Quantcast 2008 Tampa Bay Rays: Tampa Bay Sweeps Sunshine Series
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Tampa Bay Sweeps Sunshine Series

Tampa Bay will not go away. They were expected to be out of the race by now, yet they remain only a half game off of the Boston Red Sox. The Rays swept the Marlins in Miami and took 2 of 3 from them at the Trop. This team can flat out play and we are finding out that this year.

Tampa Bay Rays hats The first game was a very sloppy game. Basically it was which team would mess up last? The Rays (45-31) manage to overcome all of their mistakes to pick up the victory 6-4 over the Marlins (40-36). Losing pop-ups in the lights, mishandling balls in the outfield, overall it was just terrible baseball Tuesday night. The pitching match-up was great as Andy Sonnanstine faced Scott Olsen. Sonnanstine gave up two earned off of six hits while fanning five through five innings. Olsen pitched seven strong innings giving up four hits and surrendering two runs. Renyel Pinto came into the game in the eighth inning and he walked in the go ahead run to give the Rays a 4-3 lead. In the ninth, Longoria tacked on two more runs with a two run double to give the Rays a 6-3 lead. Percival picked up his 18 th save of the year but it surely did not come easily. He walked four which led to one run and if it was not for Longoria’s highlight diving catch, there would have been more runs. All in all the Rays escaped Tuesday night with the win.

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In the second game of the series, slugging overcame sloppiness. The Rays (46-31) committed four errors but made up for it by pounding out 15 runs in the 15-3 slaughter of the Marlins (40-37). Carl Crawford jacked two home runs and drove in five runs. Evan Longoria also hit a home run for the Rays and had three hits. The Marlins could not solve James Shields (5-5) as he cruised for his fifth win of the season. Shields went seven innings allowing only one run off of four hits while striking out five. The Rays teed off on Ryan Tucker as he gave up seven runs in four innings. The bullpen was not much better as Jorge De La Rosa did not even record an out and he gave up six runs in the game as well. The Rays go for the sweep with Garza on the mound tomorrow.

Pitching gave the Rays (47-31) the sweep of the Marlins (40-38) Thursday as Matt Garza threw a one-hitter. Garza (6-4) pitched a complete game giving up the only hit which was a home run by Hanley Ramirez and he struck out ten to pick up his sixth win of the year. Evan Longoria continued to shine for the Rays as he picked up three more hits including his 14 th home run of the year as the Rays cruised 6-1. Mark Hendrickson (7-6) pitched against his former teammates and he went four and a third while giving up five earned runs and walking five. Hanley Ramirez went 1-4 with his 17 th home run of the year to lead the Fish.

Next up the Rays head to Pittsburgh (37-41) before they welcome Boston to the Trop. The Rays are red-hot and they are led by Evan Longoria and Carl Crawford who just seems to be hitting everything in sight. Longoria has homered in three straight games and is leading all rookies in that category. Pittsburgh just came off a split of the Yankees and are four game below .500 but they hope to have Xavier Nady back for this series. The probables are as follows:

  • S. Kazmir (6-3) vs. J. Barthmeier (0-0)
  • E. Jackson (4-6) vs. T. Taubenheim (0-0)
  • A. Sonnanstine (8-3) vs. T. Gorzellany (6-6)


By Andrew Nuscis
Philadelphia Phillies & Tampa Bay Rays Correspondent

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