Overturned call lifts Rays as Royals lose opener at Tampa Bay
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Tampa Bay Rays and their parade of relievers are closing in on some franchise history.
The franchise record for consecutive scoreless innings is 27, set in 2013. Tampa Bay began this streak with 14 shutout innings against the Boston Red Sox, including a 2-0 win Sunday.
“They shut out the best team in the league yesterday so that tells you how good they’re doing now,” said Willy Adames, who drove in the game’s only run.
Yarbrough (12-5) pitched 5 1/3 innings in relief of opener Hunter Wood. The rookie left-hander gave up two hits and a walk while striking out six, earning his major league-leading 10th relief win.
Yarbrough has primarily been a long man out of the bullpen while Tampa Bay has experimented with using relievers for one or two innings at the start of most games. He leads the majors with 96 relief innings and has a 3.84 ERA.
“It’s something that you see another guy doing really well, and … we’re all competitive by nature or we wouldn’t be here,” Yarbrough said. “We just want to go out there and do the same, if not better. A little friendly competition in the clubhouse never hurts.”
After singles by Ji-Man Choi and Kevin Kiermaier in the second inning, Adames hit a two-out chopper over third base. Adames beat Rosell Herrera‘s throw across the diamond, but it took a 43-second review to reverse the original out call.
“Usually the run you score in the second inning doesn’t define the game. It was pretty unusual,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “It just shows we had to play seven innings of perfect baseball.”
The run came off right-hander Jorge Lopez, who pitched five innings in his second major league start. Lopez (0-3) gave up five hits and three walks.
The Royals, who were shut out for the ninth time this season, are 0-4 against Tampa Bay with all four losses coming by one run. They never got a runner as far as third base Monday night.
“The pitching was fantastic. We just couldn’t muster any offense,” Royals manager Ned Yost said.
Kiermaier had three of Tampa Bay’s eight hits after coming into the game batting .127 in August.
Royals reliever Jake Newberry struck out three in 1 2/3 innings in his major league debut.
Freeze ’em up! Newberry catches Wendle looking for his first MLB strikeout.
— FOX Sports Kansas City (@FSKansasCity) August 21, 2018
Royals: LHP Danny Duffy (left shoulder) “felt really good” after a bullpen session, according to Yost, who will determine Tuesday whether Duffy will pitch Thursday night’s series finale.
Rays: INF Daniel Robertson said recent surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb went well and he has no pain. Robertson hasn’t given up on getting at-bats during the final days of the season. “There won’t be any rushing it,” he said. … LHP Vidal Nuno (strained right hamstring) will make his second rehab start Tuesday night with Class A Charlotte and should be back in September.
LHP Matthew Liberatore, taken by the Rays in the first round of the 2018 draft, allowed three hits and struck out eight over five innings to get his first pro win in the GCL Rays’ 6-0 victory over the Twins. He has a 0.98 ERA over 27 2/3 innings in eight starts.
LHP Blake Snell (14-5) will pitch Tuesday night’s game against Royals RHP Glenn Sparkman (0-1). Snell, whose 2.10 ERA ranks second in the AL, has not given up a run in two straight starts of five innings each.