The Rays extended their win streak to five, with the sweep of the Red Sox beating them 6-4. This was the second time the Rays have swept Boston this year, with the first one coming in Boston near the beginning of the season. But the Sox did come back in the second series of the year to sweep the Rays at the Trop at the end of May, which started the Rays midseason slump.
I feel it is safe to say the Rays have found their swagger and are ready to take back what is rightfully theirs; The AL East. The Rays now lead the season series against Boston (8-4) and are (22-10) against the AL East.
David Price threw very well against Boston, using his overpowering fastball to strikeout 10 in 7 1/3 innings and allowing 2 runs. Price now leads the American League with 12 wins. With Price pitching so early in the week, there is a big possibility he could get the nod to start the All-Star game in Anaheim next Tuesday. A decision should be made by Joe Girardi within a couple of days whether or not he will get the start.
“[David] pitched I’d say 90 percent [with the fastball],” manager Joe Maddon said. “[He] did throw a couple of hooks, changes and sliders later in the game, but [he] primarily pitched with his fastball, and that was fantastic. He kept pounding the strike zone with it. … That fastball was really, really good tonight — [it had] really late life.”
Evan Longoria helped out his All-Star teammate by hitting a 442 ft. blast off the catwalk in left field breaking the game open 1-0. Longoria now has the two furthest hit balls at the Trop this season with the first one going 473 ft. against the Orioles Opening Day. This was Longoria’s first homerun in 78 at-bats, longest without hitting a dinger in his career. Longoria has 13 homeruns for the season and is second on the team behind Pena (16).
Price also got some support by another All-Star Carl Crawford, when he hit a RBI single up the middle after going back and forth with a 12-pitch at-bat. Crawford has lit up this offense hitting .394 with 6 RBI’s and 1 hr during the month of July. Carwford will be starting his first All-Star game, where last year he won the MVP for making “the catch”.
The only downfall of the game was the 9th inning, when it took the Rays looking to Matt Garza to finish out the game. Garza’s last outing was a short one, lasingt only 3 innings and this was basically his day to workout. But with the bullpen needing a rest, Garza was inclined to come out of the pen to give Rafael Soriano a day off.
Im calling it right now, the Rays will have the best record again before the All-Star break this weekend.