Taj Bradley matches his career-best with 11 strikeouts as the Tampa Bay Rays stage a comeback to defeat the Chicago Cubs 3-2

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Taj Bradley pitches in the first inning

Taj Bradley matched his personal best with 11 strikeouts across seven innings, guiding the Tampa Bay Rays to a 3-2 comeback victory against the Chicago Cubs on Thursday night.

With his powerful splitter, Bradley (2-4) allowed only two unearned runs and three hits, showcasing an impressive performance.

“I felt fantastic,” he expressed. “I was thrilled that manager Kevin Cash allowed me to pitch through the seventh inning.”

Bradley’s seven innings matched his highest in the majors, throwing 104 pitches, nine more than his previous high.

Following Cubs starter Justin Steele’s six scoreless innings, the Rays scored three runs in the seventh inning against Mark Leiter Jr. (2-4). Pinch-hitter Josh Lowe contributed with an RBI single, while pinch-hitter Ben Rortvedt added another run with a groundout before Yandy Díaz secured a 3-2 lead with an RBI single.

“We just needed to remove their starting pitcher from the game, and I believe we capitalized on that opportunity,” Díaz mentioned through a translator.

Pete Crow dives to catch the ball

The Rays claimed victory in two out of three games in the series, maintaining an 8-14 record over the last 22 games. Meanwhile, the Cubs have struggled, losing 14 of their last 20 games.

Chicago has been involved in the most one-run games in the league, with a record of 13-15.

“It’s going to benefit us in the long term,” Steele commented. “It’s a lengthy season, and I’m confident we’ll learn from this and emerge stronger.”

Tampa Bay prevented themselves from dropping to five games below .500, which would have equaled their season low, securing their 13th win in 18 one-run games.

Chicago utilized three consecutive bunts to take a 2-0 lead in the fifth inning, with Patrick Wisdom’s sacrifice advancing runners to second and third. A run was scored when catcher Alex Jackson was charged with an error after dropping a throw from third baseman Isaac Paredes on Pete Crow-Armstrong’s bunt, followed by Yan Gomes driving in another run with a sacrifice bunt.


By Ritik

Ritik Katiyar is pursuing a post-graduate degree in Pharmaceutics. Currently, he lives in Srinagar, Uttarakhand, India. You can find him writing about all sorts of listicle topics. A pharmaceutical postgrad by day, and a content writer by night. You can write to him at [email protected]

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