The offense has decided to come back to life since the last White Sox series, leading to win after win for the suddenly hot Rays. It doesn't take a whole lot of offense when the pitching is as good as it has been over the last week, with Rays starters going at least 7 innings in 6 straight games. In fact, the last time a Rays pitcher failed to finish the seventh inning was the 16-5 drubbing of the Red Sox on April 11th that seemed to slingshot the Rays back into the Win column with a vengeance.
James Shields will try to continue the trend today against the famously reverse-split Chicago left-hander Dohn Danks. If you like nasty changeups, this is a game you will want to see.
Since starting the season 1-8, the Rays have run off 6 of their last 7 to improve to 7-9 and move into a tie for second place in the division with the Toronto Blue Jays at 3 games back of the New York Yankees. Some of the bats the Rays really needed to come to life have over the last week or so, including hot hitting from Matt Joyce, Ben Zobrist, and the league-leading Sam Fuld (who is batting .396 after his 4-4 performance yesterday). Don’t be fooled, however. This offense is still missing some key cogs, including recent hero Johnny Damon who is day-to-day with a finger injury sustained in Sunday’s game against the Twins. In his (and the indomitable Evan Longoria’s) absence, the team will need contributions by some key replacements in order to keep the offense churning.
Game time is 6:40 P.M. at the never-rained-out Tropicana Field and can be seen on TV at Fox Sports Florida and heard on the radio at 620 WDAE.