Are we sure the game started at 6:10 central time? I could have sworn that’s when the game started, but I’m not entirely sure that was the case because the Royals were serving up batting practice to the Rays.
Edinson Volquez’s fastball looked lifeless, his velocity was down, and everything looked kind of around the middle of the plate. A double and a single followed by a sacrifice fly scored the first run of the game for the Rays. Brad Miller singled to put men on first and second for Volquez to balk them over a base. That didn’t matter.
On a low and inside changeup, Steven Souza Jr sort of squatted and got his bat out in front of the pitch to drive it just inside the left field foul pole for a three-run home run. Volquez later allowed a triple to Nick Franklin on a meaty middle-middle changeup, but luckily no one was on base. Franklin ended up not scoring. So ... I heard the game start time was pushed back to like 6:30? That means the first four runs didn’t count, right? ...
... Because batting practice continued in the third "inning", if that’s what we’re calling this. Volquez got Brad Miller to a 1-2 count before throwing a fastball on the outside corner. Miller took it deep to center field for another home run, making the score 5-0. Volquez allowed more baserunners in the inning but managed to get the rest of the outs before the Rays scored any more.
The fifth inning saw a little more bad play. Miller dinked a weak grounder back to Volquez, but he could not cleanly field the ball. Miller moved to second base on a fielder’s choice to Eric Hosmer, who opted not to go for the double play and tagged first. A Franklin single up the middle brought home Miller to make it 6-0.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, the Rays decided they were done receiving batting practice from Volquez and had the Royals switch to Chien-Ming Wang. Wang immediately gave up a three-run homer to Kevin Kiermaier.
Wang then loaded up the bases with no outs, after which he received a gift-wrapped double play. Instead of accepting the gift, Wang threw it behind his shoulder and ignored it. Wang got a comebacker to the mound with plenty of time to get the forceout at home, but Wang opted to throw to second base. The throw was off target, and everyone was safe. The Rays scored two more runs off groundouts to make it 11-0.
The Royals decided to stop batting practice and give the Rays some plate discipline practice. Brian Flynn pitched the seventh and got into a bases loaded situation with no outs, which included two walks. Flynn got a line drive out and then walked Corey Dickerson to force in a run. Franklin blasted a pitch to deep left field, but Jarrod Dyson caught it just shy of the warning track for the third out. Somehow, only one run scored despite there being three walks in the inning.
The rest of the game proceeded without much fanfare. Both teams were simply preparing for the real game, yes?
Now the actual game starts, right? The innings that will actually count against the standings and final score? I’m pretty sure West Coast games are just getting underway.