- Kevin Tall
- What gives? stock photo
What looked like a scorcher from the get-go burned out quickly, the barn-burner turned into a weenie roast.
Unlike the matinee the day prior, the Tampa Bay Rays started layin’ the lumber early and often on LA Angels’ starting pitcher Tyler Chatwood. With Jered Weaver missing his scheduled start with a stomach virus, the Rays bats gave Halos fans something to feel queasy about early on.
It started innocently enough, with lil ol’ LEGEND Sam Fuld leading off the home half of the first inning with a double. Johnny Damon’s sac fly advanced him to third and a base hit from B.J. Upton brought Fuld home to score. Upton, having made it to second on the throw home, swiped third base for his seventh stolen base of the year. Matt Joyce picked up an RBI-single and crossed the plate on a double by Ben Zobrist.
Casey Kotchman, Felipe Lopez and John Jaso each picked up RBI-singles to make it 5-0 Rays at Chatwood’s expense. The Angels’ starter allowed six consecutive hits before Reid Brignac struck out. Jaso was caught stealing to end the frame in which Chatwood threw 41 pitches and the Rays sent all nine men to the plate.
After that opening explosion, the Rays bats went quiet. They scattered hits in here and there—notably Joyce’s two-out base hit in the second, Upton’s leadoff double in the fifth—but failed to capitalize on their opportunities. There’s not much excuse for getting the leadoff man in scoring position but failing to get him home, with as well as this club used to play small ball.