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)
Fresh off our “Manny Machado didn’t hustle” post, here’s one about him trying a little too hard. Machado was called for interference in the bottom of the fourth inning during Monday night’s NLCS Game 3 against the Brewers at Dodger Stadium. It was actually Machado’s second attempt to interfere with Orlando Arcia during the game.
In the bottom of the second, Machado led off with a single. Cody Bellinger followed up by hitting a grounder to second baseman Travis Shaw, who fed to Arcia. Machado slid towards Arcia enough to disrupt the play, allowing Bellinger to reach first base safely. The Brewers didn’t challenge, in part because Arcia didn’t attempt a throw.
Fast forward to the bottom of the fourth. Machado again leads off and again reaches base, this time with a walk. Bellinger hits another grounder. First baseman Jesús Aguilar snags the ball and fires to Arcia covering the second base bag. Machado slides into second base and reaches out with his right hand to mess with Arcia’s throw to first base. It succeeds, as Arcia’s throw skips past first base towards the dugout. Brewers manager Craig Counsell challenged the call, alleging slide interference (the “Chase Utley rule”). The umpires reviewed the play and agreed that Machado did indeed interfere with Arcia, so Bellinger was called out. What made Machado’s effort even worse is that Bellinger would’ve reached easily regardless, so there was no need to interfere with Arcia.
The Dodgers trail the Brewers 1-0 through the first half of the game. The Brewers got their run early thanks to an RBI double by Ryan Braun off of Walker Buehler in the top of the first. Jhoulys Chacín has pitched excellently for the Brewers thus far.