The Tampa Bay Rays still have a lot of work to do if they want to be relevant in the American League East. At the very least, though, the process that could get them there has already begun. The Rays beat the New York Yankees 6-3 on Wednesday afternoon to secure a sweep and a five-game winning streak while pushing the Yankees under .500.
Jake Odorizzi has been impressive for the Rays of late, but New York gave him trouble, scoring a single run in the 1st, 3rd, and 4th innings. However, Odorizzi battled to holdNew York to just those three runs, and he was helped by a strong effort from the Rays offense.
The Rays responded to every run the Yankees scored on a passed ball and RBI singles by Sean Rodriguez and Brandon Guyer, and then Rodriguez finally gave them their first lead in the 6th on a 2-run homer off Shawn Kelley. Sean Rodriguez has been inconsistent for the Rays all season, but he continues to impress with his occasional pop and come up with some big hits for this team.
The Rays tacked on another run in the 9th while the bullpen dominated behind Odorizzi. Cesar Ramos, Juan Carlos Oviedo, and Joel Peralta held the Yankees off the board for 2.1 innings before Brad Boxberger struck out 2 in a perfect 9th for his first save in a Rays uniform.
Odorizzi’s early struggles made it look like the Rays might let this one slip away, but his rebound, the offense, and the effort of the bullpen ensured thst Wednesday’s game turned into another win. The Rays face an even bigger test beginning tomorrow as they head to Comerica Park to take on the Detroit Tigers. Erik Bedard opposes Max Scherzer in the opener as the Rays hope to extend their winning streak to six.