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Rays finally win another game as Evan Longoria homers twice against Orioles

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The Tampa Bay Rays are hot.

They have won one in a row, and two of their last 14, and four of their last 27 games. They have now won one of their last 20 games against first-place teams. Evan Longoria is coming off a two-home run game. The bullpen is on a scoreless streak.

Everyone together: Wheee!

Things finally came together for the Rays in Sunday’s 5-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles. The Rays managed only six hits, but four of them were homers (two by Longoria and one each by Brad Miller and Oswaldo Arcia, and Tampa Bay finally managed its’ 35th win (against 56 losses). It puts them within 18 ½ games of the Orioles.

“Obviously, it feels really good to get a win,” Rays’ manager Kevin Cash said. “This club needed it. (I’m) happy for the guys. I thought Odo really set the tone in the 1st inning—we were 2nd and 3rd, three pitches into the ballgame, no outs—one comes across but I thought it was an outstanding job to limit the damage and then he kind of put it on cruise control. Today might’ve been the best day we’ve seen that fastball up. He got a ton of chase on it and it didn’t seem like their guys could adjust to get on top of it. Outstanding by Odo.”

Longoria hit home runs of 419 feet and 441 feet,

“Longo’s ball, the second one, I would think that’s one of the farther balls he’s hit here,” Cash said. “[Arcia], the opposite-field shot, you don’t see too many guys do that. Miller also. We had a lot of guys that came in and contributed. It was great to see.Good overall win, something to go on a happy flight to Colorado. Our starting pitching did a really nice job this series. We had three really solid starts. That trend is going to continue. The thing that we need to do offensively is keep giving them some support to give them a little breathing room.”

Odorizzi brought his record to 4-5 with the win.

“Yeah, it is a good start,” Longoria said. “I know it took us two games after the second half, but the two games prior to today we played well. Our pitching staff and our starters went out and set the tempo and got us on the right track for the second half. Hopefully, today we can carry that momentum on.

The Rays open a three-game series with Colorado today. Drew Smyly is on the mound for Tampa Bay.

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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