Five-run third inning carries Rays past Braves
Yoshi Tsutsugo drove home two as the Tampa Bay Rays batted around in a five-run third inning en route to their fourth consecutive victory, a 5-2 triumph over the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday night at St. Petersburg, Fla.
After an eight-run inning Monday, the Rays broke out in a frame again, aided by three walks from Atlanta starter Kyle Wright (0-1), while also stringing together three consecutive run-scoring hits.
Tampa Bay starter Yonny Chirinos allowed four hits and one unearned run over four innings in his 68-pitch season debut. He struck out four and walked two.
Working a scoreless fifth, Rays right-hander Pete Fairbanks (1-0) fanned Ronald Acuna Jr., Ozzie Albies and Freddie Freeman, who ended the day striking out four times.
Six Rays pitchers allowed six hits, two unearned runs and struck out 12.
Tsutsugo and Jose Martinez were both 2-for-4, with Martinez adding an RBI to the two from Tsutsugo.
Tampa Bay first baseman Ji-Man Choi (right shoulder stiffness) left the game in the ninth after a diving defensive play in the seventh.
A first-round draft pick from Vanderbilt, Wright only lasted 2 2/3 innings and gave up five runs on four hits and struck out three.
Albies (2-for-4) and Marcell Ozuna produced RBI singles.
Chirinos ran into trouble in the top of the third against the bottom of the Braves’ order as Ender Inciarte reached on Choi’s fielding error and Alex Jackson doubled. But after a walk to Acuna to fill the bases, the right-hander struck out Albies and Freeman on swinging third strikes.
Ozuna then lined a 2-2 splitter to left for a 1-0 lead, but Chirinos retired Matt Adams on a popup to end the threat.
Wright walked the bases loaded in the bottom half with two outs, and Tsutsugo stroked a single to right to score Kevin Kiermaier, who stole second, and Brandon Lowe as the Rays took their first lead. Martinez looped a flair in front of Ozuna to score Yandy Diaz for a 3-1 edge, and Joey Wendle grounded an RBI single to right to chase Wright and later scored on a wild pitch by Josh Tomlin.
Albies singled in Johan Camargo in the seventh, but Oliver Drake tossed a perfect ninth for his second save.
—Field Level Media