Afternoon Delight, Rays Dominate Tigers To Complete Sweep

Rays Notch First Sweep Of 2017 

The Tampa Bay Rays completed their first series sweep of 2017 by defeating the Detroit Tigers 8-1 on Thursday afternoon.

Erasmo Ramirez (2-0, 3.47 ERA), filling in for the injured Jake Odorizzi, gave the Rays five innings allowing just one run on two hits while striking out five and walking one. Chase Whitley delivered three scoreless frames and Tommy Hunter finished the ninth.

With the win the Rays move back over .500 at 9-8 and tie their longest winning streak of the season at three games. They currently have a six game home winning streak, equaling  their longest since April 22–May 1, 2015. They open the year winning 8-of-10 at Tropicana Field. It’s just the second time that they’ve won as many as eight games in their first 10 (9-1, 2012).

It was also their first sweep since August 15-17, 2016 versus the San Diego Padres. It was their first sweep of the Detroit Tigers since sweeping a 4-game series at Tropicana Field from July 26-29, 2010.

Daniel Norris (1-1, 3.71 ERA) took the loss for the Tigers who fall to 8-7 on the season. Norris allowed five runs (four earned) on eight hits striking out four and walking two. It marks the first time the Tigers have been swept since August 15-17, 2016 against the Kansas City Royals.

Cash Quote To Note:

Tampa Bay Rays, Detroit Tigers
AP Photo: Chris O’Meara

“Today, as far as Erasmo goes both him and Whitley were outstanding. It’s funny with Erasmo him starting and then getting back in the rotation, he decides he wants to be really efficient and we have no problem with that. His stuff looked really good.

It had a lot of late action, which was nice to see. How fortunate for us to have that coverage for when a guy like Jake [Odorizzi] goes down to be able to piece it together with those two guys.

Good day. The bullpen was pretty taxed so it was nice that we only had to use Whitley and Tommy [Hunter] after that.”

The Offense:

Tampa Bay Rays, Detroit Tigers
AP Photo: Chris O’Meara

The Rays took advantage of several miscues by the Tigers defense but, the bats kept rolling like they have most of the early season. All told, they had 11 hits, belted three homers, and only struck out seven times.

Steven Souza Jr. was a single shy of the cycle finishing 3-for-5 with 3 runs driven in. He’s now hitting .349/.438/.603 with a trio of homers and 15 runs driven in.

Kevin Kiermaier finished 2-for-3 with a walk, a homer, two RBI, and a run scored. He is now hitting .292/.387/.415 on the season.

Daniel Robertson connected on his first big league homer in the 8th inning. He had two runs driven in on the night.

Up Next For Rays:

The Rays (9-8) will open up a three game weekend series with the AL West leading Houston Astros (11-5).   Alex Cobb (1-1, 4.50 ERA) takes the mound for the Rays as they look to extend their win streak to four in a row. The Astros will counter with right hander Mike Fiers (0-1, 5.40 ERA).

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I am a fan of all sports but am most passionate about baseball. From the fanatical to analytical, nothing about the game escapes me. Being born and raised in Northeast Ohio I'm very familiar with the heartache and pain that sports can bring and hope that I bring some understanding of the other side to my coverage. I will focus mostly on baseball but also cover the Tampa Bay Lightning, one of the most electric franchises in all of sports. Always willing to converse about any sport and have only one rule and that is be respectful at all times.