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Rays' bats stir; Brosseau joins fun in MLB debut

June 23, 2019

OAKLAND -- The Rays took rookie third baseman Michael Brosseau into the showers after their 8-2 win over the A's on Sunday afternoon. And he got drenched. “They took me into the shower, and I don’t know what they dumped on me,” Brosseau said after the traditional dunking to celebrate

OAKLAND -- The Rays took rookie third baseman Michael Brosseau into the showers after their 8-2 win over the A's on Sunday afternoon. And he got drenched.

“They took me into the shower, and I don’t know what they dumped on me,” Brosseau said after the traditional dunking to celebrate someone’s first Major League hit. “It was a good celebration after a good team win like that.”

Box score

Said manager Kevin Cash: “That was pretty cool, a pretty special first at-bat for him.”

Of late, wins don’t come much better than this one for the Rays, perhaps one reason for the overt din of the celebration, which could be heard in the corridors underneath the Oakland Coliseum.

After getting only 15 runs in six games and going 1-5 to tumble further out of first place in the American League East than they had been all season, the Rays turned it around Sunday with a couple of big innings and 15 hits, one shy of the season high. And they picked up a game on the Yankees in the AL East standings for the first time in 10 days. Tampa Bay sits at 4 1/2 games out heading into an off-day Monday.

The Rays had a string of seven consecutive hits to start the fourth inning. Already ahead 3-1, Tampa Bay opened up a seven-run lead and coasted as Ryan Yarbrough pitched six innings of one-run ball after entering the game in the second inning.

“I don’t know if all those hits were a relief to them, but they were a relief to me,” Cash said. “Obviously, there was some frustration there. Today, it was hit after hit after hit. It’s very encouraging.”

No one was more encouraged than leadoff man Travis d'Arnaud, whose fourth homer of the season, a two-run rocket in the third inning, put the Rays up 2-1, starting all that production. On his third team of the season, d’Arnaud also had an RBI hit in the fourth. He had been hitless in nine consecutive at-bats before the homer.

“You’re going to go through ups and downs,” d’Arnaud said. “I’ve noticed with this team that it fights to the end. To have that inning early was really nice, but we knew we had to add on more, and fortunately we did.”

The RBI single from d’Arnaud came between a run-scoring double from Guillermo Heredia and a three-run double from Austin Meadows that effectively put this one away.

The win went to Yarbrough, who for the second time in a week came in after Ryne Stanek served as an opener for an inning. Both Yarbrough and Cash said the key moment of the game was the bottom of the third. The A’s had their 3-4-5 men in the batting order up, but Yarbrough got a quick shutdown inning.

“That was crucial right there,” Yarbrough said. “It was big to give our bullpen some time off and take a big day like this into the off-day."

Brosseau, who went undrafted in 2016 before signing with Tampa Bay, said he would give the ball from his first hit to his father. His only regret was that his family and friends didn’t have enough advance warning to make it to the Bay Area for his debut. But a large contingent will be in Minneapolis on Monday.

“The last 24 hours has been a little bit crazy, for sure,” Brosseau said. “It’s been really exciting. And [playing in front of] my family and friends will be really special.”