The loss came on Pride Night before a sellout crowd at Tropicana Field. All told, the team raised more than $300,000 for the victims of the Pulse Night Club tragedy.
Aside from Brad Miller’s two-out solo shot in the ninth (seen below), the Rays managed just three singles — two of which came in the bottom of the second inning after Logan Morrison and Steve Pearce went back-to-back with base hits to right and center (respectively). Unfortunately Corey Dickerson popped out to short, Desmond Jennings struck out, and Jaff Decker flew out to the wall in center field, ending the threat. That became the only real scoring opportunity against Jeff Samardzija through the front eight innings.
From the third inning on Samardzija allowed just a Jennings single until Miller spoiled the shutout in the ninth. The luck dragons were strong with with the tall righty, who collected an obscene .133 BABIP against.Manager Kevin Cash noted that the fielders behind Samardzija had a lot to do with Tampa Bay’s inability to manufacture runs.
— FOX Sports Florida (@FOXSportsFL) June 18, 2016
On the flip side of things, Archer made quick work of the first two batters before walking Brandon Belt, and allowing a double to right by Buster Posey. Brandon Crawford put San Francisco on the board early with two-run double to left center. The rough go of things in the first highlight Archer’s first inning troubles, as the Rays’ ace has now allowed 16 first inning runs over his last 15 starts (extending back to April 3). Compare that to last season, when he allowed just 14 first inning runs over 34 total appearances.
I think if I don’t walk that guy then things are a little bit different, Archer said after the game. But Buster Posey hit a good pitch there, and the pitch they scored on was not a very well-struck ball. …I felt like if I forced them to put the ball in play, I’m able to minimize the damage and keep it a little closer from the beginning.
The Giants blew the game open in the fourth inning, and it all started with a leadoff walk of Crawford. One out later, Angel Pagan reached on catcher’s interference — a costly mistake on the part of Casali.
A bonehead move on my part, said Casali after the game.
After a wild pitch moved runners up 90 feet, Jarrett Parker worked a bases loading walk. Gregor Blanco followed with a two-run single to left-center, giving San Francisco a four run advantage.
The Giants capped their scoring against Enny Romero in the seventh, after Belt went yard with a two-out solo shot.
Let us not forget that when all was said and done, it was more than just a ball game — it was a time to mourn, a time to come together, and a time to heal.Casali said it best in his postgame interview:
It actually brought a tear to my eye. …Today was more than baseball, it was about honoring those who were taken from us too early in a terrible scenario that nobody can really put in words.
The New What Next
The Rays and Giants play game two of a three-game set on Saturday. LHP Matt Moore will get the start opposite of RHP Albert Suarez, who will make a pinch start for Jake Peavy, who is suffering from neck soreness. Moore, who is making his first appearance against San Francisco, is 2-3 with a 5.65 ERA in nine career interleague starts. The southpaw is coming off his best start of the season vs. the Astros. Suarez, a longtime Rays minor-leaguer, spent seven years with the organization and never got above Double-A. He has appeared in eight games in 2016 (two starts). You can read about the Rays and Giants in our series preview.
Rays 6/18/16 Starting Lineup
— It bears mentioning, the Trop could have been the Giants’ home if a 1992 deal to buy the team and relocate it to St. Petersburg hadn’t been rejected by major-league owners. Conversely, the Giants would be the team seeking a new stadium had the deal gone through.
I grew up in that wasteland of a city, one absent of a Major League Baseball team. And while the St. Petersburg Cardinals scratched my baseball itch to a certain degree, it just wasn’t the same. I think a certain segment of the population takes for granted that we are but one city, out of 30 total, that is fortunate enough to be the home of an MLB franchise. I’d prefer to not regress and lose my small market team, after all there is a certain amount of community pride and esteem that comes with having a big league ball club. How about this: let’s all do a better job in making it out to the Trop to show our appreciation for our current team before it’s too late. It’s time to rally around the Rays, people.