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Rays strike early with 5-run outburst in 1st

MLB.com @wwchastain

ST. PETERSBURG -- Everything went right for the Rays' offense against Detroit starter Francisco Liriano during a five-run first inning Monday night at Tropicana Field.

Much like Tampa Bay won the game, 10-9, on a 10th-inning walkoff, the Rays also started things in dramatic fashion. Matt Duffy singled to center with one out to begin the rally, and Daniel Robertson followed with a single to left. Catcher Wilson Ramos -- hardly known for his speed -- then chipped in with an infield single to load the bases for C.J. Cron.

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ST. PETERSBURG -- Everything went right for the Rays' offense against Detroit starter Francisco Liriano during a five-run first inning Monday night at Tropicana Field.

Much like Tampa Bay won the game, 10-9, on a 10th-inning walkoff, the Rays also started things in dramatic fashion. Matt Duffy singled to center with one out to begin the rally, and Daniel Robertson followed with a single to left. Catcher Wilson Ramos -- hardly known for his speed -- then chipped in with an infield single to load the bases for C.J. Cron.

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Cron, who had three RBIs on Sunday, followed suit with an RBI single to drive home the game's first run. Another scored when Jake Bauers grounded into a fielder's choice.

When it looked as though Adeiny Hechavarria might fly out to right fielder Nicholas Castellanos on the next play, Castellanos instead lost the ball against the backdrop of the roof, resulting in a two-run double. A struggling Carlos Gomez added an RBI single to cap off Tampa Bay's first five-run first inning since April 7, 2017.

"We were fortunate, we got some runs," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "We had some really good at-bats off of Liriano, laying off his bread and butter, the slider below the zone. Made him bring it up.

"We had some things go our way on defense; [Hechavarria's double] in right field certainly did. Because it was just one of those nights. An odd win."

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2004.

Tampa Bay Rays