Tampa Bay snapped its 21 inning scoreless streak Sunday afternoon against Milwaukee, and Steven Souza Jr. hit a ninth inning walk off blast that gave the Rays a 2–1 victory over the Brewers.
At the time of writing, the Rays are currently tied with Kansas City for the final playoff spot, two-games back of New York for the lead Wildcard spot, and 5-1/2 games behind the Red Sox. The Royals are playing a double header today, so Tampa Bay could be 1/2 of a game ahead, or 1/2 of a game behind, Kansas City pending the outcome of game two.
Additionally, the Rays made a roster move prior to the game, trading Ryan Garton to, you guessed it, Seattle.
The shot heard ’round the world
Souza lashed a 1–0 pitch into section 145 off St Petersburg native Jacob Barnes to give the first Rays not only a crucial win, but their first walk-off homer since May 22, 2014 (Sean Rodriguez vs Oakland) — snapping the longest active streak in Major League Baseball.
— TheRenderMLB (@TheRenderMLB) August 6, 2017
Tampa Bay welcomes the Boston Red Sox into the Trop for a two game series starting Tuesday. The Rays need to win head-to-head contests against the competitors ahead of them in the standings, and this will be a great opportunity for the good guys to make up a couple of games in the AL East, as well as in the Playoff race.
Rays clear a couple of spots on the 40-man roster
The Rays created some space on the 40-man roster before the game, trading RHP Ryan Garton to Seattle along with Durham catcher Mike Marjama. With the trade, the Rays have opened a pair of spots on their 40-man roster. In exchange, Tampa Bay received LHP Anthony Misiewicz, UTL Luis Rengifo, and a player to be named later or cash considerations.
Garton had been good with Triple-A Durham this season, going 2–0 with a 1.64 ERA. He, however, struggled the past two seasons at the big league level, going 1–3 with a 5.26 ERA.
A mid-season All-Star in the International League, the 28-year-old Marjama hit .272 in 72 games with nine homers this season. The catcher was Rule-5 eligible this past offseason — as are prospects Justin O’Conner and Nick Ciuffo — so the team opted to add Marjama to the 40-man roster as protection in the Rule-5 draft. These moves will create more roster flexibility, while also lessening the off-season logjam behind the plate.
Hmm … might the Rays be looking to acquire a player or two before the August 31 waiver trade deadline? Perhaps. After all, they were looking for a right-handed bat leading up to the non-waiver trade deadline. However, it’s more likely that they are clearing space ahead of the activation of Kevin Kiermaier from the 60-day DL.
Another fascinating idea, the team could be creating roster space for Brent Honewell, who might be considered as a September call-up. That being said, Honeywell threw 130 innings between Single-A, Double-A, and the Arizona Fall League last season. Tampa Bay, historically, uses a 20% yearly workload, so he has about 40 innings left in his 2017 campaign at Triple-A Durham. If he was to be promoted this season, he would likely work out of the bullpen to mitigate the number of innings thrown.