The Tampa Bay Rays hold the lead in the American League East, but three losses in their previous four games had them looking for some answers.
On Friday night, in an effort to get right, the Rays opted to go all left.
Manager Kevin Cash batted nine pure left-handers in his order against Boston Red Sox right-hander Andrew Triggs, the first time that has happened in the majors in the modern era (since 1900), according to research by ESPN Stats & Information.
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) September 11, 2020
The gambit paid dividends, with Tampa Bay beating Boston 11-1.
Several teams have started a lineup in which all nine batters have hit from the left-hand side of the plate, but Friday marked the first time that none of those players were switch-hitters, per ESPN Stats & Info data.
Boston manager Ron Roenicke said when bench coach Jerry Narron gave him the Rays’ lineup, he thought it was wrong.
“We knew we were left-handed-heavy coming into the season and we’ve added a couple of left-handed hitters,” Cash said before Friday’s game. “Just thinking about it last night, we don’t know Triggs very well. We have him as a pretty big [splitter] guy. We’re not even sure how deep he’ll go in the game, but we know we have plenty of right-handers [so] that if they decide to go left-handed at certain points, we have options.”
The Red Sox used Triggs, a 31-year-old claimed off waivers from the San Francisco Giants last month, as an opener and he pitched just one inning.
Left-hander Matt Hall, who gave up six hits and four runs across 2⅓ innings, took the loss for Boston.