Sometimes, baseball makes no sense. None at all. Sometimes, it is a bizarre, unexplainable game filled with strange bounces.
Take the Tampa Bay Rays’ 8-7 victory over the Detroit Tigers Wednesday. It was a confusing mess of a game in which everything you thought you knew was no longer true.
For instance, the Tigers launched a comeback when gold glover Kevin Kiermaier missed a fly ball, leading to a three-run triple.
For instance, the Rays came back from that when Juan Iglecias tripped over second base on a tailor-made double-play ball and threw wildly to first, allowing two runs to score.
For instance, the Rays knocked in the winning run with a routine groundball that would have ended the game with Detroit winning. It was misplayed, and Tampa Bay won.
Yeah. It was like that.
The Rays are now 7-2 at home on the year (1-6 on the road) and have won each of their three series this year. The Rays had 14 hits, including three each by Kiermaier and Evan Longoria. Corey Dickerson, Brad Miller, Steven Souza Jr. and Shane Peterson all had two.
The most surprising effort of the night, however, was by reliever Travis Pruitt. Pruitt had made six appearances this year, and he had given up a run in all of them. In all, he had a 15.88 ERA. But Wednesday night, he threw three and one-third inning and allowed only one hit and no runs to get his first major league win.
Pruitt said one of the keys was first-pitch strikes. “If you can do that, you’re in the driver’s seat,” he said. “If not, you’re in the passenger’s seat.”
Said manager Kevin Cash: “I really don’t know. I want to say that he’s been snake-bit by some unfortunate luck. He’s given up some hard-hit balls. We know this guy is going to be around the plate and he generally pitches ahead in the count. If it was anything, it was probably he was able to turn it into three innings where he could control the count a little better.”
The sight of Kiermaier failing to make a catch was shocking. He suggested the ball may have knuckled on him.
“Sloppy,” Kiermaier said. “We’ll take it anyway we can. I missed that ball. That’s a play I expect to make. Something went wrong with it, but I need to catch that. I hold myself accountable.”
The Rays play the Tigers again at 1:10 p.m. Erasmo Ramirez pitches against Daniel Norris.