Tampa Bay Rays dodge COVID-19 Outbreak, Start Second Half 1-0
By Kasey Kuhrts
Many feared the worst after a New York Yankees player who attended the MLB All-Star game in Denver tested positive for COVID-19, leading to the cancelation of Thursday’s Yankees/Red Sox game. However, the Tampa Bay Rays looked to have dodged that bullet.
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Tampa Bay Rays COVID-19 Concerns
Along with the three Tampa Bay Rays players that represented the team in Denver, the entire coaching staff of the Rays, as well as other staff were a part of the AL squad. So obviously, any positive tests from the All-Star game would be concerning to the Rays.
Before the Rays hit the road on Friday to head to Atlanta, Kevin Cash, and the rest of the players and staff that could be impacted by the virus were rapidly tested, before the team boarded the plane.
Around noon on Friday, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reported the Rays were en route to Atlanta but had not confirmed the results of the tests.
However, upon arrival, Kevin Cash confirmed all players and staff tested negative for the virus, a huge sigh of relief for the Tampa Bay Rays.
Tampa Bay Rays start the second half in Atlanta
An old friend would greet the Tampa Bay Rays to start the second half of the season, you can call him Uncle Charlie. Charlie Morton got the ball for the Braves to open the second half of the season.
Morton was what you would expect on Friday, six innings, three runs, with eight K’s. Those runs came in the second, a Kevin Kiermaier RBI single put the Rays up 1-0, and was followed by a Mike Zunino RBI groundout, making it 2-0 Rays.
The Braves would get to Rays’ starter Michael Wacha in the fourth, as Austin Riley tied things with a two-run shot.
After an Orlando Arcia strikeout, Dansby Swanson gave the Braves the lead.
On the real, I don’t think that pitch could have been more down the middle of the plate.
Anyway, Ji-Man Choi would tie it up for the Rays in the fifth with his fourth homer of the season, but the Braves would continue to exchange blows with the Rays.
Freddie Freeman‘s two-run shot in the bottom of the fifth gave the Braves the lead back, 5-3.
Coming to bat in the eighth, the Rays would find themselves down 6-4, but as usual, they would not quit. An Austin Meadows RBI single cut the lead to one. Then, All-Star Joey Wendle did what he does best, hustle.
The game would stay tied into the 10th, and Austin Meadows again came up big. Meadows third RBI of the night on a single off Jesse Chavez gave the Rays a 7-6 lead.
Pete Fairbanks came on in the bottom of the 10th to slam the door and start the Rays off 1-0 on the second half of the season.
Although it was a concerning situation, the Rays were lucky to avoid any issues with the COVID-19 cases connected to the All-Star game. The Rays will look to pick up their second win in a row tomorrow. The first pitch is set for 7:20 pm EST from Truist Park in Atlanta.