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Rays knocks off powerful Texas as Drew Smiley pitches well

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For the Tampa Bay Rays, the streaks are all good these days.

The team won its sixth game in seven outings Sunday. In five of the six games, they’ve scored at least eight runs. In all, they’ve outscored opponents 55-18 in those wins.

Not only that, but they’ve now won two in a row against a first-place team. The Rays beat the Texas Rangers again Sunday, 8-4.

“Great series, man,” said Rays’ manager Kevin Cash. “From the way it started to the way it finished, that was an outstanding effort by our guys. We pitched well, made some big pitches, they put some pressure on us later in the ballgame. I thought Drew was good. He left a cutter that came back middle-in, but other than that he was really good against a very difficult, challenging lineup. Good for him to continue pitching like he has been as of late. Offensively, Souza had a big day. Really liked some of the little things that we did. I know Logan Forsythe had a three-run homer, but Beck getting a bunt down, Bobby Wilson getting a bunt down, things like that helped us win a ballgame today.”

Fosythe’s homer was his third straight game in which he’s homered. Steven Souza added a two-run shot, his second home run in nine at-bats. That comes after Souza had one home run in his previous 158 at-bats.

Corey Dickerson kept his six-game hitting streak alive on the heels of an 0-for-17 streak.

“It shows the talent that we have and the kind of baseball we’ve been playing as of late, all around, from the pitching, bullpen, defense, offense,” said Forsythe. “I think we’re getting big hits, having more quality at-bats with guys in scoring position. That’s a great ball club over there, and to be able to take two of three and win a series here—we want to continue it. And see how we end up.”

Drew Smyly won again for the Rays. He’s 4-0 in his last six starts.

“We’re very capable of winning,” Smyly said. “Texas is a first-place team, they’ve been in first place all year. That’s a really good lineup, they have great pitching and we beat them two out of three. It’s just consistency, I think, we got in a really bad slump there in the first half but I think our pitching is really coming around the second half of the season and our lineup is very capable of doing damage like they did today. When you have those two things, you’re going to win games.”

Today, rookie Blake Snell pitches against former Ray David Price.

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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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