The Tampa Bay Rays are finally getting on the roll that we have been looking for all year. They have been hot lately, but these past two games have been indicative of just how good they can be. On Saturday the Rays rode a great offensive performance and a good start from Chris Archer to win 7-2. On Sunday, David Price was brilliant and the offense stayed hot as the Rays beat the Detroit Tigers 7-3.
Ben Zobrist has been disappointing this year, but finally he is starting to get hot. Zobrist came in this game with a 1.039 OPS in his last 8 games, and he added to that even more with a great night. Zobrist went 4 for 5 in this game including a run scored and an RBI. The Rays are showing signs of life lately, and if they want to get back into contention then Zobrist is going to have to be a big contributor in the lineup. He wasn’t the only encouraging performance, however, as Desmond Jennings had a great night as well. He would go 3 for 5 with 2 RBIs and 2 runs scored including his 8th homer of the year. Jennings has also put up underwhelming numbers this season, but like Zobrist he is hitting well as of late, and the Rays are going to need that moving forward.
Matt Joyce also added a homer, his 7th of the year, as part of a 2 for 4 performance. Sean Rodriguez went 4 for 5 for a great night as well, and James Loney added a 3 for 5 night. Even Jose Molina got in on the fun, going 2 for 4 as well. The Rays offense as a whole had an amazing 19 hits, 4 for extra bases. They have scored 6 or more runs in 5 of their last 6 game and over their last 16 games they have averaged 5 runs per game. That is a huge improvement after the offense was wildly inconsistent early on in the season.
David Price was named an All-Star today, and he showed just why today. Price was dominant almost the entire game, showcasing his always great command and stuff. In particular his 2-seam fastball was on, as it featured great late bite. He did make two mistake pitches that resulted in J.D. Martinez and Torii Hunter solo shots, adding to his MLB leading 19 home runs allowed. But other than that, he hardly missed a spot he was aiming for. Price would throw 8.2 innings on, allowing 3 runs on 7 hits while striking out 6 and walking 3. He hasn’t allowed more than 3 runs in a start since May 24th, and he has lasted at least 7.0 innings in each of his last 9 starts. Talk about dominant. Jake McGee would finish things off by striking out the only batter he faced.
The Rays will travel home with a successful road trip under their belts, having won 9 0f their 11 games. They will take on the Kansas City Royals starting at 7:10 ET, with former-Ray James Shields taking on Jake Odorizzi.