Kings of the road

Rays starting pitcher Wade Davis didn’t throw his best game but pitched well enough for the win. Davis only went five innings but allowed a respectable three runs on four hits. His five walks with only three strikeouts are a cause for concern.

Kyle Farnsworth picked up his seventh save of the year, his 2011 numbers now matching his total saves for the five seasons prior.

The Farnz is just one Rays player who had a strong showing in Baltimore. Joyce had two doubles in four at-bats. Zobrist had a multi-hit game, extending his streak of consecutive outings with a hit to 14 straight.

The Rays are geared up for the road.

Tampa Bay travels to Cleveland next to take on the red-hot Indians club. The Tribe sits atop the American League. Historically, the Rays have had trouble at Progressive Field, even when the Injuns were doing poorly (read: 2010). Fans will find out which AL squad will be the one to budge Tuesday evening at 7:05. Andy Sonnanstine will get the start on the hill for Tampa Bay in place of Jeff Niemann.

Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinTall


Bats? Got ‘em.

Pitching? Yup.

Swagger? Check.

So goes the packing list when the Tampa Bay Rays get ready for a road trip this season.

With the 5-3, series-sweeping win Sunday afternoon in Baltimore, the Rays set a franchise record with eight consecutive road wins. The team is 11-4 away from Tropicana Field in 2011.

The victory propelled the Rays—temporarily—to the top of the American League East; the New York Yankees put a pounding on the Texas Rangers to reclaim the division lead a few hours later.

Since losing the first six games of the year, Tampa Bay has lost only six over the span of the last 25 outings. Few could have imagined such a dramatic reversal of fortune short of Nostradamus or Miss Cleo, and they’re not the biggest baseball fans ever.

Evan Longoria can’t have been the catalyst, having been sidelined for weeks with a left oblique strain. Still, his work of late has certainly helped.

Longo chipped in an RBI-single in the top of the fourth inning, scoring a run as well in a three-point frame for the Rays. Johnny Damon had led off with a stand-up double and scored on Longoria’s base hit. Matt Joyce doubled behind the popular third baseman and B.J. Upton scored them both on a base hit to right field for the Rays’ fourth-consecutive hit of the frame.

Upton’s base hit in the next frame scored Ben Zobrist and Joyce again for four RBI in a .500 day at the plate for the Rays center fielder.


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