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Rays keep their mini-winning streak alive as Drew Smyly beats Yankees

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If you do not think of the Tampa Bay Rays‘ overall record, then the latest streak by the team is a little bit of fun.

On the other hand, perhaps that’s just how bad this season has gone.

The Rays won their third straight game Saturday night, and came within one win of equaling their season high, with a 6-3 victory over the New York Yankees. The Rays got their 10th straight quality start by a starting pitcher, tying for the second most in team history.

This time, Drew Smyly delivered the win. It snapped an 11-start winless streak by Smyly in which he was 0-7. Over their last 10 starts, the Rays’ rotation is 6-1 with a 1.50 ERA.

“Smyly was really good again,” said manager Kevin Cash. “It was good to see. Gives up one home run and that’s his outing. Six strong innings. Tonight I think was the best we’ve seen his curveball and the best he’s felt with his curveball in quite some time. That’s something to really take into these next couple outings for him. That’s a big pitch for him, big putaway, he compliments the fastball with that pitch and we saw it tonight.”

The Rays got a leaping catch from Kevin Kiermaier in the eighth inning to help preserve their lead.

“We get spoiled (by his defense),” said Cash “We get to see it all the time, but there aren’t many center fielders or players in the game that can get to that ball, jump that high. It was an impressive catch. Fortunately for us we get to see it quite a bit.”

Brad Miller, Curt Casali and Tim Beckham all had home runs for the Rays.

“I haven’t had the comeback that I’ve wanted so far, but that’s just the game of baseball,” Kiermaier said. “It can be a roller coaster at times and you try to be more on the upper end than the lower end riding that roller coaster. I felt great tonight. We’ll use tonight as a little stepping stone and move forward here and contribute to the offense on a daily basis from here on out.”

The Rays try to sweep the Yankees today when Blake Snell pitches against Michael Pineda.

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Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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