The Rays (40-33) extended their winning streak to 4 games, beating the Brewers (40-34) in a late game power display. The night belonged to Jeff Niemann, however, who was making his first start back from the DL. Nieman (2-4) went 6 innings on just 85 pitches, keeping the Brewers off the scoreboard. He only had 2 easy innings on the night, but got some key strikeouts and managed to escape from a 1-out, bases loaded situation in the bottom of the 6th.
The Brewers got on the board in the 7th inning with a Jonathon Lucroy home run off J.P. Howell, but the Rays had pulled ahead big in the top half the inning. In the 8th, the Rays extended their 5-1 lead to an 8-1 drubbing with some lucky 2-out hitting . In the bottom half of the inning, pinch hitter Sam Fuld took some warm-up tosses from the mound, much to the surprise of the viewers and even the Rays infield. After he warmed up, though, Joe Maddon promptly relieved him, bringing in Cesar Ramos who benefited from a few extra warm-up throws.
Ramos did not have usual command though, and left without getting an out. Joel Peralta then came in, getting two out, but allowing two of Ramos's runners to score. Kyle Farnsworth then relieved Peralta, sealing the Rays win at 8-4.
Notes from the game:
- Ben Zobrist and Evan Longoria had the Rays only multi-hit showings, Zorilla going 2 for 4 with a double and Longo going 2 for 5 with a line drive, three-run home run.
- Justin Ruggiano also had a key hit, doubling in Kelly Shoppach in the 7th inning as a pinch hitter.
- Yuniesky Betancourt had 2 hits on the night, strongly suggesting the Rays franchise may face contraction very soon.
Rays lead the series 1-0
WP: Jeff Niemann (2 - 4)
LP: Chris Narveson (4 - 5)
|8 - 4 win|
|Wed 06/22||2:10 PM EDT|