Rays dominate Reds to move to 16-3

by Gary Shelton on April 20, 2023

in general

Thursday, 4 a.m.

When you talk about the hot start of the Tampa Bay Rays, perhaps you should begin with the long ball.

After all, who looked at this lineup and saw muscle before the season began? Who thought the fences would be threatened?

Yet, in 19 games, the Rays have 42 homers. They are one away from tying the major league record for most consecutive games with a home run.

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Or, maybe, you should talk about the pitching. Sure, there are holes in the rotation with three pitchers hurt, but the Rays threw another shutout on Wednesday, tying the major league record with six in their first 19 games.

Then there is the offense as a whole. The Rays have 29 hits in their last two games. They've scored 18 runs. They've scored 137 times so far. and they've scored at least eight runs in 10 different games.

These days, there are a lot of ways to start talking about the excellence of the Rays. Yeah, they run into trouble sometimes on bullpen days, but they've been a shock to the league so far.

Take Wednesday, when the Rays won 8-0, hours after winning 10-0. The Rays jumped all over the Reds in the first, scoring six times on seven hits and then putting it on cruise control.

Pitcher Dennis Rasmussen started in the game, throwing five shutout innings and responding to a loss to Toronto. "I didn't think he was as bad as he thought he was," Rays' manager Kevin Cash said.

Randy Arozarena had three hits for Tampa Bay. Yandy Diaz had two (including his sixth home run). Bandon Lowe also had two hits.

The Rays have today off, then play the Chicago White Sox at Tropicana Field on Friday at 6:40 p.m. The Rays have not announced a starter, but the Sox will start Michael Kopech.

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