Rays’ bats stay hot in victory over A’s

by Gary Shelton on April 8, 2023

in general

Saturday, 4 a.m.

How long is it before a nice start becomes a misconception?

The angry-hitting Tampa Bay Rays, the surprise of Major League Baseball so far, were at it again Friday. Once again, they hit homers, and once again, it meant victory, and once again the team cruised.

For the Rays, it was just another day at the office.

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The Rays, who didn't figure to hit a whole lot this season, have scalded the baseball in their franchise-record 7-0 start. They've scored 53 runs, and they've had 67 hits, and they've hit 18 homers. For a team in a hurry to win over its skeptics, they do a lot of jogging around the basepaths.

This time, the Rays beat Oakland 9-5, the seventh straight win of at least four runs.

The Rays got a grand slam from Isaac Paredes in the second inning, and got solo homers from Harold Ramirez, Manuel Margot, Christian Bethancourt and Wander Franco.

The Rays also had stellar defensive plays from Jose Siri (who threw a runner out at home and ran down a deep fly in center), Taylor Walls (who had a diving stop and shoveled another ball to first with his glove hand).

Paredes broke the game open in the second. After the Rays loaded the bases, both Yandy Diaz and Franco struck out. But Paredes hit the third pitch of his at-bat 355 feet to left to break open the game.

Rays' manager Kevin Cash said he was impressed with "the way we answered back." He said that "We could have gotten frustrated after Yandy's and Wander's at bats, but Isaac put together a really good at bat."

Parades had three hits on the day.

Zach Eflin, who signed a free agent contract with the Rays in the off-season, ran his record to 2-0.

The Rays try to keep their streak going today at 4:10 p.m. at Tropicana Field. Jeffrey Springs will start for Tampa Bay against Shintaro Fujinami of the A's.

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