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Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays’ 7-1 win over Orioles

Zunino comes through; an opener for Alvarado; Richards eases concerns.
Rays catcher Mike Zunino celebrates with reliever Aaron Slegers after defeating the Orioles on Friday, Aug. 23, 2019. [JULIO CORTEZ | Associated Press] [JULIO CORTEZ | AP]
Published Aug. 24

• Austin Meadows had the big hit in the Rays’ seven-run second inning, but the two-run single by struggling Mike Zunino ahead of that was also important — for them and for him.

• Trying Jose Alvarado as an opener today makes sense. He hasn’t been able to throw strikes consistently and doing so helped Diego Castillo and Ryne Stanek when they had similar issues.

• Trevor Richards not only gave the Rays six solid shutout innings Friday but, at least for now, eased their concerns going forward as he looks like someone they can count on . They need all the innings they can get.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Most Valuable Ray? It could be All-Star Charlie Morton or All-Star Austin Meadows. MARC TOPKIN  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Also up for discussion in Rays Tales: Most pleasant among many surprises and biggest of several disappointments.
  2. Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Tyler Glasnow throws to the Los Angeles Angels during a baseball game Monday, Sept. 16, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) MARCIO JOSE SANCHEZ  |  AP
    Rays have will Tyler Glasnow on the mound making his third start, the Red Sox are planning a bullpen day.
  3. Pete Alonso, left, celebrates his majors-leading 50th home run with Mets teammate Jeff McNeil, a two-run shot against the Reds on Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. JOHN MINCHILLO  |  AP
    The rookie out of Plant High and Florida moves within two of the all-time rookie record.
  4. The results say Rays manager Kevin Cash was one batter too late when he removed Charlie Morton from the game on Friday night against the Red Sox. But that doesn't mean the decision was wrong. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Manager Kevin Cash rolled the dice by keeping Morton on the mound in the seventh inning against the Red Sox on Friday. The decision says a lot about a manager’s faith.
  5. The Rays' Nate Lowe grounds into a fielder's choice in the seventh, but his hustle down the line avoids the double play and opens the door for the Rays to take the lead later in the inning against the Red Sox on Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Nate Lowe’s hustle pays off big; one batter too long for Morton; Cash’s sense of urgency continues.
  6. Willy Adames, center without cap, is swarmed by his Rays teammates moments after his walkoff single in the 11th inning beats the Red Sox 5-4 on Friday, Sept. 20, 2019, at Tropicana Field. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Rays 5, Red Sox 4 (11): Willy Adames wins it with a walkoff single after the Rays blow a 4-2 lead in the ninth.
  7. Rays pitcher Tyler Glasnow, center, is removed from the game with forearm tightness in the sixth inning against the Yankees on May 10, 2019, at the Trop. ALLIE GOULDING  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The right-hander gets his third start since coming off the injured list and is looking for a longer outing.
  8. The Rays take on the Red Sox in a crucial four game series.
  9. Tampa Bay Rays' Travis d'Arnaud hits against the Los Angeles Angels during a baseball game Monday, Sept. 16, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) MARCIO JOSE SANCHEZ  |  AP
    Travis d’Arnaud will be behind the plate, Charlie Morton on the mound as Rays start play tied for second wild-card.
  10. Charlie Morton starts tonight for the Rays against Boston's Rick Porcello. MARK J. TERRILL  |  AP
    Rays open final homestand tonight vs. Red Sox tied with Indians for second AL wild card with nine games left.
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