All Smiles In St. Petersburg As Rays Extend Win Streak To Six

Double Digit Hits Mean Good Things For Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays continued their impressive homestand by defeating the Boston Red Sox 10-3 Friday night.

Jalen Beeks (3-0, 6.62 ERA) picks up the win working 5.1-innings allowing three earned runs on seven hits while striking out four and walking three. Hunter Wood came in and worked the final two scoreless frames.

Beeks became just the third Rays rookie to defeat Boston twice in the same season. He’s the first rookie in the majors to defeat Boston in consecutive outings since Dominic Leone from August 22 through 24, 2014.

The Rays have now won six in a row and improve to seven games over .500 at 68-61 on the season.  They have won 11 of their last 15 and are 15-8 over their past 23 games.  At home they’ve been a MLB best 27-8 since June 11th.

It’s the first time they have been seven games over .500 since the end of play on July 18, 2017.  It’s also the first time they have been seven or more games above .500 this late into a season since 2013. It is just Tampa Bay’s sixth win in 17 head -to-head games against Boston this season.

Tampa Bay’s offense banged out 12 hits and they improve to 40-9 when reaching double digits in the hit column.

Hector Velazquez (7-2, 3.69 ERA) was tagged for eight earned runs in 2.2-innings of work and takes the loss for Boston who fall to 90-40 on the season. Boston now has to go 16-16 over the teams final 32 games to break the franchise record of 105 wins set during the inaugural season at Fenway Park (1912).

Despite the loss, Boston has won five of its last seven road games and 16 of their last 21.

Castillo Continues Scoreless Streak:

Diego Castillo made his second big league start working 1.2 scoreless innings. He allowed a pair of hits while striking out four and walking none.  The outing extends his streak of scoreless outings to six in a row. In that span he has worked nine innings allowing four hits while striking out eight and walking three.

Rays Jump Out First:

The Rays jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second inning. Ji-Man Choi doubled to open the inning and Willy Adames followed with a walk. Then, after a Kevin Kiermaier strikeout Choi and Adames pulled a double steal. Carlos Gomez sent a chopper to third that scored Choi and moved Adames to third.  Brandon Lowe walked and both Lowe and Choi scored on a double off the glove of a sprawled out Jackie Bradely Jr.

Beeks Can’t Get Shutdown Inning:

Boston responded with a pair of runs in the top of the third. With 2-out Steve Pearce and J.D. Martinez reached on infield hits to Matt Duffy at third. Xander Bogaerts followed with a 2-RBI single cutting the Rays lead to 3-2. It was his 16th RBI against the Rays in 16 games against them this season.

Singles Night At The Trop:

Tampa Bay scored five runs in their half of the third.  Remarkably, the damage was done on the strength of six straight two out singles. Michael Perez‘s single plated a pair of runs giving him a career high 4-RBI on the evening.

Overall, there were seven singles in the inning. It was the first time in franchise history the Rays had an inning with seven singles and zero extra base hits. Matt Duffy singled to lead off the inning but was caught stealing. It was the 14th time the Rays batted around in an inning and the second time that they did it against Boston. The last was the memorable eighth inning on Opening Day.

Adames Cranks #8:

Willy Adames added to the lead blasting a 2-run homer off Drew Pomeranz to extend the lead to 10-2 in the fourth inning. It was Adames eighth homer of the season.

Smith Heads To DL:

Rays outfielder Mallex Smith missed Friday’s game and was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a viral infection. He is in a local hospital getting IV fluids. A corresponding roster move will be announced tomorrow.

Minor’s Movement:

The Princeton Rays led by Wander Franco has already clinched a playoff spot. On Friday afternoon they received pitching reinforcements in Matthew Liberatore and Shane McClanahan.

Liberatore, 18, was the 16th overall pick in this June’s draft and had made eight appearances for the Rays Gulf League team going 1-2 with an 0.98 ERA (7-ER/27.2-IP) while striking out 32 and walking 11.

McClanahan, 21, was the 31st pick in this June’s draft out of the University of South Florida. He had only appeared in a pair of games for the Gulf Coast Rays working three innings while striking out six, walking none, and allowing just one hit.

Up Next For Rays:

Tampa Bay Rays
AP Photo/Jason Behnken

Tampa Bay and Boston resume their three game series on Saturday night at 6:10 pm.  Ryan Yarbrough (12-5, 3.84 ERA) takes the mound for the Rays. He will be making his sixth “normal” start of the season. The Red Sox counter with Rick Porcello (15-6, 4.14 ERA).