Rays may be playing their best after sweep

by Gary Shelton on May 17, 2021

in general

Choi had three hits in his return to the lineup./CHUCK MULLER

Monday, 3 a.m.

It isn't just that Ji-Man Choi is healthy again.

It's that the Tampa Bay Rays, finally, seem to be whole again.

The Rays won their fourth straight game Sunday, completing a sweep of the New York Mets with a 7-1 thumping. The Rays have scored 31 runs in their last four games, and are now four games over .500 for the first time all season.

Content beyond this point is for members only.

Already a member? To view the rest of this column, sign in using the handy "Sign In" button located in the upper right corner of the GarySheltonSports.com blog (it's at the far right of the navigation bar under Gary's photo)!

Not a member? It's easy to subscribe so you can view the rest of this column and all other premium content on GarySheltonSports.com.

The Rays had a bit of everything going on Sunday -- getting 10 hits, throwing eight shutout innings and playing solid defense. An argument can be made that it was the Rays' most complete four-game run of the season. Three of the Rays' hits were home runs.

The Rays are 10-4 in their last 14 games.

"When we’re right, we’re pretty balanced," said Rays' manager Kevin Cash. "You want to be that relentless lineup. We were pretty relentless the last 3-4 games.

“We do have the good things in play,some players who did some special things a year ago. We owe it to them to continue to support them. They're here for a reason. They’ve been good for a reason. They going to be good. It's a very tough game. Joey’s (Wendle) comments yesterday were very true. Sometimes you barrel balls up and you have nothing to show for it. Sometimes you find holes and all hell breaks loose with run scoring."

Choi's return to the lineup after an injury highlighted the offense. He had three hits and drove in two. Both Manuel Margot and Willy Adames hit two-run homers and Brandon Lowe hit a solo shot.

"As far as I’m concerned, Willy has played shortstop as well as anybody for six weeks," Cash said.

The Rays struck out only four times, a season-low, after recording double-digit strikeouts in eight of nine games.

How good are the Rays' going? Well, good enough for Cash to get criticized for an early pull of a starting pitcher.

After five innings of one-hit, shutout baseball, Cash pulled Josh Fleming from the game after just 53 pitches. It worked out, however, as four Rays' receivers allowed only one more hit and only one run.

The Rays are off today, then travel to Baltimore to face the Orioles in a 7:05 p.m. game at Camden Yards on Tuesday. Kevin Patino will start for the Rays.

Previous post:

Next post: