Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Tampa Bay Rays

Bullpen bails out Smyly in Rays' win over Orioles

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ST. PETERSBURG — LHP Drew Smyly could not command his curveball Wednesday, and because of that he could not get through the fourth inning.

It was another short outing by a Rays starter against the powerful Orioles lineup, but this time it didn't hurt because the bullpen allowed one run and one hit over the final 41/3 innings during the Rays' 7-6 victory.

"As far as the pitching side, the bullpen was the story," manager Kevin Cash said.

RHP Ryan Garton replaced Smyly and allowed a run in the fifth inning. From there, it was scoreless innings by RHPs Kevin Jepsen, Brad Boxberger, Danny Farquhar and Alex Colome.

Boxberger picked up the win when Corey Dickerson doubled home Mikie Mahtook in the seventh inning to give the Rays the 7-6 lead.

Colome struck out two in the ninth, including pinch-hitter Pedro Alvarez to end the game, and recorded his 31st save in 33 opportunities.

"Colome is very quietly one of the best closers in baseball," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.

Colome's 93.9 save percentage is second highest in the AL behind Baltimore LHP Zach Britton, who is 40-for-40.

Farquhar is turning into a high-leverage reliever. He pitched the eighth, finishing with strikeouts of Adam Jones and Michael Bourn.

"We're starting to see the guy we anticipated we were going to see," Cash said of the offseason trade with the Mariners that brought Farquhar to the Rays.

DUFFY DONE: SS Matt Duffy did not travel with the team to New York as originally planned. Instead, he will travel Friday to Charlotte, N.C., where he will have his left heel examined by Dr. Robert Anderson. "We'll go from there," Cash said, "but we envision something probably taking place over the weekend." Duffy will have the bone shaved to alleviate the soreness in his Achilles tendon, something that has bothered him since before he joined the Rays.

HELLO NEW YORK: RHP Alex Cobb makes his second start tonight since returning from Tommy John surgery. It comes after his first between-starts routine since the end of the 2014 season.

Cobb said even his bullpen session was more intense now that he has the first start behind him, and he was preparing for the Yankees lineup. He also said he appreciated the extra day off afforded by the six-man rotation. "That one extra day feels like a week off," he said.

As for making that first road start against a contending team?

"I'm going to enjoy it," he said. "I like games that are meaningful at least for them, and the environment will be pretty strong considering they're still in it."

IT'S MIKIE TIME: Mahtook had a season-high three hits, giving him seven in his 11 at-bats since snapping his career-long 0-for-34 slump. "I've been healthy for a while now. It's time for me to play well," he said. "There's no more excuses. It's up to me now to go out there and continue to play the way I know that I can and hopefully replicate what I did last September," when he batted .353 with six homers.

NOTEWORTHY: Dickerson had two hits after having two in his past seven games. … Smyly has allowed 30 home runs, third-most in team history behind RHPs James Shields (34 in 2010) and Tanyon Sturtze (33 in 2002). … The team will match Mahtook's $2,500 donation to the Baton Rouge Assistance Fund to help flood victims. Mahtook was raised in Lafayette, La., and attended LSU. … The Rays Baseball Foundation awarded $140,000 to 28 Tampa Bay-area nonprofits through its Community Fund Grant Program.

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