Maybe it’s time we stop talking about the Rays as sellers? Just a thought.
The Rays rolled to their eighth straight win last night with a 6-4 victory over the Red Sox at Tropicana Field. The game featured a great pitching matchup between David Price and Jon Lester, two names who have surfaced in trade rumors in recent weeks. The Rays actually trailed in this one until they rallied against Boston’s bullpen in the seventh inning. Ben Zobrist tied things up with an RBI single before Evan Longoria delivered a bases-clearing double down the left field line to put the Rays in front for good.
Price allowed three runs over eight innings and struck out 10 batters. He has now gone at least eight innings in eight out of his last nine starts.
On the strength of their recent hot streak, the Rays are now 50-53 for the year. This is the closest they have been to .500 since early May. They currently sit 7 1/2 games back of the first-place Orioles in the American League East and 4 1/2 back for one of the Wild Card spots.
Your Friday box scores:
Red Sox 4, Rays 6
Cardinals 6, Cubs 7
Blue Jays 4, Yankees 6
Diamondbacks 5, Phillies 9
Athletics 1, Rangers 4
Nationals 4, Reds 1
Indians 4, Royals 6
Padres 5, Braves 2
Marlins 2, Astros 0
White Sox 9, Twins 5
Mets 3, Brewers 2
Pirates 1, Rockies 8
Tigers 1, Angels 2
Dodgers 8, Giants 1
Orioles 2, Mariners 1 (10 innings)
The Cubs wrapped up a four-game series against the Reds at Wrigley Field on Thursday afternoon, suffering a 13-10 loss to split the set. They’ll match up again against the Reds next week for a three-game series in Cincinnati. That’s good news for Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant, because that means he’ll get to see Reds first baseman Joey Votto some more.
As CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney reports, Bryant has grown quite fond of Votto. Bryant has already won a World Series ring, a Rookie of the Year Award, and an MVP Award, but he still looks up to Votto. According to Bryant, Votto is “the best player ever.” He added, ““He’s my favorite player. I love watching him. I love talking to him, just picking his brain. He gets a lot of (heat) about his walks and working at-bats and some people want him to swing at more pitches. But, gosh, I mean, he does an unbelievable job. You know that he’s going to give you a great at-bat every time he goes up there. It’s definitely a guy that I look up to and I can learn from.”
Bryant said that Votto is “a future Hall of Famer, that’s for sure.”
Bryant also explained how his approach changed by watching Votto. He said that in his rookie season, he was “swinging at everything.” Votto, however, is “aggressive, but he’s not going to swing at a pitch until he wants it.”
Indeed, in Bryant’s rookie season, he struck out in nearly 31 percent of his 650 plate appearances. This season, he has struck out in only 19 percent of his PA. His walk rate has also increased by more than 2.5 percent since his rookie campaign. Compared to last year, Bryant is down in HR and RBI, but his average is the same, his on-base percentage is markedly better, and his slugging percentage is only down by a minute amount.
Diamondbacks second baseman Daniel Descalso hit his team’s third inside-the-park home run of the season during Thursday’s 4-0 win over the Astros. In the top of the fourth inning, with the score 1-0 and the bases empty, Descalso ripped a 1-0, 83 MPH change-up to right-center field. The ball caromed off the wall, heading towards left field, which sent center Jake Marisnick on the chase. Marisnick tried to pick up the ball with his glove, but dropped it, which sealed Descalso’s destiny for an inside-the-parker.
It had only been five days since the Diamondbacks’ last inside-the-park home run. David Peralta hit one against the Cubs on August 12. Ketel Marte legged out his club’s first ITPHR on July 26 against the Braves.
As ESPN Stats & Info notes, the Diamondbacks have three as a team, which is amazing because the other 29 teams have hit seven combined.