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162-0? Rays on the Verge of History!

Randy Arozarena, recipient of 2020 AL Latino MVP Rookie Award - Image Credit: Tampa Bay Rays/MLB

ST. PETERSBURG, FL — After a four-game sweep on the Boston Red Sox, the Tampa Bay Rays departed for a series against the Blue Jays in Toronto, where they will chase the record for most consecutive wins at the start of a season. 

The first game of the series was a pitchers duel between Nick Pivetta of the Red Sox and “bullpen day” with Jalen Beeks, Josh Fleming, Garret Cleavinger and Colin Poche, the eventual winner. Brandon Lowe hit a solo home run off reliever Chris Martin with two outs in the eighth inning. Pete Fairbanks pitched a perfect ninth for the save. 

Final Score: Tampa Bay 1 – Boston 0

In the second game, Isaac Paredes, Brandon Lowe, and Josh Lowe, each had two hits including a home run. Paredes, 24, of Hermosillo, Mexico, finished with three hits and a HR in the Rays 7-2 win. Shane McClanahan recorded a win with the help of Cleavinger, Ryan Thompson and Jason Adam. 

Final Score: Tampa Bay 7 – Boston 2

Game three was a see-saw affair with the Rays finally winning despite a Rafael Devers home run in the seventh inning that brought the Red Sox to within one run. 

Randy Arozarena (2020 AL LatinoMVP Rookie of the Year) followed up with a sacrifice fly to right that brought home Wander Franco. Arozarena finished with a home run and four RBI while his teammate, the 2021 AL LatinoMVP Rookie of the Year, Franco, had three doubles in game three. 

Taj Bradley, who was called up from Durham because of an injury to Zach Eflin, pitched five innings, giving up three runs, striking out eight to earn his first career Major League victory. 

Final Score: Tampa Bay 9 Boston 7

The final game of the series was a “nail biter” until the bottom of the fifth when the Rays struck for seven runs, blowing the game wide open, and winning by a final score of 9-3. Tampa Bay’s starter Jeffrey Springs had to leave the game after three innings with an elbow injury. The bottom of the fifth featured a bases loaded two-out bunt by Manuel Margot that scored a run. 

When asked in the postgame press conference, Rays manager Kevin Cash was asked if he called for that play, he responded, “no, Margot did it on his own and it worked.” 

Kevin Kelly pitched 2 ⅔ innings to get his first win and Braden Bristo pitched three shutout innings without allowing a hit. The win and save were “firsts” for each pitcher. Harold Ramírez had two doubles in the inning. 

Final Score: Tampa Bay 9 – Boston 3

All together the Rays are 13-0 on the season with nine of their 13 position players being of Latino descent. For sure, a winning recipe in Tampa Bay.

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