Rays Sweep Pirates; Yankees Next

The Rays keep winning and a three-game sweep of the Pirates in a matchup of teams with the best records in the majors raised their record to 26-6.
Shane-McClanahan (Tampa Bay Rays)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Rays keep winning and a three-game sweep of the Pirates in a matchup of teams with the best records in the majors raised their record to 26-6.

The Rays, who held on with a 3-2 win Thursday afternoon, outscored the Buccos 15-4 in the series. They swept by using their bullpen, by taking advantage of miscues, by putting the ball over the fence and with outstanding starting pitching.

“This was an exciting series,” said manager Kevin Cash. “Pittsburgh came in a very hot team. That’s a good team (in the other clubhouse). They have done a nice job and we were fortunate to win today.”

In the news: VIDEO: Kevin Cash Believes Rays Success Is No Fluke

Tuesday evening’s bullpen outing had Cash utilize seven pitchers in a 4-1 win. Josh Fleming had to leave after taking a Ke’Bryan Hayes liner off his left foot, though a CT scan and an MRI were negative and the southpaw could be available this weekend against the Yankees.

On Wednesday, the Rays took advantage of a pair of errors in an 8-1 win. Shane McClanahan (6-0) allowed only a solo homer to Andrew McCutchen and fanned nine in six innings to become MLB’s first six-game winner.

“He’s starting to find that level of consistency that the elite ones do and we’re fortunate that we have a guy like that we can pencil in every fifth game,” said Cash.

Zach Eflin threw seven shutout innings and fanned 10 (seven looking) in Thursday afternoon’s 3-2 victory. The Pirates (20-12) scored both their runs in the ninth and brought the potential go-ahead run to the plate before Jason Adam got the final out.

The three Tampa Bay runs were courtesy solo homers off the bats of Randy Arozarena, Taylor Walls and Yandy Diaz. Arozarena and Diaz lead the team with eight homers while Walls hit his fifth of the season. He hit nine in 559 career at-bats coming into this year.

In the news: Florida Lawmakers Tee Up Minor League Baseball Pay Bill

“Hopefully, we can keep this momentum going into the next series,” said Walls. “Everybody is going about their business day in and day out. We are putting some good at-bats together, the pitching staff has been tremendous and the starting rotation has been awesome.”

The Rays begin a three-game series against the Yankees on Friday night. The Bronx Bombers will be missing their biggest bomber as Aaron Judge is on the IL with strained hip. Nonetheless, it is a weekend series against the Yankees.

“It will be exciting and there will be a lot of people here,” said Cash. “We have played against the Yankees quite a bit. We know how good they are and we have to play good baseball.”

Android Users, Click To Download The Free Press App And Never Miss A Story. Follow Us On Facebook and Twitter. Signup for our free newsletter. 

We can’t do this without your help; visit our GiveSendGo page and donate any dollar amount; every penny helps.

Share This:

Login To Facebook From Your Browser To Leave A Comment