Rays Race Back To Even After Falling 18-games Under
By defeating the New York Yankees by a final score of 5-0 the Tampa Bay Rays (61-61) evened their record for the first time since April 22nd when they were 10-10.They become just the fourth team joining the t 2004 Devil Rays, the 2006 Florida Marlins, and the 1899 Louisville Colonels as the only teams in major league history to fall to 18 games under .500 in a season and rebound to .500.
The road back from 18 games below .500 on June 11th has been difficult. “It was not easy. We definitely dug ourselves a substantial hole and then we’re getting out of it now.” Joe Maddon said. “To get back to even ground is very important in that we can look forward. It’s still about winning series.”
The victory pulled the Rays within nine games of the AL East leading Baltimore Orioles who fell to the Cleveland Indians and they move to 5.5 games behind the Seattle Mariners who took over the second Wild Card spot by defeating the Detroit Tigers.
Alex Cobb (8-6, 3.41 ERA) won his second home start on the year and second in as many outings leading the Tampa Bay Rays past the New York Yankees in the first game of their three game series.
He was removed after throwing 112 pitches (71 for strikes) delivering 7.1-innings of scoreless ball allowing six hits (all singles) striking out eight and walking one. He was able to record 10 outs on nine ground balls and was able to generate 15 swing and misses from the Yankees hitters
Cobb improves to 5-1 with a 1.75 ERA (11ER/56.2IP) in eight career starts against the Yankees. The victory was his sixth win in a row matching a career high and tying David Price for the longest winning streak for the Rays this season.
He was not happy to depart in the eighth inning but since his pitch count was the second most in his career (117 September 21, 2013) Maddon was not taking any chances. After retiring the leadoff hitter in the eighth inning he allowed a single to Francisco Cervelli and then walked Brett Gardner.
Brad Boxberger came in and allowed a sharp single to right to load the bases. The Yankees were not able to capitalize on the threat as Jacoby Ellsbury and Mark Teixiera both struck out to end the inning. Joel Peralta came in to work the ninth inning to end the ballgame.
The Rays kicked the scoring off in the bottom of the first inning off Brandon McCarthy (7-12, 4,24 ERA). In the bottom of the first the Rays loaded the bases with nobody out against Yankees starter Brandon McCarthy and Evan Longoria and James Loney each hit groundballs to the infield to score Desmond Jennings and Ben Zobrist to give the Rays a 2-0 lead.
He kept the Rays off the board until the bottom of the seventh inning when Logan Forsythe reached on a Chase Headley error and moved into scoring position on a 2-strike sacrifice bunt by Yunel Escobar. Curt Casali delivered an opposite field RBI single to score Forsythe and extend the Rays lead to 3-0.
The Rays proceeded to get shallow fly ball singles off the bat of Kevin Kiermaier and Desmond Jennings to load the bases for Ben Zobrist. He would not get to face McCarthy as Joe Girardi went to his bullpen and summoned Esmil Rogers.
On the evening McCarthy was charged with four runs (two earned) in 6.1 innings of work on seven hits striking out seven and walking one.
The Yankees loaded the bases in the top of the eighth inning but Brad Boxberger struck out Jacoby Ellsbury and Mark Teixiera to end the inning.
James Loney delivered a solo home run to lead off the ninth inning to put the Rays ahead 5-0. It was Loney’s 6th home run of the season and first since July 1st against the Yankees Hiroki Kuroda.
Joel Peralta came in to end the game and return the Rays to .500.
The Rays will look to continue their winning ways as Drew Smyly (7-10, 3.73 ERA) takes on Shane Greene (3-1, 2.89 ERA) tomorrow at 4:10 pm.