Wins came very infrequently for the Tampa Bay Rays during their miserable 2016 season. However, 2017 is off to a much better start for the club. Manager Kevin Cash is very pleased with the way his team has performed through the first month of the season. He admits that the team has yet to fully gel because of some injuries. However, he feels that the team’s performance so far this year is more representative of their overall talent than last year. The team put together a solid performance to notch a 4-2 win over the Miami Marlins in the first game of their series at Marlins Park.
Kevin Kiermaier is a player who is best known for being a defensive wizard in center field. He has taken home Gold Gloves because of it. However, his skill on the bases is what shined through in this particular game. He was able to slide into second base and prevent the Marlins from turning a double play in the process. This occurred in the seventh inning. The result was the Rays scoring a run that put them ahead. It is just another example of Kiermaier’s hustle that has made him a favorite of his manager and loved by his teammates.
Marcell Ozuna had belted a home run in the fourth inning that had tied the score. The game was very significant for the Rays because it marked the return of starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi. He had been on the disabled list because of a strained left hamstring. Overall, it was a successful start for Jake. He wound up pitching five innings and giving up a pair of runs. Wei-Yin Chen also gave up a pair of runs in six innings of work on the Marlins side of the ledger.
Brad Miller had a very successful night on the base paths. He was able to steal a pair of bases. These were the first two steals of the season for him. He stole second and third in the eighth inning. It turns out this was the perfect time for those steals to occur. Miller was able to score when Daniel Robertson drove him home with a single. The run gave the Rays some insurance in their eventual 4-2 victory.