The Tampa Bay Rays matched a season high with 16 hits while scoring a season high 14 runs in their 14-3 win over the Minnesota Twins.
Charlie Morton (6-0, 2.54 ERA) remains undefeated on the year as Tampa Bay won their sixth straight game and improve to 35-19 on the year.
The Rays six game winning streak is currently the longest in the majors and it’s their longest since last August 19 through 26, 2018 when they won eight in a row.
Tampa Bay’s bats have come to life over the last two weeks. In their last 11 games, they have scored five runs (or more) seven times and they are averaging 5.9 runs per game during that span. Scoring is good for the Rays who have a solid pitching staff, when they score five or more runs they are 22-3 and if they score four or more they are 27-5.
Charlie Morton held the Twins fearsome lineup quiet living up to the “Charlie Freaking Morton” slogan that many of his teammates were wearing on t-shirts during pre-game.
Over seven innings he allowed a pair of runs on four hits while striking out six and walking none. It was his longest outing since August 6, 2018 against the San Francisco Giants while he was a member of the Houston Astros. He threw just 87 pitches with 62 for strikes. His pitch count by inning was 13-20-11-7-14-14-8.
Since last Augusts 17, Morton is 9-0 with a 3.06 ERA (97-IP, 33-ER) in 19 starts, the longest unbeaten streak of his career and the second longest active unbeaten streak the majors behind Clayton Kershaw (11-0 in 20 starts) of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Morton is unbeaten in 12 starts since joining the Rays
“I thought he was outstanding. I was glad to see how efficient he was – get through seven, could have gone back out, but that was plenty of work. It’s not always easy to pitch in those types of games when they get separated like that.” Manager Kevin Cash said. “You don’t want to change your approach too much, but you want to be efficient. Charlie has been around long enough to know that you still have to get outs and the last thing you want to do is tax the bullpen. Really impressed with his performance.”
Where to start with the offense? How about with the Birthday Boy Christian Arroyo who was called up from Durham prior to the game and celebrated his 24th birthday going 2-for-5 with a pair of doubles, scoring a pair of runs, and driving in two.
“For me, personally, I just wanted to help the team win. One at-bat at a time. One pitch at a time.” Arroyo said. “Whether it was defensively, offensively, it didn’t really matter. That’s the motto that I try to play by and that’s kind of what I did when I went down to Durham. Tried to focus on my game and my approach to the game instead of trying to do 500 things at one time, do one thing at one time. Be yourself. “
Austin Meadows continued to hit at a torrid pace. He delivered a bases clearing double in the Rays six run third and tied a career high with four RBI. He has multiple hits in five consecutive games, the longest streak of his carer. Since returning from the disabled list on May 10th he’s batting .371/.450/.700 (26-for-70) with five doubles, six homers, and 16 RBI.
Tommy Pham, who departed the game with what the Rays and Pham hope was just a calf cramp (MRI was clean), went two for two with a pair of runs scored and also drew a walk.
Ji-Man Choi, who entered the game to replace Pham, hit his 5th homer of the season. Choi has homered twice in his last six games compared to just three homers in his first 38 games.
Martin Perez (7-2, 3.71) was battered by the Rays offense for six runs on six hits in just 2.2 innings of work. The loss drops the Twins record to 37-19.