Rays Randy Arozarena

Rays Drop Into First-Place Tie With Orioles, Who Visit The Trop Thursday Night

A 2-4 post-break road trip that included a three-game sweep at the hands of the Rangers has dropped the Rays into a first-place tie with the Baltimore Orioles.
Tampa Bay Rays, Randy Arozarena (Credit: Tampa Bay Rays)

A 2-4 post-break road trip that included a three-game sweep at the hands of the Rangers has dropped the Rays into a first-place tie with the Baltimore Orioles.

Guess which team is coming to Tropicana Field for a four-game series beginning Thursday night?

A 5-1 loss in Arlington on Wednesday afternoon not only resulted in the Rays’ being swept for the second time this season, but both sweeps have come in the past four series. The Phillies took all three from Tampa Bay at the Trop on July 4-6.

Given their recent woes, it should come as no surprise the Rays (60-39) are an MLB-worst 3-11 in July. They are 31-32 since starting 29-7.

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The pitching has remained solid. The bats, however, have gone cold. Well, the Rays banged out two hits in each of the first four innings Wednesday and 10 hits for the game. The problem was they did not score a run until Jose Siri homered with one out in the ninth, which did nothing but spoil the Rangers’ shutout.

“We don’t have much going our way right now,” said manager Kevin Cash, during Wednesday’s postgame media session. “We are not creating opportunities like we are capable of, and the things that we are doing well are probably not showing up at the rate that we would like.”

To be precise, the Orioles (58-37) are in first place by mere percentage points: .611 to .606. They defeated the Dodgers at Camden Yards on Wednesday to salvage a game in that three-game series.

The Rays will send Tyler Glasnow (3-3, 3.78) to the mound Thursday night. He will be opposed by Kyle Gibson (9-6, 4.77). The first pitch will be at 6:40. Friday night’s game will also get underway at 6:40. Saturday will be at 4:10, and Sunday at 1:40.

Among activities the Rays have planned for the remainder of this 25th anniversary season will be the August 26 induction of Carl Crawford in the Rays Hall of Fame. Crawford will join the late Don Zimmer and Wade Boggs as a member of the inaugural class. The Rays play the Yankees that afternoon.

The unveiling of Evan Longoria and Akinori Iwamura statues will take place prior to the September 23 game against the Blue Jays. The statues will commemorate Iwamura as he stepped on second base and leaped into the air for the final out to clinch the 2008 American League pennant and Longoria’s 12th-inning walk-off home run against the Yankees to clinch a 2011 AL Wild Card appearance in Game 162.

The statues will later be installed outside Tropicana Field.

A 25th-anniversary commemorative book written by Tampa Bay Times beat writer Marc Topkin, with the foreword by owner Stu Sternberg, will be available in the Rays’ team store at Tropicana Field in early August.

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