Justin Smoak hit a tiebreaking home run in the eighth inning, Josh Donaldson added two solo blasts and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Tampa Bay Rays 5-3 on Thursday. Smoak hit a two-run drive off Tommy Hunter (2-4), his 33rd, as the Blue Jays took three of four from the Rays to remain on the fringes of the AL wild card race. Toronto is 10-5 in August.
When the All-Star break arrived on July 9, the Tampa Bay Rays were legitimate contenders for a playoff berth. They were 47-43 and tied for second place with the New York Yankees in the American League East. They were three and one-half games behind the division-leading Boston Red Sox thanks to taking three of four games at home heading into the break. This space said “one month from now it should be clear whether they can actually contend for a…
Carlos Carrasco took another no-hit try into the late innings at Tropicana Field, losing his bid on a two-out single in the seventh by Logan Morrison but leading the Cleveland Indians over the Tampa Bay Rays 5-0 Friday night. In July 2015, Carrasco came within one strike of a no-hitter at Tampa Bay before Joey Butler lined a two-out single in the ninth over leaping second baseman Jason Kipnis.
Chris Sale allowed two hits in eight innings and struck out 13, and the Boston Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays 2-0 on Tuesday for their seventh straight victory. Sale (14-4) reached double digits in strikeouts for the 15th time this season, the first time that’s been done since Randy Johnson in 2002.
Steven Souza Jr. homered off Milwaukee reliever Jacob Barnes leading off the ninth inning Sunday to lift the Tampa Bay Rays to a 2-1 win over the Brewers. Souza’s 24th home run helped the Rays salvage a win in a three-game series in which they scored only two runs. It was Souza’s first walkoff homer with the Rays.
The Tampa Bay Rays have only one game remaining in their brutal 8-game road trip. Thursday night’s game in Houston will determine whether they break even or finish at 3-5.
This dash to third base was a bit different for Mallex Smith. The Tampa Bay left fielder rushed in to tag out speedy Billy Hamilton after a lengthy rundown, highlighting the Rays‘ 8-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday. “When you get the fast guy like that, you’ve got to bring our fast guy and run him down,” Rays right fielder Steven Souza Jr. Hamilton stole his major league-leading 31st base in the fourth inning. But he later got…