Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Rays earn series win over AL West-leading Rangers (w/video)

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays stumbled through Friday's loss to the Rangers. Manager Kevin Cash called the effort disappointing.

That night began a stretch off 36 games against teams with winning records. That night raised the question: Have they mailed it in?

The answer: If two more games against the Rangers are any indication, then no.

"They knew (Friday) wasn't their best effort, and they're capable of more," Cash said after Sunday's 8-4 win. "They came in the last two (games) and did that. They should feel good about themselves right now."

The Rays (52-70) took two of three from the AL West-leading Rangers (73-52). Tampa Bay is 5-1 on this 10-game homestand and 14-9 since July 27.

"We're not thinking about record right now," second baseman Logan Forsythe said. "I think we're trying to realize where this club's at and where we might be at the start of spring training next year. We're trying to build and just become a more complete ballclub."

Sunday's win followed Saturday's formula, which was the formula laid out when the team broke spring training in April: good starting pitching, good relief, power from the offense.

Drew Smyly had another solid outing, winning his third straight start. He's 4-0 with a 2.79 ERA in his past six.

Forsythe, no longer bothered by back spasms, returned to the lineup as the DH and separated the game with a three-run homer that capped a five-run fourth inning.

Steven Souza Jr. iced the win with a two-run line drive home run into the left-centerfield seats in the eighth inning.

Brad Boxberger turned in his first four-out appearance of the season, and Alex Colome, pitching in a nonsave situation thanks to Souza's home run, retired the Rangers in order in the ninth.

"This is a good team," catcher Bobby Wilson said. "Obviously the record doesn't indicate that right now, but since I've been here I've seen guys playing hard, playing with enthusiasm and playing with pride. As rough as the season has been for these guys, there's not a whole lot of quit. The pitchers are giving us a chance to win ball games.

"I feel like the veteran guys in this clubhouse are not going to let the young guys play scared, play timid, just go out there and play and whatever happens, happens. Just play hard and not be scared of mistakes."

The test continues tonight when the AL wild card-leading Red Sox enter the Trop for the start of a four-game series.

"We're capable of winning," Smyly said. "I think our pitching is really coming around the second half of the season, and our lineup is very capable of doing damage like they did (Sunday). When you have those two things, you're going to win games."

Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Brad Miller (13) chases Texas Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor (12) in a rundown in the second inning of the game between the Texas Rangers and the Tampa Bay Rays in Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 21, 2016.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Brad Miller (13) chases Texas Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor (12) in a rundown in the second inning of the game between the Texas Rangers and the Tampa Bay Rays in Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 21, 2016.

The Rays have:

> Won 6 of their past 7.

> Scored at least 8 runs in 5 of those 6 wins.

> Outscored opponents 55-18 in those 7 games.

Rays earn series win over AL West-leading Rangers (w/video) 08/21/16 [Last modified: Monday, August 22, 2016 12:10am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays series preview: Who are the Mariners?

    Blogs

    The Rays are back home again, duking it out with another club in the American League Wild Card chase — the Mariners, who have a slight advantage over Tampa Bay. Here's the information you need to know about Seattle before the action kicks off.

    Record: 61-61, third in AL West

    Starter Erasmo Ramirez will face the Rays after they traded him to the Mariners in July.
  2. Florida Gators' Malik Zaire: 'This is everything to me'

    Blogs

    GAINESVILLE — We're two weeks and one day away from the Florida Gators' Sept. 2 season opener against Michigan, and the quarterback position remains unresolved.

    "This is everything to me..." said Malik Zaire, the grad transfer from Notre Dame. "I have everything to prove, everything to lose."
  3. 1997 USF Bulls: Jay Mize, a 'relentless, fearless' safety and entrepreneur

    College

    USF football alumnus Jay Mize, 39, poses for a portrait at Irish 31 Pub House & Eatery located at 1611 W Swann Avenue in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, August 8, 2017. Mize, a member of the first USF football team, has evolved into an immensely successful businessman and entrepreneur and he owns the Irish 31 pubs.
  4. Revisiting the inaugural 1997 USF Bulls football roster

    College

    The 1997 USF football team. (University of South Florida, USF Bulls)
  5. 1997 USF Bulls: Charlie Jackson navigates life's speed bumps

    College

    USF wide receiver Charlie Jackson (1) strives for extra yardage as he is brought down from behind by the Citadel's Rob Nichols (29) in the first quarter on Sept. 14, 1997. (Times 1997)