For an extra piece, David DeJesus is proving to be fairly appreciated.
DeJesus, who has heard whispers about being traded since spring training, led the Tampa Bay Rays to a victory Thursday night that gave them control of first place in the American League East.
DeJesus hit a home run and a run-scoring double in a 3-0 victory over the Oakland As Thursday night.
The way the Rays’ pitching has been going as of late, that was plenty.
Alex Colome threw five innings of four-hit shutout ball, and the Rays’ bullpen followed with four players throwing a shutout inning each. Brad Boxberger finished it up for his 12th save of the season without a hitch.
Boxberger, who had only two saves a year ago, is throwing like a man who is growing comfortable in the role. Jake McGee, who was injured as the season began, was the Rays’ closer last year. It will be interesting to see how the Rays handle the job.
Perhaps DeJesus still will not last the year. If the Rays are determined to field an outfield of Steven Souza Jr., Kevin Kiermaier and Desmond Jennings, he is sort of a player without a home. With a $6 million salary, that is a luxury. But with John Jaso still ailing, DeJesus has gotten off to a good start. He’s hitting .316, and he already has 16 RBI. (He had only 19 last year in three times the at bats.)
The Rays play the A’s again tonight, with Chris Archer pitching against Scott Kazmir.