Rays patiently rout the Twins 8-2
April 27, 2011
A: Minnesota Twins
W: Wade Davis (3-2) 2.73 ERA
L: Francisco Liriano (1-4) 9.13 ERA
When the Rays were going through a real tough stretch offensively through the first nine games this season, there was some speculation that the hitters were being too passive. They were looking to draw walks and finding themselves constantly behind in the count. When they arrived in Boston against Daisuke Matsuzaka, the hitters were instantly aggressive and the Rays started scoring more runs. The Rays couldn’t have been much more passive tonight and yet attacked the baseball when they needed to. It snowed throughout much of the game, but it didn’t seem like the Rays were in much of a hurry. The first five batters reached base. Double, single, double, triple and single and the Rays had a 4-0 lead very quickly. Twins starter Francisco Liriano eventually retired the Rays in the first inning, but had to throw 40 pitches to do so.
At this point, for the Twins, it was all about damage control. Liriano knew he wasn’t going to pitch very deep into this game, so he had to try and go as long as he could. He pitched into the fourth and left with the bases loaded and no one out. Eric Hacker came in and became a walker. Both Johnny Damon and B.J. Upton drew bases loaded free passes and Ben Zobrist followed with a sac fly that made the score 5-1. By the time Hacker left with one out in the seventh, he and Liriano had thrown a combined 162 pitches. Twins hurlers altogether threw over 200 pitches in the game.
Wade Davis, given a huge lead early, was in command throughout. In 6.2 innings, he gave up two earned runs. Andy Sonnanstine, in his first appearance since April 10, closed out the game. The Rays are now over .500 for the first time this year.
These two teams will play a double header tomorrow. The Rays pitching staff will be much fresher.
Player of the Game: Ben Zobrist (1 for 4, 3 RBI). The first five hitters in the Rays lineup all did well. Sam Fuld in particular set the table nicely with a hit and two walks.
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