Beckham's 'huge play,' big swing boost Rays

Beckham's 'huge play,' big swing boost Rays

ARLINGTON -- Tim Beckham flashed the leather. Then he brought the lumber when the Rays needed it most.

On Monday night, the Rays' shortstop was the difference-maker in the Rays' 10-8 win over the Rangers at Globe Life Park.

"He made a huge play today and got the biggest hit of the game," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "He's doing it on both sides. He's playing with a lot of confidence. Beck, we would all agree that he's pretty confident. ... He wants to be up in those big spots. And it was great to see him come through."

First, the leather.

Pan to the fourth inning when the Rangers held a 5-3 lead and were looking to add more with runners at second and third with one out. Hoping to limit the damage, the Rays brought in their infield with Elvis Andrus hitting.

Andrus smoked a grounder that had an exit velocity of 99 mph, according to Statcast™. Beckham dove to his right, and while not fully on his feet, he snapped a throw home to nail the sliding Robinson Chirinos at the plate. Reliever Ryne Stanek then struck out Nomar Mazara to end the threat.

"Once the ball was hit, I saw [the runner breaking for the plate] kind of out of my peripheral vision," Beckham said. "I just wanted to make a solid throw there. Hopefully I got him in time. You have to make plays. Just trying to make plays for my team and help them win the game."

Beckham brought the lumber in the seventh in the aftermath of pinch-hitter Colby Rasmus' two-run double that tied the game at 7-7. Reliever Tony Barnette intentionally walked the left-handed hitting Kevin Kiermaier to get to the right-handed hitting Beckham.

"That fired me up," Beckham said. "Anytime anybody gives intentional walks for the next batter, it should fire him up. I wanted to see a pitch I could drive and he gave it to me."

Barnette fell behind 1-0 before delivering an 87.9 mph cutter. Beckham connected on the pitch, producing a barreled ball that traveled a projected 403 feet and had an exit velocity of 103 mph with a 31-degree launch angle.

Beckham's go-ahead homer

Beckham's homer put the Rays up, 10-7.

Despite the result, Rangers manager Jeff Banister stuck by his decision.

"Walking Kiermaier to set up the matchup for him against Beckham, we still felt that that was good," Banister said. "We missed with a cutter and looked like it was a cutter flat across the plate that Beckham put a good swing on to hit it out of the ballpark."

Beckham believes Monday night's game personifies this year's Rays.

"It shows how resiliant we are and how much heart with have as a team, and we're not going to go down easy," Beckham said. "We're a problem. We're going to make some noise. We're going to keep on winning."

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for since 2005. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.