13 April, 2023
SAN KARLO — The Rays had a five-run lead briefly on Wednesday night, and manager Kevin Cash assumed his team might coast to an easy victory.
Cash stated, “I feel like a fool for believing that, because Boston is actually rather good.”The Rays won their 12th straight game on Wednesday night, 9-7 against the Red Sox, and are now on the verge of making Major League Baseball history.
Tampa Bay has equaled the longest overall winning streak in team history, matching the Devil Rays’ 12-game run from June 9-22, 2004. The Rays may tie the 1982 Braves and 1987 Brewers for the longest winning streak to begin a Major League Baseball season at 13-0 if they win Thursday’s series finale at Tropicana Field.
It’s really significant and impactful when we achieve something that sets a franchise record,” Cash added. The men should be quite pleased with that.
The Rays take great pride in the fact that virtually every member of the team has contributed to their current winning streak. Five different batters drove in runs, and after top prospect Taj Bradley went five innings in his MLB debut, five different relievers took the mound.
Yet, Wander Franco and Randy Arozarena, two of Tampa Bay’s finest talents, were right in the thick of things when their club needed them most.
Franco continued his hot start by smacking three doubles, stealing a base, scoring two runs, and driving in two more. Arozarena crushed a three-run homer in the first inning to get things started and gave the Rays’ high-leverage arms some breathing room with an eighth-inning sacrifice fly to finish the scoring.
Cash remarked, “We’re hitting the bats good.” “Wander is really hot right now…. You’ll take your successes where you can find them, such as Randy’s sac fly. It’s a pretty normal back-and-forth between the Rays and the Red Sox.
That was also a typical game for the Rays, who usually don’t fall behind and instead slug their way to victory. They have only been behind at the conclusion of five of the first 108 innings this year, and their plus-65 run differential after 12 games is the third-best in Major League Baseball history.
The Rays have hit 30 home runs so far this season thanks to Arozarena’s first-inning bomb, which ranks third in MLB history behind the 2019 Mariners (32) and the 2000 Cardinals (31). (31).
That’s exactly the kind of early lead Cash hoped the 22-year-old right-hander would take in his Big League debut. The Red Sox scored one in the bottom of the fourth, but the Rays quickly countered.
Taylor Walls, Christian Bethancourt, and Vidal Bruján at the bottom of the Tampa Bay lineup loaded the bases for the top of the lineup to score the winning run. A run was scored thanks to a sacrifice fly by Yandy Diaz, and Franco kept his hot streak going with a two-run double to left center field.
Franco, speaking via an interpreter named Manny Navarro, stated, “I feel fine, and I feel comfortable for being able to execute the job.” We’re quite pleased with that.
In the fifth inning, each team scored twice, but Boston still fought back. After Justin Turner singled off of Jalen Beeks in the sixth inning and scored on a pair of groundouts, a misplay in right center field by Manuel Margot and Harold Ramirez gave the Red Sox an extra out in the seventh. In response, Rafael Devers of the Red Sox hit a three-run blast to left field off Tampa Bay reliever Colin Poche, narrowing the gap to just one run.
The Rays, who had won 10 of their first 11 games by at least four runs, had to deal with a rare tight encounter for the second time in three days. Yet, their best relievers and best hitters came through once again when it counted.
Franco doubled and scored an additional run on Arozarena’s sacrifice fly after a scoreless eighth inning from Jason Adam. Pete Fairbanks earned his second save after allowing a leadoff single in the ninth inning.
The pieces are starting to fit together, Bethancourt said. We’re working hard to improve ourselves and become the greatest people we can be. There is no egotism on our part. On the attack, we’re simply maintaining the line. They’ve been fantastic on the mound, and I’m certain that if we keep this up we can make it to the World Series.