Rays join in city’s offensive fireworks weekend

by Gary Shelton on September 10, 2018 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Mallex Smith steals home for Tampa Bay./JEFFREY S. KING

Monday, 3 a.m.

Well, look whose all about offense these days.

Tampa Bay is suddenly making scoreboards explode. The Bucs score 48. USF scores 49.

And the Tampa Bay Rays? They've got their offense going, as well.

The Rays completed a three-game sweep of the Baltimore Orioles Sunday afternoon, scoring 32 runs along the way. Tampa Bay has now won eight in a row, and now are a season-high of 14 games over .500.

Smith has become a catalyst for Tampa Bay./JEFFREY S. KING

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Lowe hit a three-run homer for the Rays./JEFFREY S. KING

It was Tampa Bay's 11th straight win at home, tying the 2008 Rays for the longest home winning streak in franchise history. Today, the Rays will go for the first 12-game winning streak since the 2016 Indians.

It was the Rays' third sweep in their last six series.

Tampa Bay jumped to a 7-0 lead, the big hit coming when Brandon Lowe hit a three-run homer. Lowe is hitting .360 over his last eight games with three homers.

“We’ve learned over the course of time that it does take some time," Rays' manager Kevin Cash said. "Not everybody is going to come up here and just pick up where they were in the minor leagues and more times than not that’s not going to happen. So, good for Brandon to stay patient and not get frustrated.”

Kiermaier has raised his average 35 points since August 24./JEFFREY S. KING

Another offensive star for the Rays was leadoff hitter Mallex Smith, who had three hits and stole home. He is batting .307 for the Rays.

“Mallex can do a lot of things to help us. He’s done that here quite often lately. He’s been as consistent in hitting as anybody in our lineup this year. As far as the havoc that he can create, all we ask is for guys to give the effort.”

Nuno finished the game for Tampa Bay./JEFFREY S. KING

The Rays got off to a slow start in the game, as opener Ryne Stanek lasted only one-third of an inning. Yonny Chirinos came in to win his third game in his last four.

The Rays entered the series tied with Baltimore at 8-8 on the season series. This time, the Rays swept easily.

Tampa Bay now plays host to Cleveland and ace pitcher Corey Kluber (18-7). Diego Castillo opens for the Rays in tonight's 7:05 p.m. game.

Stanek lasted only 1/3 of an inning./JEFFREY S. KING

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