Poche struck out two with no walks through a scoreless and hitless two-thirds of an inning to record his second save against the Red Sox on Monday.
Poche was called upon with one out in the ninth inning with two inherited runners and a three-run lead. Poche made quick work of the Red Sox, striking out the next two hitters to nail down his second save. Emilio Pagan was used to start the ninth inning, but he was pulled after allowing two singles. The 25-year-old has a 4.96 ERA with 69 strikeouts through 49 innings this season.
Poche (5-5) was credited with the win in Wednesday's extra-innings victory over the Dodgers, allowing a hit over a scoreless 10th inning.
Poche needed an ultra-efficient seven pitches to get through the trio of Chris Taylor, Cody Bellinger and the pinch-hitting Jedd Gyorko, despite Taylor notching a leadoff single. It was a resurgent effort from Poche, who'd allowed five earned runs over the 1.2 frames encompassing his three prior appearances, including a pair to these same Dodgers over two-thirds of an inning in Tuesday's series opener.
Poche (4-4) was credited with the victory in an extra-inning win over the Orioles on Monday, firing a scoreless 10th inning during which he allowed a hit.
Poche got the call in the 10th inning after Emilio Pagan had already worked the ninth, and he got through his frame on a relatively efficient 15 pitches. It was just the latest taste of success for the emerging southpaw, who's generated scoreless efforts in six of his last seven trips to the mound. Poche has been charged with four blown saves, but he's amassed 12 holds in addition to his four victories.
Poche pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning to earn his first career big-league save during a 3-1 victory over the Blue Jays on Friday.
The 25-year-old has been credited with three blown saves this season, but now he finally has a save. He usually pitches the middle frames, but the Rays had already used Diego Castillo as an opener, and stayed away from Emilio Pagan for the ninth after he pitched Thursday. Poche owns a 6.46 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and 32 strikeouts in 23.2 innings this season.
Poche, who earned his sixth hold in an extra-innings loss to the White Sox on Saturday, had allowed nine earned runs over his three prior appearances and owns a 12.38 ERA across eight innings over eight relief outings in July.
The 25-year-old left-hander got his major-league career off to a relatively solid start after being called up from Triple-A Durham on June 8, posting a 1-1 record, recording four holds, and generating a 3.65 ERA across the 12.1 innings covering his 12 appearances the remainder of that month. Poche also allowed just an earned run over his first four trips to the mound in July before melting down over the aforementioned three-appearance stretch immediately preceding his outing against the White Sox. Manager Kevin Cash has nevertheless showed patience with his young reliever, and perhaps Saturday's brief (one-third of an inning) but scoreless turn plants the seed for a righting of the ship.
Poche's contract will be purchased from Triple-A Durham prior to Saturday's doubleheader in Boston, Robert Murray of The Athletic reports.
A deceptive lefty with impressive strikeout totals in the minors, Poche has a 6.26 ERA and 1.50 WHIP with Durham this year, but he has also struck out 48 over 27.1 innings. He should be deployed in low-leverage spots initially but could eventually work his way into a setup role.
The Rays reassigned Poche to their minor-league camp Saturday, Juan Toribio of MLB.com reports.
As a lefty relief prospect, Poche shouldn't be on the radar in most dynasty formats, but it's still easy to envision him making an impact in single-season leagues once he gets the call to the majors. The 24-year-old's dominance between three minor-league stops in 2018 was simply staggering, as he posted a 0.82 ERA over 66 innings to go with a 45.6 percent strikeout rate. Poche endured a bumpy spring for Tampa Bay, but if he rediscovers his 2018 form at Triple-A Durham early on this season, he may not have to wait long for a promotion.
Poche received an invite to major-league spring training and is attempting to earn a spot in the Rays bullpen, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Poche was the player to be named later in last spring's Steven Souza trade with Arizona, and compiled a 0.82 ERA, 0.79 WHIP and absurd 110:19 K:BB across 66 innings between Double-A and Triple-A in 2018. The 25-year-old relies on a deceptive low-90s fastball and continued his dominance even after being promoted to Triple-A Durham in May. The left-hander still has a tall task ahead of him to crack the Rays' Opening Day roster, but if he performs remotely close to the level he did at Durham last season he is unlikely to remain in the minors for long.
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