The Rays are back in a first place tie with the Boston Red Sox after exacting some just vengeance on the Orioles. After Baltimore took the opener 8-1 (I blame jetlag and Aubrey Huff), the undying Tampa Bay team used Andy Sonnanstine and Matt Garza, whose very jobs are at stake, to send the Orioles tumbling back towards their proper place in the standings. The game today was lowlighted by B.J. Upton’s recurring shoulder injury and an Adam Jones home run off Garza, but was made up for in spades and highlighted by Carl Crawford and a winning attitude. Well, that, Jonny Gomes blasting a home run off of Ray hater Brian Burres (who has never beaten us), and Upton only being sidelined for a few days. Good series minus the first game, and we have now taken three straight series and won eight out of nine games. Here we come, baseball world.
The next step in proving the Rays’ worth may be more important than every other test combined. The Rays now go to Fenway Park for a weekend series with the Red Sox in a battle for supremacy. On Sunday, we’ll have the grand return of one of our Generals, Scott Kazmir, to help strengthen the lines of defense and win this war. The way they handled the defending champions last weekend, they really could do it all again. I will throw parties if we keep seeing wins like this. This team is only getting better with the maturation of Evan Longoria, the surprise play of Eric Hinske, and the impending returns of Kazmir and Cliff Floyd.
So, in short, a great job by the Rays over the last week and a half, and at least a little more of this (or beyond that, we can only hope) will push us over the top and through the glass ceiling. The optimism is paying dividends. So until next time, go first place Rays.