Tampa Bay won their second consecutive series (ahem, by means of the sweep) Sunday, beating the Twins by a score of 7-3. They are now on a six game winning streak as they make their way to Seattle for a three game set against the Mariners. The Rays end the day five games behind the Evil Empire, tied for first with the Orioles in the wildcard race.
This certainly wasn’t the prettiest of wins. The Rays committed three errors, one of which was directly responsible for a Twins run. Tampa Bay also had the chance to pull away from the Twins in the third, fifth, seventh, and ninth innings, yet they weren’t able to do anything with those opportunities. But a four run 10th inevitably nailed the coffin shut for the Twins, and we’re talking about a win instead of a loss.
I don’t know if any one else felt the way that I did, but the extra innings Rays today felt more like the scrappy Rays I’ve come to know and love. You know, the team that seems more likely to eek out a W late in the game as opposed to the one of late that effectively closes up shop when they’re down by one in the eighth. Friends, that’s a beautiful thing. Bulleted highlights are below.
- Fernando Rodney is 36 out of 37 in the save department, with 21 consecutive saves. That’s just straight up crazy! He was also able to save JP Howell’s ass, coming on in the tenth with a man on first and third and two outs. He ultimately saved the game.
- And though it wasn’t a pretty outing for JP Howell, he now holds the Rays franchise record for consecutive scoreless innings at 22-2/3 IP, surpassing Fernando Rodney, who surpassed Joe Borowski earlier in the week.
- How ’bout Desmond Jennings?! DesJen went 2-4 with a walk, an RBI and two runs, including a first inning homer to left.
- Ryan Roberts has raised his batting average over a hundred points in the last week and a half. Roberts went 3-4 Sunday, with a walk, a double, two RBI, and a run.
- Keppinger was again a beast, going 2-5, driving in two RBI, and scoring a run on a homer and a double.
- Notable mentions go to Ben Zobrist (2-4, 2B) and Evan Longoria (1-4).
- Go here for a good description of the 10th inning.