But here's guessing the Rays skipper didn't know that 19-year-old rookie Jurickson Profar would imply that his acting skills played a role in that very slim margin. After hitting a go-ahead double in the top of the 10th off reliever Kyle Farnsworth, Profar said he had acted scared on a down-and-in "welcome to the big leagues" pitch that led off his at-bat.
Profar responded by dodging the first pitch and falling to the ground for a few seconds before taking a long walk out of the batter's box, apparently to show that he had been shaken. Whether or not Farnsworth interpreted those cues as an invitation to throw inside again is unknown. But he threw his second pitch to the same area and Profar responded by taking it down the line for a RBI double that scored Geovany Soto from second.
"I was acting like I was scared so he could throw the same pitch," Profar told ESPN Dallas 103.3's Eric Nadel and Matt Hicks after the win. "He did, and I got a good swing on it."
Profar probably doesn't deserve an Academy Award for simply playing possum on top of home plate, but you do have to admire the fact that such trickery was going through his mind in only his ninth big-league plate appearance.
You also have to admire his courage for actually admitting to such an attempt. Because if there's anything a veteran like Kyle Farnsworth likes less than being beaten by a teenage rookie, it's having that rookie tell the media that he had pulled a fast one on his elder. It'll be interesting to see if the Rays have another purpose pitch waiting for Profar — and if he'll be ready for it again — if he plays on Sunday.