Tampa Bay Rays even the record against the Blue Jays in the second game of the season behind good pitching and timely hitting.
Yarbrough was his usual self yesterday in 5.1 innings of shutout baseball. He allowed no runs on four hits with just one walk. The lefty threw 69 pitches and in trademark fashion allowed just two hard-hit balls.
He looked as good as one could hope for with all circumstances considered. Yarbs mixed his pitches well and hit his spots. Of his 69 pitches he threw 25 cutters, 16 sinkers, 19 changeups, and 9 curveballs.
His counterpart for the Blue Jays was RHP Matt Shoemaker, who also put forth a solid outing, going six innings and giving up three hits, two walks and one run. The Rays scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the sixth after a Michael Perez followed by a Ji-Man Choi double.
Pete Fairbanks entered the game in the bottom of the seventh and gave up a homer to Reese McGuire to lead off the inning and tying the game at one.
After allowing a single to Bo Bichette, Fairbanks walked Cavan Biggio to put the team in a bind with a 1-1 tie.
Kevin Cash turned to the trusted arm of Nick Anderson to keep the score tied at one. Anderson rewarded the decision by getting Lourdes Gurriel Jr. to pop out to the catcher. He would stay in and pitch a scoreless eighth.
Tampa Bay Rays – Clutch Hit of the Game
The clutch hit of the game came in the bottom of the eight from Brandon Lowe. With two men on and no outs, Lowe tripled to right field, scoring both runs to give the Rays a 3-1 lead.
Lowe would score on a balk by Sam Gaviglio to make it 4-1. With Anderson’s services being required in the seventh and eighth innings, Cash called up upon Oliver Drake to slam the door, and slam it he did.
Drake got the first two batters on ground balls to Ji-Man Choi at first base and then struck out Bo Bichette to put the exclamation mark on the Rays’ first victory of the 2020 season.
Blake Snell takes the mound today.