Opening Day washed out. Played the next day, sleepily. Four base-runners. Stranded and silent. Orioles simply too good. If the season is a marathon, this team needs to find its sneakers.
A run in the fourth. Sacrificial fly ball off the bat of Marwin. Radio guys discuss deadened ball. Hint of life from Plawecki. JD with leg-liner RBI. Shadows about to become a problem. Rally in 9th. And then silence. Season begins…or has it?
A nightmare is the subconscious bubbling up images that frighten a person into consciousness. The nightmare series with Baltimore is over. But the season is just beginning.
Pivetta walks four and the tightrope, but when it matters the slide piece slides past Tampa’s bats. A lead at last, that grounder turns two. Game gets easier with a lead, like the scoreboard tells them not to be scared. Then the runs come easy. The game is not a job. Eleven in all on this Monday. A Pesky pole shot for JD. Put one in the W column. Come back tomorrow.
Every season needs a few dustings of magic. Bottom 9, down one, Vasquez sends one soaring…up and over the monster. Wait till the 12th, down one again….JD with a long drive to right…Arozarena gets twisted around…it lands in the grass. Both runners cross the plate. Four and a half hours end with a W. They say that thing about 162: Marathon, not a sprint. This team got a late start, but they’ve also got that underdog mojo. A few more like this one and skeptics will once again become believers….
Day game getaway. Nate throws strikes. Rays cooperate with ground-outs and liners aimed directly at gloves. Vasquez again the spark, JD means just doubles, his 6th in 6 games. A 3–1 lead blooms into 9–1. Sox cruise to a sweep, Xander with 8 hits in the trio. Three days down, now three days up.
Rafael says thank you to Harvey’s 94 mph fastball…set, as if on a tee, in the center of the zone…without doubt, he circles the bases. Eduardo returns to the mound…thankful for health and his lively left arm. Despite giving up a couple blasts, he gets through the fifth, rewarded with a lead before officially exiting. The bats continue to warm, five in the later innings. The streak grows to four.