Measuring success: Rays clobber six homers

by Gary Shelton on September 5, 2021

in general

Diaz hit a three-run homer in victory./CHUCK MULLER

Sunday, 4 a.m.

How do you measure just how good the Tampa Bay Rays are?

Well, you can check out the AL East standings, where the Rays now lead the Yankees by 7 1/2 games and the Red Sox by eight games.

Or, perhaps you can check out the flight of their home runs. The Rays clubbed a franchise record-tying six of them (they've done it five times) in Saturday afternoon's 11-4 win over the Minnesota Twins. Those homers -- by six different players -- totaled 2,345 feet.

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It was a smashing effort, so to speak. The Rays hit all six of their homers in the first four innings and coasted. For the game, they had 13 hits.

Going long for the Rays were Yandy Diaz -- who hit a three-run homer -- Jordan Luplow, Manuel Margot, Randy Arozarena, Nelson Cruz and Brandon Lowe. Arozarena was within a double of hitting for the cycle.

"We got a lot good at bats, a lot of power," said Rays' manager Kevin Cash. "Just a lot of damage. Right from the get-go. Randy tripled and Wander hit one up the middle. A lot of guys contributed with home runs. It was good to see."

How do you measure the afternoon. Perhaps you do in time. Chris Archer got the win, his first in 818 days (since June 9, 2018). Archer gave up four earned runs and walked two, but he pitched five innings for the win.

"Congratulations to Arch," Cash said. "I'm happy for him. He was adamant that he felt good after the fourth. I know he’s frustrated with the two-run homer there at the end by (Jorge) Polanco. We felt it was a box he needed to check. It was another step in the right direction."

Looking for another way to measure? How about depth? Dietrich Enns became the 13th Ray to record a save this season, a major league record.

How about history? Wander Franco reached base for his 34th straight game on Saturday. That puts him two games behind Mickey Mantle -- who did it 70 years ago -- for first place in the history of the American League. He's nine behind Frank Robinson (who was playing for the Reds in 1956).

The Rays will try to complete a sweep of the Twins today at 1:05 p.m. at Tropicana Field. Luis Patino will pitch for the Rays against Griffin Jax.

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