Rays’ winning streak gets even more impressive

by Gary Shelton on August 25, 2018 · 2 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Catcher Michael Perez drove in four runs./JEFFREY S. KING

Catcher Michael Perez drove in four runs./JEFFREY S. KING

Saturday, 2 a.m.

What if the Tampa Bay Rays never lose again?

What if the Rays keep the hitting up, and what if the pitchers continue to piece together complete games, and what if the defense continues to excel. What if the Rays go 33-0, break 100 wins and challenge for the second wild-card berth after all?

Okay, what if pigs fly their bacon to your house?

Yeah, yeah. None of that is likely. But the Rays are playing some of their best baseball. They won their sixth straight game (their season high is eight), 10-3, over the Boston Red Sox.

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Beeks ran his record to 3-1./JEFFREY S KING

Beeks ran his record to 3-1./JEFFREY S. KING

It was the eighth time this season the Rays have scored double-digit runs, and the fourth straight game it has had double-digit hits.

The Rays broke the game open early, scoring three times in the second and five times in the third.

It just shows how good Tampa Bay can be when the Rays' hit.

Choi had two hits for Tampa Bay./JEFFREY S. KING

Choi had two hits for Tampa Bay./JEFFREY S. KING

“They’ve been fairly quiet. Not today and maybe not yesterday," Rays' manager Kevin Cash said. "We had a stretch. We found ways to win games against Kansas City. Probably what you’ve seen is the resiliency for them to stay the course and not get too frustrated with themselves because they know they haven’t been swinging the bat as a whole very well. It’s nice these last two days to get six runs and then 10 today.”

Michael Perez drove in four runs for the Rays -- he matched his total from his first 20 games with the Rays combined. Ji-Man Choi, Willy Adames, Brandon Lowe and Perez all had two hits for the Rays.

Adames has been hot offensively for Rays./JEFFREY S. KING

Adames has been hot offensively for Rays./JEFFREY S. KING

Jalen Beeks ran his record to 3-1 with the win. Beeks went 5 1/3 innings and gave up all three earned runs to Boston.

“He was good," Cash said. "I thought he was good. In all fairness, we talked about it before the game, it’s very difficult to go within a 5-6 day span and face the same hitters -- especially as good as these guys -- so he did a good job. I thought our defense played really good behind him.

"I still think the strike-throwing can be better and he will continue to work that  but the stuff plays because he’s doing it -- nine-plus innings with two or three runs against this offense. I think the stuff speaks for itself.”

Said Beeks: “That's probably the best hitting team arguably in the league. So it’s

Cash sees his team go to seven over .500/JEFFREY S. KING

Cash sees his team go to seven over .500/JEFFREY S. KING

always tough getting through the lineup, especially the front part. They beat me up a little bit today. I was just happy to be part of a win. I got out of some jams. It was a lot of fun facing them.”

Having a lead helped, Beeks said.

“It’s a little easier, that’s for sure," Beeks said. "You can throw some more fastballs and try to get ahead, which I didn’t always do. Offense exploded today and it made it a lot easier on the pitchers.”

It was one thing to sweep Kansas City, a bad team going nowhere. Beating the Red Sox was different.

“It’s the best team in baseball by record," Carlos Gomez said. "They have won 90 games and there are still 30-something games to win. This is the type of team that is going to win 100 games. Every time we have the opportunity to beat a team  like that, we are proving that we are really good too ."

The Rays face the Red Sox again today at 6:10 p.m. at the Trop. Ryan Yarbrough (12-5) faces Rick Porcello (15-6).

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Larry August 25, 2018 at 12:12 pm

That’s a shame about Mallex Smith going on the DL. He was the Rays hottest hitter of late. Putting him in the lead off spot in place of Kiemaier was long overdue but has really paid off.

Have to give the Rays credit for sticking with Smith when it seemed like he was over matched. He still makes too many mistakes on the bases but has become vastly improved as a hitter.

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Gary Shelton August 25, 2018 at 4:27 pm

He’s fielded better, too.

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