How long will strong hitting last for Rays?

by Gary Shelton on July 6, 2022

in general

Wednesday, 4 a.m.

The bats returned Tuesday night. Once again, there was electricity to the offense of the Tampa Bay Rays. Once again, they had a little firepower in their lineup.

But will it last?

The Rays had a good night against the Boston Red Sox in Tuesday night's 8-4 victory over Boston. But a half-season of baseball suggests that the Rays' sticks will continue to fade in and out.

On the other hand, maybe they won't.

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The Rays were strong for the fourth time in five games in their win over Boston, getting 11 hits and eight runs. In the last five games, the Rams have 54 hits and 34 runs -- despite being shutout on Monday.

Still, there are reasons to expect more of the Rays than in previous weeks. For instance:

-- Yandy Diaz has owned the leadoff spot.He had three hits Tuesday night, and he has a 10-game hitting streak.

-- Wander Franco has returned to the lineup. He had a hit and three walks Tuesday, and he currently has an eight-game hitting streak.

-- Harold Ramirez has blossomed since being inserted in the daily lineup. He's hitting .314 on the season.

-- Isaac Paredes had two more hits to continue his hot streak. Since June 1, Paredes has eight home runs. The rest of the Rays, combined, have eight home runs.

Oh, the bottom of the Rays lineup continues to struggle. Overall, however, the team seems more dangerous.

Tuesday night, the Rays were potent enough for a three-run first and a four-run fifth. It gave the Rays a 44-37 record at the halfway point.

"I think. we're a good team," Rays' manager Kevin Cash said. "We’ve done well keeping our head above water with some of the losses. We’ve had certainly room for improvement. A group of young guys are getting better. I hope we’re better in the second half."

The Rays' bullpen was the difference in the game, piecing together five innings and allowing only one run.

The key performance was by Ryan Thompson, who has struggled this year, in the fifth inning. Thompson gave up a double and a single to start the inning, then worked his way through Xavier Bogaerts, Christian Vasquez and Trevor Story to get out of the inning.

In the ninth, Jason Adam allowed two singles and a walk but got out of the inning.

The Rays will play Boston again today at 7:10 at Fenway Park. Corey Kluber will start for Tampa Bay against Brayan Bello, who will make his major league debut.

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