Coming off of another winning week staying in contention, the Rays came home and went 3-3, dropping their first series since the beginning of June.
Coming home riding a two-game winning streak, the Rays were set to continue their interleague play against the National League Central before facing a division foe for just the second time this year. At the end, Tampa Bay went .500 on the week to end up at 40-38 with three games left in the first half, as they have nestled into the third spot in the division.
To kick off the week, Tampa Bay played host for a three game interleague match-up with the Reds (29-39 entering series).
Jake Odorizzi, Alex Cobb, and Erasmo Ramirez all posted good starts against the Reds. For Odorizzi though, his start was overshadowed by the bullpen who could not hold onto the game for the Rays. More on that later.
The home run machine that is the Tampa Bay Rays this season added another six to their tally over the three game series. Keeping them at the top of the leaderboard over all of Major League Baseball, they are trading the number one spot back and forth with Houston.
D-Rob goes DEEP! Tie game in the seventh! pic.twitter.com/pp0i5sAYfY
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) June 20, 2017
The bullpen struggled to start the week, giving up Monday’s game after Odorizzi pitched seven inning gem. Jose Alvarado took the loss after allowing three runs without recording a single out.
Aside from collecting two wins, the Rays left 35 men stranded on base, including 11 during Monday’s 7-3 loss. They were also struck out 27 times, one of the reasons the team leads the MLB in strikeouts by hitters.
After a day to rest, the Rays hosted the Orioles for just the first time this season. Only the second meeting so far between the two teams, this one finished the same way as the first: the Orioles took 2-of-3 from the Rays.
Yet again, Tampa Bay was hitting it out of the park. Evan Longoria hit two homers in two days, taking him to twelve on the season. Logan Morrison collected his 22nd of the year to stay right behind Aaron Judge. On Saturday, the Rays scoring consisted of back-to-back homers by Corey Dickerson and Longoria. On consecutive pitches.
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) June 24, 2017
For the Rays, it was the tenth time they went back-to-back…and it’s not even July. They have already broken the club record for back-to-backs with 84 games left on the schedule.
The Rays lit up the Trop on Friday night to open the series. Putting up 15 runs with the assistance of three long balls and a handful of Orioles errors, it was not only the highest score of the season…it was the highest since Kevin Cash took the helm. It was plenty of run support for Chris Archer to collect the win and move to 6-4 on the year.
The bullpen struggled greatly over the weekend. Saturday, Jacob Faria was pulled with a 3-3 game. Alvarado (0-3) took the loss after walking what turned out to be the game winning run. Oh, and it was the only batter he saw in the game.
The bullpen allowed a total of nine runs come home in the final two games of the series; both losses. Chase Whitley blew the save on Sunday by giving up his first home run of the season. Taking a tie game into the ninth, Alex Colome gave up three runs and moved to 1-3 on the year.
— FOX Sports Florida (@FOXSportsFL) June 25, 2017
By dropping 2-of-3 to Baltimore, Tampa Bay moved to 9-2-2 since Mother’s Day weekend. It was the first series loss since they were swept in Seattle…for the second straight season.
Coming Up Next
The Rays hit the road for an eight game stretch, most of which are interleague games. First up, three against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park. Without skipping a beat they move straight over to Orioles Park at Camden Yards for another three game weekend against Baltimore. After an off day next Monday, the Rays take on former manager Joe Maddon (and numerous former Rays players) when they head to the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field for two against the Cubs.
The first of the Cubs game takes place on 4th of July, so the Rays get to play America’s past-time, on America’s holiday, in the second oldest ballpark in the country.
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