The Tampa Bay Rays (69-52) are starting to turn it around again winning three of the last four games at Tropicana Field. They are now (40-23) at home and were on a three-game win streak until Saturday night. Heading into Wednesday the Rays had dropped six straight games and were four games behind the Red Sox (73-52). But since Wednesday everyone on the roster is getting on the same page once again. Tampa Bay is now only two games behind Boston in the East due to two walkoff victories this homestand.
Tampa finishes up their homestand with the finale of the three-game series vs the Toronto Blue Jays (57-67) on Sunday. Chris Archer will be on the mound. If Tampa can win this game they go 4-2 on this homestand before heading to Baltimore for a big three-game series on Monday. On Saturday, Roberto Hernandez was on the hill he worked five innings giving up four runs. It ended up being a 6-2 loss for the Rays as they could not get anything going offensively.
On Friday it was another comeback from behind walkoff win delivered by Jose Lobaton. Lobaton hit the game winning triple to bring in Yunel Escobar from first base. The game went back and forth but Tampa was able to edge out the Blue Jays winning 5-4 by collecting Lobaton’s first walkoff action in the ninth. Matt Joyce also had a home run which was good to see as he had been struggling lately.
On Thursday, the Rays were in complete control most of the game vs the Seattle Mariners (56-66). This was the first time fans got to see Alex Cobb since getting hit in the head with a line drive on June 15th. He looked good pitching five solid innings. Evan Longoria and Wil Myers both looked great knocking in six RBIs between the two of them as the Rays won 7-1.
On Wednesday, the game went back and forth as well but had a wonderful ending. The new-Ray Jason Bourgeois collected the walkoff single for Tampa. It was his first hit as a Ray. Tampa won 5-4; which capped a two-run rally in the ninth as they were losing 4-3 headed into their final three outs. Bourgeois had only been called up for Desmond Jennings as he was injured last week.
It was good to see some smiles in the Rays' clubhouse and on the field this week with two walkoff victories. It was a real rough road trip they had last week so hopefully this winning homestand can carry them into Baltimore for a big series. Tampa dropped its sixth straight game and the first game of the series against the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday; losing 5-4 in a close game. A lot of has changed since Tuesday with the vibe of the team and everything seems to be headed in the right direction if they can win this final game on Sunday.
Tampa Bay will now head to Baltimore to take on the Orioles (66-56) on Monday. The Rays are going to face a lot of teams within the division and teams they are battling for that final Wild Card spot. The Orioles are three games behind the Rays in the East. Tampa is only (29-29) away from the Trop and it is now mid-August so it really time to kick it into gear. Getting Matt Moore and Desmond Jennings back will definitely be a plus for Tampa Bay as August has not been so kind compared to July.