street. PETERSBURG – The Rays had some issues late in Saturday’s game.
Yandy Diaz, one of the best hitters, walked off the field during the eighth inning warm-up and had to leave due to a dehydration. A few moments and four pitches later, top tackle Jason Adam gave up a punt to Chicago’s Gavin Sheets who erased their lead.
But this has been a special season so far for the Rays, and as the game moves into the 10th season, the White Sox have given them something special.
With one out and a quick walk off Vidal Brujan replacing Francisco Mejia as the runner at second, the Sox chose to intentionally walk Wander Franco, a multi-talented star in the making. This would have seemed like a sound strategy, except that the next batter was the sweltering Randy Arzarena, who had already hosted and singled out a run and appeared to be very caged.
“I was kind of in my mind, ‘Are you sure? said Shane McClanahan, radiology writer. “Are you sure you want to do this?”
White Sox manager Pedro Grifoll would later say that he was sure, in addition to setting up a potential double play at the end of the inning, that they “loved the game” of Arozarena facing right winger Jimmy Lambert.
And it took just one pitch for Arosarina to make that look like a bad move, as he slapped a single to right, and Brogan scored to give the Rays a 4-3 win and it was their second straight win over the White Sox. Brogan got a jump, and first-year big-league third-team head coach Brady Williams made a good read and serve.
“I was glad I was in this situation,” said Arrozarena, via team interpreter Manny Navarro. “I’ve never been on a hitch like this before (in the majors). It was my first time, but thank God I was able to get that hit.”
Manager Kevin Cash gave Arozarena a heads up that the Sox might walk Franco, so Arozarena knew he had a chance to deliver and jumped the first pitch.
“I was just trying to connect,” Arosarina said. “I wasn’t sure if I was trying to hit a hit or a home run, but I was just trying to take care of the situation.”
Cash praised Arosarina’s approach. “He got up there almost like he was sliding in the back of his mind or (pitch) off speed and didn’t try to hit Randyland (sitting behind the left fence),” Cash said. . “He just tried to hit him somewhere on the grass.”
Cash had a lot to be pleased with as the Rays improved to an MLB-leading 18-3, fitting the second best 21 game in modern era history. Only three teams started better: the 1984 Tigers, 1955 Dodgers and 1911 Tigers, all of whom were 19-2. The Rays joined six other teams at 18-3: the 2003 Yankees, 1987 Brewers, 1981 A’s, 1946 Red Sox, 1938 Giants and 1918 Giants.
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McClanahan had another strong start, hitting a season-high 10 and allowing only three hits (though two were singles). He also hit 32 knocks on 49 swings, an average of 65.3 each mlb.comis the highest in a game since pitch tracking began in 2008.
Adam quickly shut down the Sox after he was homered by Sheets on a pitch that was neck high. Garrett Clevinger had a key 1-2-3 in the tenth to keep the Sox from scoring.
“A lot of things are still going right for us,” said Cash.
The Rays also collected some other records as well.
When Arozarena went deep with Diaz on board as a starter, it extended the Rays’ home run streak to all 21 games, surpassing the season record of 20 starts by the 2019 Mariners. Going back to the last game of last season, the Rays also set a record franchise by going deep for the 22nd in a row.
The win was his 12th in 12 home games of the season, which matches the record for most consecutive home wins at any time.
And when Pete Fairbanks battered the ninth inning unscathed, he broke JP Howell’s longstanding team record for consecutive scoreless innings pitched with 28. Howell had 27 1/3 in 2012.
“It’s a fun little achievement,” said Fairbanks. “But we won (on Saturday), and we had a lot of guys coming in with good batting and good innings to get us there. I think that’s a precedent for me.”
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