Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays morning after: Win a (really) long time coming for Rays pitcher Jonny Venters

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- LHP Jonny Venters threw only nine pitches to get the final outs of the eighth inning Tuesday, but that was enough to put him in the right spot to get him the win when the Rays scored in the ninth to take a 6-5 victory over the Royals.

And that was kind of a big deal.

It was Venters’ first win since Aug. 17, 2012, with Atlanta, back before the 2 1/2 more Tommy John surgeries that kept him out of the majors for five-plus years.

RELATED: Don’t call it a comeback as Venters returns after 5-plus season absence

“It was a long time ago,″ Venters said.

It was 2,096 days ago to be exact since the last one.

And in that span 1,059 different pitchers got wins in the majors.

Also:

* Manager Kevin Cash said both runner Mallex Smith and batter Jesus Sucre executed perfectly on the suicide squeeze bunt in the sixth.“Give both a lot of credit,″ Cash said. “Mallex didn’t tip our hand by breaking too early and Sookie in knowing if he can just get it down, Mallex is going to score.″ Sucre said he was having trouble at the plate and was hoping to get the bunt sign so he was glad to help the team.

* INF Joey Wendle has warmed since an 0-for-19 skid but said he wasn’t comfortable at the plate Tuesday until his ninth inning at-bat, when with two outs he singled off Kelvin Herrera to bring in Johnny Field with the winning run. “It feels like of late I’ve been having problems with runners in scoring position which is always frustrating,″ he said. “In a bigger sample size it will even out, so it was good to get a clutch hit.″ Herrera had allowed only one run in his first 14 2/3 innings before Tuesday, and none at home.

* Cash said he gave no consideration to having Denard Span bunt after Field and Sucre singled to start the ninth. “I have so much confidence in his at-bats, and Herrera is so tough, so giving him an out? I know I go back and forth on it ... I thought it was the right thing that (Denard) had the opportunity to knock a guy in.″ Span lined out and C.J. Cron flied out, but Wendle singled to left to score Field.

* The Rays improved to 7-12 in a majors-most 19 one-run games (out of their first 40).

Contact Marc Topkin at [email protected] Follow @TBTimes_Rays

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