St. Petersburg, FL – It’s always nice to bring out the broom sticks. The Tampa Bay Rays are on some kind of roll, winning five of their last seven series, most recently sweeping the Kansas City Royals at the Trop. Though a Rays vs. Royals sweep is no superhuman feat – Kansas City is 52-games under .500 – the sweep gave Tampa their 14th win in 22 games since July 31st. That’s good for 4th best in the American League, only two games behind Cleveland, who has the best record (16-6) since July 31st. The Rays currently sit at 3rd in the AL East, 21.5 games behind 1st place Boston, and nine games behind Oakland in the AL Wild Card race.
— FOX Sports Florida (@FOXSportsFL) August 24, 2018
Game one, on Monday was a pitchers duel, with Tampa Bay scoring the only run of the game in the 2nd inning. Tuesday, Blake Snell got the start and struck out 11 batters while giving up just one run. He is the second pitcher in the live-ball era (since 1920) with 160+ K and fewer than 35 runs allowed through 24 starts, joining Bob Gibson in 1968 (168 K, 31 R). Thank you, Stats by STATS! Wednesday, the Rays went back to their unusual, but effective, pitching setup, starting off with “reliever”, Ryne Stanek, who went two innings before they brought in “starter” Yonny Chirinos.
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) August 23, 2018
Thursday’s win completed the season sweep of the Royals, and they have a walk-off error to thank for that. With the bases loaded in the 9th inning, Kevin Kiermaier hits a grounder to 1st, where Royals 1st baseman, correctly fielded it and attempted to make the forced out play at home. The problem is that the throw home was low, and a routine force-out play resulted in the winning run scoring in error walk-off fashion. It was only the 2nd time in Rays history that they complete a season sweep since they did it to the Miami Marlins in 2013, and the first time in their history they accomplished the feat against an American League lineup. The loss officially eliminated Kansas City from postseason contention.
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) August 24, 2018
Next, the Rays once again face their division rivals, 1st place Boston Red Sox. Stay tuned to Lemon City Live for more on the Rays’ playoff chase!
📷Credit: Mary Holt