ST. PETERSBURG – For much of Wednesday night, the most interesting topic was whether Tyler Glasnow’s effective and efficient start would allow him to break the Rays’ five-plus run without a full game, the longest drought in the history of the major leagues.
In the end, that’s how the Rays rallied to win 2-1 after taking a 1-0 lead early in the ninth inning when reliever JP Feyereisen gave Andrew Benintendi a homerun.
The Rays won it in the 10th when Manuel Margot made a single to Kevin Kiermaier, who started the round as a runner in the second and moved to the third on the Taylor Walls deep flyover.
Glasnow did his part, excluding the Royals for an impressive eight innings, allowing three hits and striking out 11 while throwing 102 shots.
If he hadn’t thrown 22 shots in the eighth, or if the Rays had extended their lead, he might have had a chance to start the ninth. Instead, Rays manager Kevin Cash went to Feyereisen, the reliever acquired from the Brewers on Friday, and he gave up a first home run against Benintendi on a 2-2 pitch that tied the score.
The Rays haven’t pitched a full game since Matt Andriese did so on May 14, 2016, all 725 games since the longest drought in major league history.
Glasnow pulled out the first 13 Royals on Wednesday, not allowing his first baserunner until Kelvin Gutierrez chose with a putout in the fifth. He gave up just two more hits, a two-hitter single later in the fifth to Adalberto Mondesi and a two-out single by Whit Merrifield in the eighth.
His performance was a significant improvement from his last outing on Friday, when he gave the Blue Jays five runs on nine hits in 4 2/3 innings while striking out just two.
After scoring 95 points in 11 straight wins, the Rays were limited to one in their streak loss on Tuesday. And they didn’t do much on Wednesday, hitting just four hits in total.
They rose on the board in the fourth, Mike Brosseau pulling one out from a Royals left starter Mike Minor, moving to second on Joey Wendle’s right and scoring on a Mike Zunino single.
The Rays played excellent defense.
Brett Phillips made the first remarkable play. Starting in front of Kiermaier in the middle and playing like him, Phillips ran back and to his right to shoot a Benintendi to finish first. (Kiermaier made two spectacular catches on Tuesday, both on balls hit by Benintendi.)
Third goal Brosseau was next, diving to his left to make a save, then a throw, on a Salvador Perez shot that opened the second.
Shortstop Joey Wendle passed behind second to catch a ball hit by fast Jarrod Dyson, then bounced off a pitch that first baseman Yandy Diaz stretched and grabbed.
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