After going undefeated against four teams with losing records, the Tampa Bay Rays head to Toronto to try to set Major League Baseball’s post-1900 season winning streak record.
“We’re a small-market team and people around the league don’t always have great things to say about us, but we play together,” Manuel Margot said through a translator after the Rays beat the Boston Red Sox by 9 -3. Thursday to start 13-0.
Tampa Bay rallied in a seven-run fifth inning that Harold Ramirez led off and capped with doubles, and the Rays matched the 13-game starts by the 1982 Atlanta Braves and 1987 Milwaukee Brewers.
Brandon Lowe hits a solo homer to extend the Rays’ lead against the Red Sox
The single longest home run was 20-0 by the St. Maroons. Louis of the Union Association in 1884. The Rays have won all but two games by four or more runs and have outscored opponents 101-30 for the most runs and fewest allowed in the major leagues.
“When you do something like that, you’re playing really well,” coach Kevin Cash said. “There’s no part of our game right now that we don’t feel good about.”
Playing in front of a crowd of 21,175, the largest at Tropicana Field since Opening Day, the Rays set a season winning streak record by hitting a 12-game hitting streak in June 2004. The streak includes series vs. Detroit, Washington. and Oakland.
Boston, with four hits, has lost 13 straight games in the Trop.
“They pitch when they need to pitch. They put the ball in play and get guys in,” Christian Arroyo said.
Rays starter Jeffrey Springs left two pitches in the fourth inning with what the team said was ulnar neuritis, an inflammation of the ulnar nerve that causes numbness or weakness. He was relieved after throwing a 79.8 mph changeup and an 83.5 mph to Justin Turner, then looking at his hand and elbow.
Yandy Diaz smashes a home run as the Rays are tied 1-1 with the Red Sox
Yandy Diaz hit a solo home run to tie the Tampa Bay Rays with the Boston Red Sox.
“The pitch before, I just felt a little bit of something in the elbow and forearm area,” Springs said. “It was a little hard to pin down.”
He said the sensation felt like a shock rather than pain and he planned to get an image taken on Friday. Cash said Springs is likely to miss at least one start.
“Hopefully, it’s just a nervous thing that popped,” Springs said. “I didn’t hear anything pop or anything like that.”
Tampa Bay was down 3-1 in the fifth against the Red Sox. Ramirez started the big rally with a double off Corey Kluber (0-3) and opened the game with a three-run double against Richard Bleier.
Francisco Mejía cut into the deficit with a run-scoring single and Brandon Lowe greeted Bleier with a game-tying RBI single.
Randy Arozarena singled for a 4-3 lead, Wander Franco was hit by a pitch and Margot dropped a single that scored a run.
“I noticed the third baseman, who was playing,” Margot said of Bobby Dalbec.
MLB Power Rankings: The undefeated Tampa Bay Rays are ranked No. 1
Ramirez then laced a double into the left-field corner to make it 8-3.
“When Harold led off with a double, it sparked the lineup. It let everybody breathe a little bit,” Brandon Lowe said.
Lowe added a seventh-inning home run off Kutter Crawford, his fifth this season.
Yandy Diaz tied the score at 1-1 in the first with his fourth this season for the Rays, who lead the major leagues with 32. Only the 2019 Seattle Mariners and St. Louis in 2000 with 33 more home runs in 13 games.
Kevin Kelly (1-0) pitched 2 2/3 innings for the win.
Braden Bristo, a 28-year-old right-hander, pitched three hitless innings with four strikeouts and a walk in his major league debut after seven seasons in the New York Yankees’ minor league system.
Rob Refsnyder homered in the first, Springs’ first shutout in three starts this season.
Kiké Hernandez hit a home run in the fourth inning, an inning that included a 14-pitch walk by Triston Casas against Garret Cleavinger. Justin Turner had an RBI single in the fifth on a soft fly to center that fell just past center fielder Josh Lowe.
Report from The Associated Press.
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