Game Recap 9/3/23 | Guardians Lose To The Rays 6-2

September 3, 2023

Andy Billman

Post-Game Live Recap

3 Things About Guardians Loss to Tampa Bay Rays:

1 – Bullpen Implosions and Late Errors

The Guardians bullpen and defense cost them late in the game.  Trevor Stephan gave up the game-winning single in the 8th and Eli Morgan gave up two earned in the 9th, three runs total off of two errors one by Morgan and the other by Jose Tena. 

2 – Welcome Back Josh!

Josh Naylor in his first game back in over a month was one for four with an RBI single to tie up at four in the bottom of the 5th.

3 – Jose 

The usually dependable Jose Ramirez did not have a good series against the Rays going 1 for 13 and on Sunday was 0 for 4.

Game Summary

In the eighth inning of Sunday’s series finale between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cleveland Guardians, Taylor Walls came through with a crucial single that drove in the go-ahead run. This single helped the Rays secure a 6-2 victory and salvage the series.

Walls delivered a sharply hit single to the right field off Trevor Stephan (6-5), bringing home Jose Siri. Siri had previously walked with two outs and successfully stolen second base to set the stage for Walls.

René Pinto contributed significantly with a two-run homer for the Rays, and they added three more runs in the ninth inning, courtesy of Cleveland reliever Eli Morgan.

The Guardians struggled at the plate, managing only five hits, and missed an opportunity to close the gap on the Minnesota Twins in the AL Central division, remaining five games behind. The Twins, who lost 6-5 to Texas, are set to begin a critical three-game series at Progressive Field on Monday.

Colin Poche (10-3) secured the win for Tampa Bay, while Pete Fairbanks extinguished a ninth-inning threat from Cleveland, earning his 19th save.

Josh Naylor, making his first appearance since July 31 due to an oblique injury, made a significant impact for Cleveland with a game-tying RBI single in the fifth inning against Rays starter Taj Bradley, knotting the score at 2-2.

Cleveland had sorely missed Naylor’s presence in their lineup, and his return comes at a crucial juncture in the season.

In the sixth inning, Cleveland’s right fielder, Ramón Laureano, made a remarkable sliding catch on the warning track, preventing extra bases and keeping the game tied.

Taj Bradley, making his first appearance for the Rays since July 29 and his first-ever against Cleveland and the AL Central, showcased a strong start. Bradley began the season with a 3-0 record in April but encountered difficulties in June. After a challenging July with a 0-3 record and a 7.89 ERA, he was sent down to Triple-A Durham. However, he was recalled for this game as Tampa Bay placed reliever Jason Adam on the injured list.

Guardians starter Xzavion Curry held the Rays in check until the third inning when an error by second baseman Tyler Freeman opened the door for Tampa Bay’s offense. Freeman’s errant throw to first allowed Taylor Walls to reach base, setting the stage for Tampa Bay’s offensive surge.

Up Next

In a surprising move last week, Cleveland claimed Lucas Giolito (7-11, 4.45) along with two relievers off waivers from the Los Angeles Angels, and now he’s set to make his debut. Pablo López (9-7, 3.72) will be taking the mound for the Twins.

Monday 9/4 6:10 PM EST – Game 1 Versus Minnesota Twins

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