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Glasnow continues to cruise in win vs. O's

@juanctoribio
April 16, 2019

ST. PETERSBURG -- Tyler Glasnow recorded just three strikeouts on Tuesday, but Rays manager Kevin Cash said he thought Glasnow’s outing in the 4-2 win over the Orioles was one of his better starts of the season. “I think you can argue this was one of his better starts so

ST. PETERSBURG -- Tyler Glasnow recorded just three strikeouts on Tuesday, but Rays manager Kevin Cash said he thought Glasnow’s outing in the 4-2 win over the Orioles was one of his better starts of the season.

“I think you can argue this was one of his better starts so far just because it didn’t come so easy for him, or at least it didn’t appear to come easy,” Cash said. “He had to make some pitches, probably had to make some adjustments on the fly because they challenged him, got some singles.

“But it was good for him to hang in there and give up two [runs] and keep it right there and give us a chance.”

Glasnow, who was coming off a career-high 11 strikeouts in his last outing against the White Sox, entered Tuesday with a 16-inning scoreless streak, but the Orioles were able to take an early 1-0 lead on three singles in the opening frame. Baltimore added a second run in the third inning, but then Glasnow settled in.

“I think it’s just a matter of putting your head down,” Glasnow said. “Every inning should just be the same, mentality-wise. It was a little tough in the first there, but I felt good. I just kept attacking.”

It took 26 pitches for Glasnow to get out of the first inning, but he needed just 61 pitches to get through the last six innings of his outing. The fact that Glasnow can finish an outing with only three strikeouts but allow just two runs is another good sign in the development of the young right-hander.

“I think his confidence certainly should be at a fairly high level right now, but this surely helps,” Cash said. “You’re going to have some starts where everything is clicking, and the results appear to be coming a lot easier, but that wasn’t the case today. He had to stay sharp, stay focused and settle everything down, and that’s what he did.”

With the Rays scheduled to use an opener for the next two consecutive games, and having to iron out the pitching plan Friday after Blake Snell landed on the injured list with a fractured right fourth toe, the seven innings Glasnow provided Tuesday helped the Rays' pitching staff for the next couple of days.

“Every game the goal is to go as deep as I can and just let the bullpen come in after,” Glasnow said. “Our team is so good that you get a couple [runs] in a game and there’s a lot of confidence there. It’s definitely good to go and get those seven innings."

Offensively, Avisail Garcia continued to swing a hot bat and gave the Rays a 3-2 lead in the fourth inning with a two-run home run against Baltimore starter Dylan Bundy. Garcia hit 11 balls with an exit velocity of 100 mph or greater during the recent nine-game road trip, and his home run Tuesday had an exit velocity of 105.1 mph and traveled 427 feet. He finished 2-for-4 on Tuesday with three RBIs and a stolen base.

“I’m just feeling great,” Garcia said. “Trying to put the ball in play. Trying not to do too much. Early on, I was trying to do too much. Now I’m focused on putting the ball in play and don’t try to do too much.”

Garcia has played a key role in the Rays' lineup of late, slashing .452/.485/.710 with two home runs and seven RBIs over the past seven games.

“We’re going to have some challenging decisions someday when [our injured players] get healthy again,” Cash said. “But [Garcia] is a tough guy not to have in the lineup, that’s for sure. We like when he comes up in game situations, big at-bats. It can change a game for us, and it did tonight.”

Tommy Pham extended his franchise-best on-base streak to 48 games with a walk in the fourth inning, while Kevin Kiermaier extended his hitting streak to six games.

Juan Toribio covers the Rays for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @juanctoribio.