Friday, June 22, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Drew Smyly okay in Rays debut

OAKLAND, Calif. — The kid was all right.

While David Price impressed in his much-heralded debut for the Tigers in the Yankee Stadium, Drew Smyly did okay in his first start filling Price's spot in the Rays rotation.

Smyly, 25, pitched into the sixth inning, allowing three runs on seven hits, walking two (one intentional) and throwing two wild pitches while striking out six and throwing 107 pitches (70 strikes). The game was not complete at press time.

Smyly seemed calm, working primarily with a fastball in the 89-90 range and a slider. He insisted going in that he was not trying to replace or be compared to anyone and was focused on being himself. Then he took the mound taking Price's place and wearing James Shields' old No. 33.

The first run Smyly allowed wasn't the result of much, a leadoff single by Alberto Callaspo in the fifth, a sac bunt then a ground ball single by Coco Crisp through the shift.

The second came as Smyly seemed to be tiring in the sixth, and though the Rays had the bullpen in action, Rays manager Joe Maddon left him out there, and it cost them.

After a well-struck out by Jonny Gomes, Derek Norris singled to left and Nate Frieman laced an RBI double into the corner. A horrible relay by shortstop Yunel Escobar not only allowed that run to score but set up the next, as Freiman went to third and scored on Josh Reddick's single off reliever Jeff Believeau.

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