Citrus Series, Round Two: Rays 3, Marlins 0

Hello all interested parties, I have taken a brief pause on my vacation to return here and celebrate the Tampa Bay Rays’ sweep of the Florida Marlins at Dolphins Stadium.  The Rays dominated the entire series, winning 6–4, 15–3 and 6–1.  Some news, notes and highlights from the sweep:

–The Rays have completed their sixth sweep of the season, surpassing last year’s grand total of five.  They are also, at 47–31, a franchise record 16 games over .500, and now only ½ game behind the Boston Red Sucks — ERR, Red Sox.

–Evan Longoria had an amazing series, hitting two long home runs and two doubles.  He has 14 home runs, and Steve Levy said on today’s SportsCenter that he “looks like he’s for real.”  We have known this, but now at least there is a little nationwide respect for him.  Not to mention he saved the game on Tuesday night with a two–run double in the top of the ninth inning and a diving stop with the bases loaded in the bottom half.  He is a machine on every side of the ball he sees.

–Carl Crawford actually hit two home runs in one game, the 15–3 beating, as he tries to surpass last year’s reduced total of 11.  He currently has seven.

–Speaking of home runs, Ben Zobrist filled in for Jason Bartlett and hit two, one in each game he played.  We can’t even drag one out of Bartlett, yet this guy can hit two home runs in as many days.  Great job by him to do this for the first, and probably only, time in his career.

–Matt Garza wins on the road?  Not only wins, but dominates?  He only gave up one walk and one hit, a seventh inning home run by soon to be All Star shortstop Hanley Ramirez.  He struck out ten of the 28 Marlins hitters he faced, as Florida manager Fredi Gonzalez stated that he knew early on that Garza would be having a very strong performance.  Apparently, so did everyone else.  Garza came off the heels of a good outing from James Shields to pitch the best game Rays catcher Shawn Riggans says he has ever caught.  Great job of holding the brain and arm together in this game.

That just about does it for me, and I will continue to monitor my beloved Rays, as well as the rehab stint of Rocco Baldelli at Vero Beach and David Price’s progression through AA Montgomery.  We get the Pirates next, and until we destroy them, go Rays.

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