Former Covington Catholic and University of Kentucky catcher Luke Maile singled with the bases loaded in the sixth inning to knock in two pivotal runs in the Tampa Bay Rays’ 5-3 victory against the New York Yankees on Sunday in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Maile, a rookie known much more for his defense than his offense, had struck out with the bases loaded in the second inning. In the sixth, the Yankees’ Michael Pineda intentionally walked Nick Franklin to load the bases again and set up Maile’s heroics.
“That won’t be the last time that happens,” Maile, with a smile, told MLB.com. Maile, who was 1-for-3 Sunday, is batting .206 with five RBI in 34 at-bats for the Rays.
“Obviously, it’s a great feeling,” Maile said. “Just helping the team win. Defense is obviously something I take a lot of pride in. But any time the offense clicks it’s a good feeling.”
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Rays Manager Kevin Cash told MLB.com that Maile’s single was a “big knock.”
“I was glad he got one through the middle there and was able to separate it a little bit for us. We needed those runs,” Cash said.
Cash also praised Maile’s dependable defense.
“He blocked tremendously well,” Cash told MLB.com. “By the third inning we were already complimenting him on what he was doing. Bases-loaded situations. Guys on base. He really hunkered down and did a tremendous job.”