Rays journal: Why Kevin Cash was yelling at the Pirates

Willy Adames being hit in apparent retaliation set off the Rays manager in 10-4 win.
Tampa Bay Rays Manager Kevin Cash, seen here at an earlier Spring Training game, got a bit heated Sunday when shortstop Willy Adames was hit by a pitch thrown by the Pirates' Clay Holmes. [MONICA HERNDON   |   Times]
Tampa Bay Rays Manager Kevin Cash, seen here at an earlier Spring Training game, got a bit heated Sunday when shortstop Willy Adames was hit by a pitch thrown by the Pirates' Clay Holmes. [MONICA HERNDON | Times]
Published March 3, 2019|Updated March 4, 2019

BRADENTON — In most spring games it’s only the weather that gets people heated up.

But Tampa Bay’s 10-4 win Sunday featured some hot tempers after Willy Adames was hit by a pitch in what the Rays felt was retaliation for two Pirates being hit earlier.

Rays manager Kevin Cash seemed to make that clear, yelling at the Pirates dugout after Clay Holmes hit Adames with two outs in the fourth.

“Two people can watch the same game and see different things,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “I thought a fan was yelling at (catcher Jacob) Stallings and find out Cash was yelling at me. … Nobody’s got any time for (beanballs) in spring training.”

Said Cash: “Didn’t like that Willy got thrown up and in. I’m glad nobody got hurt. That’s it.”

Home plate umpire Bill Welke took it seriously enough to issue a warning to both benches, an unusual step for a spring training game. Rays opener Ryne Stanek hit Jung Ho Kang in the first and Oliver Drake, who started with six straight balls, hit Pablo Reyes in the second.

Holmes said it was not intentional: “It was of one of those situations where I guess you heard stuff from their dugout. There were two outs, the ball slipped out of my hand and got in on him.”

Adames wasn’t sure what to think.

“Things just got heated up,’’ he said. “Just standing there to see what was going to happen. I don’t know, I can’t tell if it was on purpose. But they threw two pitches close to me. … I was like, ‘What’s going on over here?’ It’s weird in spring training, you’re not expecting that.”

Game details

The Rays (6-5) got a leadoff homer from Joey Wendle and a loud three-run shot from Avisail Garcia, who also had an RBI single. “I’m happy to get back to what I used to do,” Garcia said. “The timing is there. I’ve got to keep working and try to stay healthy.” … Stanek retired four of the five batters he faced in his first opener assignment of the spring after coming out of the bullpen twice. “It kind of felt normal,” he said. … Choi continued to show he can handle first base, making an impressive play to corral a low throw. … Relief prospect Colin Poche struck out three of the four batters he faced.

No Jaking

Among the highlights of camp thus far has been pitcher Jake Faria, who is seeking to bounce back from a rough 2018 followup to his impressive rookie season. Faria worked another three solid innings Sunday. “Just how efficient he was in the zone,” Cash said. “Stuff looked good. Breaking ball off the fastball looked good. He’s had a nice spring so far. That’s really, really encouraging. That’s something that we focused on in the offseason and kind of the messaging to him, that last year is last year, and he’s taken that and kind of run with that and really done some good things for us.”

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Spring things

• Outfielder Tommy Pham (profiled in Sunday’s Times) was scratched from the lineup because his right shoulder is “a little tender,” Cash said. Pham likely will be limited to DH duties for the next five days as the Rays put him on a maintenance program, similar to what Austin Meadows did earlier in camp.

• Infielder Yandy Diaz also was scratched due what sounded like general body maintenance, Cash saying he was sore and worn down a bit from all the work he had been getting at two positions, and the heat: “I think it all just caught up with him. Nothing concerning.”

• Third baseman Matt Duffy, scratched from Saturday’s game due to a recurrence of hamstring tightness, will start running again after Monday’s off-day.

• Cash said the break comes at a good time, and they doubled up on off-days for some players so they can go home if they want.

• Minor-league camp opened Sunday in Port Charlotte for 151 players. Minor-league exhibitions begin March 13. The Rays will have quite a room full of talent Monday: a prospect media session will include Wander Franco, Brendan McKay, Ronaldo Hernandez, Matthew Liberatore, Vidal Brujan, Moises Gomez, Shane McClanahan and Tanner Dodson.

Quote of the day

At least they got to have a little conversation.

Stanek, frustrated at hitting Kang but seeing him enjoying talking at first base with Choi, a fellow South Korean; Choi and Kang plan to have dinner Monday

Contact Marc Topkin at Follow @TBTimes_Rays.