The Rays beat the Red Sox for the second straight night in a 3-2 win. The win moves the Rays 1 1/2 lead for second place in the AL East over the Red Sox. By winning tonight, they also become the only other team than the Yankees to record 50 wins on the season. If the Rays keep up this pace they will end the season with over 100 wins. As of now, they are only 2 games behind the Yanks in the east.
A highlight in the game was when Kevin Youkilis stepped into the batters box, moved some dirt around with his foot and fell down like a little girl. This was actually a game changer as the Rays walked David Ortiz his final at-bats and minimized his chance of driving in any runs. Ortiz has been on fire and having the opportunity to pitch around him is definitely an advantage for the Rays.
“That was very unfortunate for them. I don’t know exactly what’s wrong with Youkilis, but once that occurred, I said, ‘We are not pitching to him anymore,'” Rays manager Joe Maddon said. “[If the] bases [were] loaded, we would not have either if there was enough of a cushion of runs. That was a fortuitous moment for us.”
Jeff Neiman also pitched a hell of a game and recorded his 7th win of the season. He only gave up one unearned run and 4 hits, which lowerd his ERA to 2.65. Neiman has held his own this season and has impressed with each one of his outings. With only 2 losses on the year, there is no doubt that he is the second best pitcher on the team behind 2010 All Star David Price.
Carl Crawford once again gave another highlight to Rays fans as he blasted his 8th home run of the year over the seats in right field (414 ft). Crawford will get his first start in the 2010 All Star game and this proves why. Crawford over the last 15 games is hitting .444 and was player of the week a few weeks ago. I predict he might get that award again this week.
Rafael Soriano got a little roughed up with his fastball barely topping 90 mph but did record his 23rd save of the year. There is some word that Soriano may take the place of Mariano Rivera in the all star game, but that’s up in the air as of now.