left in MLB as they crushed the Nationals 10-6. The team from the Midwest was shutout by the Rays instate neighbors, the Marlins 1-0.

This game shouldn’t be remembered for starters Josh Flemming and Chad Kuhl as they both gave up a combined nine runs (Flemming 5 ER and Kuhl 4 ER). Nothing seemed to work for Flemming in tonight’s start as his pitches weren’t at the usual caliber and his only sharp pitch on the night was changeup, which he threw only 12 times. Kuhl on the other did have a few more pitches work for him, such as his slider, which was his second most used pitch on the night yielded him all four of his strikeouts.

The word of the day for Tampa’s offense was power. Why you ask? Because they hit four homers, of which three of them came in the ninth inning against Kyle Finnegan. The two offensive juggernauts for the Tampa offense on the night were Cuban Yandy Diaz and Jose Siri whom each had homer and a single apiece and combined for five runs batted in on the night.

Yandy Diaz has had a scorching start to the season as he is slashing .357/.471/.857/1.328 with two homers and six RBIs. His 414-foot homer came in the ninth inning to extend the Rays lead, to 10-6. For Siri, his longball came in the top of the second inning to extend the lead, to 4-2. Siri’s tatter had en exit velo of 103.7 MPH and went 395 feet.

The centerfielder has had a nice start to the season slashing .333/.375/.867/1.242 with two homers and six RBIs. Siri was acquired from the Rays in a three-team trade with the Houston Astros and the Baltimore Orioles. The Dominican played with the team from Space City last season. Randy Arozarena also aided the cause with two hits and two runs batted in.

Thankfully, the backend of the Tampa bullpen held up and played a big factor in the win. Pete Fairbanks closed the game out to help the Floridians move to 5-0 on the season. For the Nationals, they now go to 1-4.

Some encouraging signs on the night for the team from the nation’s capital included three hit evenings for Lane Thomas and Alex Call. The outfielders also combined for five RBI’s. Victor Robles had a two-hit night in his own right.

Relievers Erasmo Ramirez, Carl Edwards Jr., were the only bright spots for Washington on the mound throwing scoreless outings. Both relievers have yet to give up a run in the young season.

Tampa and Washington are back at it tomorrow as they go into game two of the three-game set. For the Rays, it’ll be their ACE Shane McClanahan who racked up six K’s in his start against the Tigers on Opening Day. For Washington, Patrick Corbin will take the mound.

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