Rays made history in Friday’s win over Angels, Shohei Ohtani (2024)

Published Aug. 19, 2023|Updated Aug. 20, 2023

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Rays tripled down on history in Friday’s victory over the Angels.

First, they hit into a triple play for the fourth time in franchise history, and first since April 27, 2014, against the Yankees.

Then, they became just the fifth team to hit into a triple play and give up a grand slam in the same game — and only the second to win, joining Cleveland in a Sept. 7, 1979, game vs. Toronto.

The Rays had Yandy Diaz on third and Randy Arozarena on first with no outs and the score 6-6 in the ninth inning when Harold Ramirez started the sequence with a ground ball to shortstop Luis Rengifo.

“I don’t want to do that, but that happened,” Ramirez said. “I’m in the history.”

The Angels got the first two outs relatively easily, forcing Arozarena at second and getting Ramirez at first.

They got the third when Yandy Diaz decided to break from third to home, in part to test debuting rookie first baseman Nolan Schanuel (a 2023 draft pick from Florida Atlantic), and he was thrown out.

“What I was thinking was that hopefully the second baseman either didn’t see me and then after he made the throw, that hopefully the first baseman was going to make a bad throw,” Diaz said, via team interpreter Manny Navarro. “But obviously everything turned out pretty well for them.”

Manager Kevin Cash took some of the blame, saying he put Diaz in a bad spot since he could have used speedy Jose Siri as a pinch runner.

The other triple plays the Rays hit into came Aug. 16, 2011, at Boston, and June 11, 2006, at Kansas City. (The Rays have made three triple plays, last on Sept. 27, 2011, versus the Yankees.)

The grand slam hit by Shohei Ohtani in the second inning made Friday’s more notable. The other teams to allow a slam and hit into a triple play are the Padres, on May 17, 2002, versus the Mets; Blue Jays, Sept. 8, 2017, versus Tigers; and Astros, May 22, 2019, versus White Sox.

Welcome back for Kittredge

Rays made history in Friday’s win over Angels, Shohei Ohtani (1)

So much for Cash’s plan to allow Andrew Kittredge “some time to get his footing” in his return to action after rehabbing from June 2022 Tommy John surgery.

Having taken a 9-6 lead in the top of the 10th inning Friday, the Rays put the veteran right-hander on the mound to close out a hard-fought win and earn a save in the process.

“Kind of not how we drew it up,” Cash said. “But certainly we’ll take that. It was good to see Kitt back. The one thing you count on with Kitt, he’s going to throw strikes and in those situations, you need that more than anything.”

Pitching in

The tradeoff for playing a doubleheader Saturday, with the rescheduling done to avoid impact from Hurricane Hilary, is having two days off before the next game. So by the time the Rays host the Rockies on Tuesday, they would have everyone who played Saturday ready for more action. “I think it’s going to be a good rest day,” said Isaac Paredes, via team interpreter Manny Navarro.

Rays made history in Friday’s win over Angels, Shohei Ohtani (2)

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And the starters should also be well rested, as Zack Littell will pitch Tuesday on two extra days of rest, as will Aaron Civale on Wednesday. The Rays are deciding what to do after that; Zach Eflin seems likely to be slotted in on Thursday on regular rest, with Tyler Glasnow getting an extra day before facing the Yankees on Friday,

Doubling up

Saturday was the Rays’ 40th doubleheader overall and third this season, having split with Boston on June 3 and swept Kansas City on July 15. Overall the Rays are 8-14-18 in doubleheaders, and 5-10-11 in day-night affairs. … Right-hander Cooper Criswell served as the 27th man and pitched the final two innings of the nightcap.

Miscellany

An update is expected by Monday on the status of shortstop Wander Franco, who has been on the restricted list for a week and is being investigated by Major League Baseball and authorities in the Dominican Republic after allegations of relationships with minors. ... Glasnow threw a mis-gripped curveball to Ohtani in the opener Saturday that bounced on the grass well in front of home plate, carrying maybe 50 feet. “That was a new one for me,” Glasnow said. ... The 18 runs in Saturday’s second game were one off the team record, done most recently on July 14, 2018, at Minnesota.

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Rays made history in Friday’s win over Angels, Shohei Ohtani (2024)
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