ST. PETERSBURG -- Jake Bauers thought he might have hit his first Major League home run."I knew I got it off the end of the bat] a little bit," Bauers said. "But I knew I got enough."The ball landed in the right-field stands, coming off a fastball from Blue Jays
ST. PETERSBURG -- Jake Bauers thought he might have hit his first Major League home run.
"I knew I got it off the end [of the bat] a little bit," Bauers said. "But I knew I got enough."
The ball landed in the right-field stands, coming off a fastball from Blue Jays starter Sam Gaviglio with a man aboard to give the Rays a one-run lead. They promptly added to that advantage to take an 8-4 win Monday night at Tropicana Field.
"Really was just trying to stay in the middle of the field," said Bauers of his hit. "Hit something hard. Hopefully it gets through and scores [Matt Duffy]. But he left a fastball up in the zone. Got just enough barrel to it and it sailed out."
Making Bauers' moment more special was the fact that Willy Adames, Bauers' close friend, played shortstop after getting recalled prior to Monday night's game.
"I want to say I blacked out a little bit getting around the bases," Bauers said. "And then, of course, the first person I see in the dugout is Willy with a giant smile on his face. So it was a blast out there tonight."
Said Adames of the moment: "I told him, 'Were you waiting for me to get here to hit your first homer?' And he said, 'Yes, buddy.'"
Adames went 1-for-2 with two RBIs, combining with Bauers to give the Rays' attack a youthful look. The pair is set up to be a big part of the team's future, as Adames is ranked by MLB Pipeline as Tampa Bay's No. 2 prospect, while Bauers checks in at No. 5.
"Look, youthful energy is fun to be around," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "Are they going to have a game like that every night? Probably not. But they play the game the right way. They're capable of showing up in big spots. They showed that today. ... You can't deny the fact that these are exciting young players that we've heard so much about."
Ryan Yarbrough started for the Rays and allowed four runs in the first four innings, then hung on to give the Rays six innings en route to his fifth win of the season.
Diego Castillo pitched a scoreless seventh and Jonny Venters followed suit in the eighth leading to Sergio Romo, who retired the side in the ninth to preserve the win.
"Yarbs did a really nice job of settling in," Cash said. "They challenged him early on. We needed him to get as deep as possible given that the bullpen was pretty taxed going in. So I give Yarbs a lot of credit for being a big part of that win."
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
With no outs in the bottom of the seventh, Joey Wendle stepped to the plate with the bases loaded to face John Axford. Wendle swung at the first pitch and hit the ball back to Axford, who fumbled the ball. When he finally got control, he threw home trying to get the forceout, but the throw went wide and Bauers slid safely across for the Rays' sixth run. While Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin chased after the ball, Wilson Ramos chugged home from second to give the Rays a 7-4 lead.
"Ramos can run," Cash said. "He can run when he feels like it."
The Rays are 24-1 (.960) when scoring at least five runs this year. And they have not lost a game when scoring eight or more since Sept. 26, 2015, at Toronto, going 53-0 when doing so since.
HE SAID IT
"Every minute of that was fun. We kept making eye contact and you couldn't help but crack a smile." -- Bauers, on playing with Adames
Ryne Stanek will start Tuesday against the Blue Jays in a 7:10 p.m. ET contest at Tropicana Field. Eight of Stanek's last nine appearances have been scoreless. His average fastball velocity this season is 98.3 mph, according to Statcast™. This will be his fourth start of the season. Left-hander Jaime Garcia will start for the Blue Jays.
Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.