Jerry Sands has only played in eight games for the Tampa Bay Rays but he’s certainly come up with some clutch hits.
The Rays have won their last two games, against the Houston Astros on Sunday and the Baltimore Orioles Monday evening, because of Sands.
On Sunday, with Matt Joyce standing on second, Sands ripped a single down the left field line in the top of the eighth inning that gave the Rays a 4-3 lead which they would hold onto.
Then last night, in the bottom of the eighth, after the Orioles had tied the game at 3-3 in the top half of the inning, Sands hit a two-out two-run homer down the left field line that just stayed fair putting the Rays ahead 5-3. They’d win that game 5-4.
Sands has only three hits in 2014. It just so happens that two of them were go ahead knocks that gave the Rays two important wins.
Moving forward though, Sands could help the Rays line-up. For his career he is .246 hitter but hits .302 against lefties. Four of his five career homers have come off of lefties. However, he strikes out over 28 per cent of the time he comes to the plate and rarely walks.
Sands isn’t going to the kind of guy who will be in the starting line-up very often, but he provides pop off the bench and from the DH spot. He hasn’t appeared in the field since 2012 but has never made a fielding error in his major league career.
While the Rays continue to get healthier and hope for the returns of Brandon Guyer and Wil Myers as soon as possible, Sands will get the odd chance to make a meaningful contribution, just like he has the last two days.