Devil Rays 11, Rangers 8.
Last night’s win marked the first time since August 23 of last season that the Rays have won 3 straight. That 3 game streak also came at the hands of Rangers at the Trop when Tampa Bay won the the first 3 of a 4-game set. It was also a season-high in runs scored and only the second time this year the Rays have hit double-digits on the scoreboard. The bright news was that only 1 run came via the home run, when Elijah Dukes connected on the first pitch of the first inning. The Rays are second in the AL in home runs (45) but only rank 9th in batting average (.257) and 10th in OBP (.322). As a result they have fallen to 8th in runs scored (176). Home runs will only carry an offense so far especially when most of those home runs are of the solo variety. The offense has been good, but they need to be more consistent at getting on base and getting timely basehits. Last night they were able to that.
Tonight Scott Kazmir goes to the mound and will try to give the Rays a 4-game winning streak for the first time since May 21 of last season when the Rays completed a 3-game sweep of the Marlins after taking the final game versus the White Sox. Manager Joe Maddon missed two of those while attending his girlfriend’s graduation. He has never been apart of a 4-game winning streak as manager of the Rays.
DEVIL RAYS WEBTOPIA…
- USA Today takes a look at the Rays three young studs, BJ Upton, Elijah Dukes and Delmon Young. This time it is actually a positive look.
Meanwhile, another story is brewing in Tampa Bay, where the perennially future-looking Devil Rays are still looking ahead, but also making strides in the present, thanks in large part to a talented trio.
- Sammy Sosa hit his 597th home run and extended his own record of number of different ballparks in which he has homered, with the Wide World of Sports stadium becoming #45.
- Rocco Baldelli is headed back to the DL. This will likely give Jorge Cantu two more weeks to show that he is indeed a major league hitter…delaying the inevitable.
- Carlos Pena is 14-28 in the past 9 games. Think he hears Greg Norton’s footsteps?
- Greg Norton will workout at the Naimoli Complex rather than continue with his rehab assignment. Akinori Iwamura is projected to play in an extended spring training game next Tuesday or Wednesday.