Tampa Bay Rays stacking wins and hanging in Wild Card race in late June

The Tampa Bay Rays are playing well and winning a good bit here in the latter part of June during the 2024 season. This is a great step to make the rest of Tampa Bay's summer productive.
Seattle Mariners v Tampa Bay Rays
Seattle Mariners v Tampa Bay Rays / Julio Aguilar/GettyImages

Don't look now, but the Tampa Bay Rays have won three straight series. The most recent of the two came against the Pittsburgh Pirates on the road and the Seattle Mariners inside of Tropicana Field. Prior to that, the Rays came out on top against the Minnesota Twins on the road at Target Field.

Against the Pirates and Mariners, Tampa Bay was able to wake the bats up, which is something they have consistently lacked on a team-wide level all season long. In the past six games, the Rays have had 9+ team hits, and that includes a massive 17-hit outing against the Pittsburgh Pirates back on June 21. That represents the most they have had in a game all season.

Yandy Diaz has been a big time factor during this six-game stretch with 11 hits, seven RBI, and a pair of home runs. His scoring output has been huge in getting Tampa Bay needed wins to stay right around .500.

Rays' Yandy Diaz helps key recent Wild Card race surge

Diaz's effort was contagious among lots of other players as well. Rays catcher Ben Rortvedt has been a big time bat during this six-game span and has really become the solidified catcher for Tampa Bay, a position that the Rays perhaps needed the most this offseason. Of the last six games, Rortvedt has played in four contests, posting seven hits, nine RBI, and two home runs.

Tampa Bay's had some quality starts from their pitching staff during this stretch as well. Aaron Civale pitched a one-run game in five innings against the Pirates in the series finale at PNC Park.

The series at home at Tropicana Field was really good for the group's starters. Taj Bradley was spectacular in 5.1 innings, whiffing eight while giving up just one run in the opening game. Zack Littell got the middle game start, and pitched five innings against six strikeouts, only one walk, and just two earned runs. Despite the loss for the Rays in the season finale, Ryan Pepiot was great in his start, going 5.1 innings, striking out eight Mariner batters and giving up just one earned run.

This kind of great all-around team play is indicative of what Tampa Bay can do the rest of the summer, as they may not be sellers come the trade deadline now, sitting four games back from a Wild Card spot. The team will remain at Tropicana Field this weekend and take on the Washington Nationals in a three-game series.

First pitch of the opening game is at 6:50 PM EST, with Zach Eflin starting for Tampa Bay and Mitchell Parker starting for Washington.