KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Nate Lowe opened his eyes the morning after making his big-league debut Monday wanting to be sure it was real.
“I woke up and took some time to process that I’m actually in Kansas City right now,’’ he said. “I don’t know, it was kind of cool to think about where I was over the last couple days and even more so over the last year, you know? … It was still kind of feeling surreal.’’
But there were plenty of tangible reminders of how real it was, how all the work he put in to climb from Class A to Double A and then Triple A last season to be positioned for the call-up as the Rays needed a lefty bat.
His phone, for example, which is “out of control” with hundreds of congratulatory messages he feels he hasn’t yet been able to return: “Between Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and text messages and all of it I’m like a) Why do I have all this social media? And b) How do I know this many people?” ‘’
There’s the ball from his first hit and the lineup card that clubhouse manager Ryan Denlinger has for him to have to mark the occasion.
The family photo he took after the game on the field with his parents and younger brother Josh, who conveniently had an off-day from playing for the Rays Montgomery team.
And there was the postgame celebration, as he got put in a laundry cart and rolled into the shower, then doused with baby powder, plus beer, milk and other assorted items he couldn’t specify. “I had my eyes closed for 15 minutes so I couldn’t tell you,’’ he said. “Pretty much everything. I got the whole (food groups) triangle.’’
Garcia’s costly two-step
The Rays got taken out of a promising scoring opportunity in the fourth inning of the opener on an interesting call. Avisail Garcia, an eight-year veteran, was called out for not retouching second on his way back to first when Kevin Kiermaier’s liner to center was caught. There was plenty of confusion, including whether Garcia touched second the first time. He said he didn’t so figured he didn’t have to re-touch. It appeared he stopped on the base, and manager Kevin Cash shared that view, saying “I’m not sure his foot ever came off the bag.’’ Bottom line, Cash said, is the “unique rule” is that if any part of a runner’s body crosses the “imaginary line” the runs through the middle of the base a re-touch is necessary. “It was confusing,’’ Garcia said. “But you never know what they’re going to call so it’s my fault.’’
Beeks saves the day in losing effort
After opener Ryne Stanek put the Rays in a 3-0 hole in the first inning of the opening game, Jalen Beeks saved the day, or at least the bullpen. Beeks worked 6 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing one hit and two walks. “Can’t say enough about the way Jalen Beeks came in and threw the ball and really, really saved our bullpen for a doubleheader and even potentially for (Thursday),’’ Cash said. “He was outstanding. … I thought he had everything going (Wednesday). The changeup was good, drove some fastballs by some guys which was good to see.’’
Wednesday was the 28th doubleheader in Rays history, and they have a 4-13-11 record. … It was their ninth traditional (as opposed to day-night) doubleheader, and they are now 1-3-5. … With Wednesday’s DH and Thursday’s matinee series finale, the teams will play three games in roughly 28 hours. … This was the third time in their 22 years the Rays had two games postponed on the same roadtrip, but the first in different cities. They were also rained out Friday in Boston.
Numbers of the day
Runs allowed by Rays in the first innings of their first 28 games; runs allowed by Rays in the first innings of Wednesday’s two games.
* Reliever Hunter Wood said daughter Ricki Joe was doing well after being released Tuesday from NICU at the Fayetteville, Ark., hospital where she was born Easter Sunday, five-six weeks premature. The family was headed to meet him in Kansas City Wednesday night.
* Reliever Austin Pruitt was added as the 26th man for the second game of the doubleheader, worked the final two innings, then returned to Durham.
* The Rays seem likely to need a starter or bulk-inning guy this weekend in Baltimore. Yonny Chirinos could work Saturday, but with Beeks throwing 84 pitches Wednesday, they likely will make a call-up, with Ryan Yarbrough and Jake Faria among those available.
* The announced attendance, based on tickets sold for what was to be a night game, was 11,411 but there was considerably less, with only a few hundred for the start of the first game at 12:15 local time.
* Shortstop Willy Adames put a quick end to his latest skid, 0-for-14 and 1-for-20, with a two-run double in the second inning of the opener.