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Rays’ surprising Erasmo Ramirez wins another game

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He was supposed be a stop-gap. Nothing more.

Instead, Erasmo Ramirez is becoming one of the mainstays of the Tampa Bay Rays’ pitching staff.

Ramirez shut out the Washington Nationals as the Rays rolled to a  6-1 victory for its fourth straight win Monday night at Tropicana Field. Ramirez, now 6-2 on the season, scattered five hits and left the bases loaded in the first and fifth innings.

The Rays are now seven games above .500 and lead the Yankees by one game in the AL East.

The Nationals let outfielder Steven Souza Jr. walk away during the off-season. And they watched him walk away during the game, too. Five times, Souza drew a walk, the most the Nationals have given up to an opponent.

Logan Forsythe had three hits and both Joey Butler and Kevin Kiermaier had two.

The teams play again tonight at 7:10 when the Rays’ Alex Colome faces Washington’s Turner Roark.

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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