Garrett Whitley had a career day, reaching base 5 times in as many appearances, finishing 3 for 3 with a double and a home run. (Photo Jim Donten)
The Florida heat wasn’t the only thing hot in Port Charlotte this afternoon as the GCL Rays offense was red hot in a 10-3 win over the GCL Twins.
The Twins took an early lead in the first inning pushing across a run on a solo home run by Blake Schmit to give them a 1-0 lead.
The Rays matched the run and added another in the bottom of the first. Joseph Astacio and Garrett Whitley delivered back to back singles to put the Rays in business. A single to left by Oscar Rojas drove home both runners to give the Rays a 2-1 lead.
But the Twins bounced back with a two run inning of their own in the second. An RBI single by Christian Cavaness and an RBI triple by Scmit gave the Twins the lead again.
The lead didn’t last long as the Rays offense struck again in the bottom of the second, once again doubling their opponents tally. Juan Rodriguez got things started with a single to right. He later scored on an RBI single by Ryan Caldwell to tie the game. Following a walk to Astacio, Whitley cleared the bases with his second pro homer, a three run shot to give the Rays a 6-3 lead.
The Rays added a pair of runs in the seventh. The Rays loaded the bases with no outs following a single by Astacio, a walk to Whitley and Devin Davis getting hit by a pitch. A bases loaded walk to Adrian Rondon and a sac fly by Rafelin Lorenzo extended the lead to 8-3.
The Rays pushed across two more in the eighth, capitalizing on miscues by the Twins. Cody Semler reached on a force and then moved into scoring position following a wild pitch. Caldwell reached on an error, scoring Semler in the process. Then Caldwell moved along the bases and scored following two more wild pitched to give the Rays the 10-3 margin of victory.
Ty Nichols earned the win for the Rays, improving to 2-3 on the season. John Williams picked up his first save of the season.
The Rays now face the Orioles for a two game series with game one in Port Charlotte on Friday.