Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Rays Lose Much More Than Extra-Inning Affair In Cincy

Rays shortstop Wander Franco batting
photo: Will Vragovic/Tampa Bay Rays

Saturday turned out to be a much more devastating game for the Tampa Bay Rays, as they lost a pair of their middle-of-the-field defenders for a second time, leading to dropping a second consecutive game in extra innings to the Cincinnati Reds, this time by a 5-4 score.

Tampa Bay saw shortstop Wander Franco leave the game after striking out in the top of the first inning with a hand injury, and outfielder Kevin Kiermaier be lifted for a pinch-runner in the ninth after hitting a leadoff base hit.  Manager Kevin Cash says both players will be heading to the injured list with their injuries.

For Kiermaier, the issue appears to be his left hip, which landed him on the IL earlier this season when he needed a cortisone shot to try and relieve the discomfort he was experiencing.

“My hip just didn’t feel great,” Kiermaier said of being lifted in favor of Brett Phillips.  “I wasn’t moving around as good as I’d like to, so that was the decision.”

Franco’s injury is a new one, as Cash said he appeared to injure the hamate bone in his right hand on a check swing in his at-bat.  The shortstop is scheduled to visit Dr. Doug Carlan, the team’s hand specialist, when the Rays return to St. Petersburg.

“Right now, it doesn’t feel too good,” Franco said through translator Manny Navarro.  “Not a lot of energy just because I wish to play, but we just just got to keep on moving forward.”

Despite both injuries, Tampa Bay had a great opportunity to even up their series, as they took a 1-0 lead in the fifth inning when Francisco Mejia singled in Isaac Paredes to start the scoring.

The Rays tripled their advantage in the eighth off former Ray Ian Gibaut, loading the bases with nobody out on singles by Mejia and Yu Chang — who took Franco’s spot in the batting order and finished 2 for 3 — sandwiching a Josh Lowe walk.  Harold Ramirez then doubled home a pair, and Ji-Man Choi re-loaded the bases with another walk.  But any hopes of a big inning were dashed as Randy Arozarena popped out and Paredes grounded into an inning-ending double play.

Those outs proved to be massive, as Cincinnati tied the game in the bottom half of the eighth against Brooks Raley and Colin Poche.  Raley loaded the bases with singles by Tyler Stephenson and Kyle Farmer and a one-out hit by pitch of Donovan Solano.  Poche then walked Nick Senzel to force in a run and gave up a two-out single to Brandon Drury to make it 3-3.

Ramirez kept his bat hot in the top of the tenth, scoring Mejia with his third double of the game, this one down the left field line.  But after having to use Jalen Beeks, Ryan Thompson, Jason Adam, and Matt Wisler in scorless relief outings just to get to extra innings after Drew Rasmussen could only get through four innings, Cash had to turn to rookie Calvin Faucher in a high-leverage situation.  The right-hander allowed a base hit to Matt Reynolds, then uncorked a wild pitch to tie the game back up, and base hits by Solano and Senzel ended the contest before Faucher could even register an out.

The Rays will turn to Shane Baz (1-1, 2.92 ERA) to try and prevent being swept in Cincinnati Sunday, as he takes on left-hander Nick Lodolo (1-2, 4.19 ERA).  First pitch is scheduled for 1:40 from Great American Ballpark.



Written By

Steve Carney is the founder and publisher of St. Pete Nine. One of the people most associated with baseball coverage in Tampa Bay, he spent 13 seasons covering the Rays for flagship radio station WDAE, first as producer of Rays Radio broadcasts, then as beat reporter beginning in 2011. He likes new analytics and aged bourbon, and is the owner of one of the ugliest knuckleballs ever witnessed by baseball scouts.

You May Also Like