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AL East Heats Up, Rays Trample Astros

Boy oh boy! The Rays posted seven runs tonight, one per inning it seemed, to take down the Astros 7-2. In his 50th career start, Wade Davis pitched seven innings well, up to 95 mph, earning a quality start and allowing one run over five hits. For Davis, stellar. He only struck out three, but we'll take the win. Astro Bud Norris had five Ks but came back down to earth this evening. He allowed six hits over five innings with three earned runs and the bullpen didn't have his back. Tampa Bay have won three consecutive series, four consecutive games and will go for the sweep tomorrow afternoon at 2:00.

Now the Rays, Yankees and Red Sox are within two games of one another at 43, 44 and 44 wins respectively. Evan Longoria's results are finally improving: he went 2-for-4 with two doubles, a walk and two RBI's tonight. Longoria has recently stopped using batting gloves, which he said makes his hands "sore," (no kidding!) and it's given him vast improvement. He has hit 4-for-8 this series. 

Ben Zobrist scored two runs on two walks, B.J. Upton had two hits (including a homerun) and Casey Kotchman kept up his magic, going 3-for-5 in the fourth slot. Offense, people. It's a beautiful thing. All in all, 8 Rays combined for 13 hits and the Rays are 8-3 in interleague play this season. The Rays are now nine games over .500 for the first time this season. On this road trip Tampa Bay starting pitchers have allowed six earned runs in 36 innings. At age 25, this was Wade Davis's 50th career start.

Game Notes from

  • Davis held the opposing team homerless for just the second time in his past nine starts.
  • Johnny Damon's RBI single in the second inning gave the Rays a 2-0 lead and moved the left fielder past Jimmie Foxx for 72nd place all-time in hits.
  • With the stellar defensive plays came two uncharacteristic mistakes. Reid Brignac misplayed a Hunter Pence grounder in the sixth inning, and Sam Fuld was charged with an error on a dropped fly ball in the eighth inning. The blunders were just the seventh and eighth errors the Rays have committed in their Past 20 games.

Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.