Quantcast 2008 Tampa Bay Rays: Rays Rolling Right Along, Sweep Detroit
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Rays Rolling Right Along, Sweep Detroit

The Rays continued to win over the weekend as they swept the Tigers. They had to work to win every game but it paid off as the bats woke up and the pitching did pretty well in the series. The Rays moved to 66-44 on the year and maintained a three game lead over the Red Sox and a five and a half game lead on the Yankees.

Tampa Bay Rays merchandise Evan Longoria and Carlos Pena carried the Rays in the first game of the series. Pena blasted his 19th homer of the year and Longoria capped the 5-2 victory with his 20 th of the season. The Rays ace, Scott Kazmir was a little shaky in this game but he still managed to avoid major damage. He pitched four and two thirds innings allowing two earned runs off of only three hits, but he walked six and struck out five in the no decision. The offense and the bullpen were able to bail him out of this one though as the bullpen pitched four and a third innings of scoreless ball. Troy Percival picked up his 24th save of the season. Miguel Cabrera went 1-3 with a run scoring triple to lead the Tigers, but it wasn’t enough as the Rays won.

Detroit was able to match the Rays hit for hit in this game, but the runs were another story as the Rays won 9-3 getting Andy Sonnanstine his 11th win of the season. Evan Longoria went 3-5 with his 21st homer of the year and he drove in three in the win. Ironically enough the home run came against former Ray, Casey Fossum. Fossum was cheered coming back to Tropicana but he was greeted by Longoria with a home run much to the pleasure of the fans. Sonnanstine pitched six innings, giving up two earned runs and striking out six, continuing to look strong which is what the Rays need. Kenny Rogers struck out eight in only three and a third innings, but he gave up seven runs while walking four. Miguel Cabrera was a star in this series versus the Rays because he went 3-3 in this game to lead Detroit.

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The finale was an interesting game to say the least. These teams went back and forth for ten innings before the Rays won in a very unconventional style 6-5. The Rays were pretty much shut down all the way up until the eighth inning where the bats finally awoken. The Rays scored all of their runs in three of the final four innings to win the game. B.J. Upton hit a bomb to center field for the Rays first run of the game, then Eric Hinske followed in the eighth inning with another homer to get the Rays more runs. After taking a 4-3 lead into the ninth inning, Percival blew a save giving up a solo shot to Curtis Granderson that tied the game. Then in the tenth inning against Percival, Miguel Cabrera continued his hot streak against the Rays by sending a shot into the bleachers in left for his 20th of the year and giving the Tigers a 5-4 lead. But the Tigers couldn’t hold it. Fernando Rodney came into the game and he couldn’t hold it for them. After a wild start to the inning with Jason Bartlett getting struck in the finger while bunting and then Shawn Riggans got drilled in the chest with a ball to put runners on first and second. He stayed in the game because the Rays had no more position players left. Carlos Pena would eventually walk to win the game for the Rays but a crazy one it was to get the sweep.

Next up the Rays face the Indians. The Rays have yet to beat the Indians this year and it seems like the Indians have cursed them. Evan Longoria will look to continue his recent surge as the Rays welcome the Indians to town. The pitching probables are as follows:

  • C. Lee (14-2) vs. M. Garza (9-6)
  • F. Carmona (5-3) vs. E. Jackson (7-7)
  • J. Sowers (1-6) vs. S. Kazmir (8-5)


By Andrew Nuscis
Philadelphia Phillies & Tampa Bay Rays Correspondent

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