ST. PETERSBURG -- Not even 24 hours after showcasing his bat with two home runs in Wednesday night's game, Steven Souza Jr. impacted Thursday afternoon's game with a memorable throw in the first inning of the Rays' 4-0 win over the Angels.Michael Trout tried to score from second base when
ST. PETERSBURG -- Not even 24 hours after showcasing his bat with two home runs in Wednesday night's game, Steven Souza Jr. impacted Thursday afternoon's game with a memorable throw in the first inning of the Rays' 4-0 win over the Angels.
Michael Trout tried to score from second base when Andrelton Simmons singled to right. Souza fielded the ball quickly and threw a strike home. The throw beat Trout by several steps and catcher Jesus Sucre made the tag for the third out.
"I mean, [Trout is] a great runner," Souza said. "Any time the ball's in play and he's on second base, you have to make a pretty good throw to get him. It just came right to me, it was hit exactly to where I was playing and tried to get it low so Sucre had a play. ... I had to make my best throw, and put it there. Fortunately, it worked out."
Observed Angels manager Mike Scioscia: "He was pinching shallow, and to get Mike, he's got to put that throw on the money, and he did. It was a nice play -- nice throw from him."
It didn't hurt that Souza put a little zip into his throw. According to Statcast™, Souza's throw to the plate was clocked at 97 mph, his hardest tracked throw.
Souza's assist made for a three-run turnaround in the first, as Colby Rasmus singled home two in the bottom half of the inning to put the Rays up 2-0.
Souza's throw was "pretty important," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "They've scored some early runs off us, and any time you can prevent that from happening, you come in energized to the dugout."
Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.