Make us your home page

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Rays rout Colorado Rockies

DENVER — The hottest team in baseball is now your Tampa Bay Rays.

And the way the title changed hands Tuesday, it wasn't even close.

The Rays extended their winning streak to six games by ending the Rockies' record run at 11 games with a 12-4 bashing.

"I found out before the game that they were as hot as they are, or were,'' said Ben Zobrist. "So it's definitely nice to know that we're keeping our streak going.''

Offense has been toned down at Coors Field since the Rockies started putting the baseballs in a humidor in 2002. But the Rays played like it was set up the old way, blasting balls all over and out of the yard, rapping a team-record 12 extra-base hits, including five home runs.

The first home run was most telling of what was to come, as Evan Longoria broke his bat and still hit the ball over the wall.

"I don't know, this place is a great place to hit obviously,'' Longoria said. "I didn't think that it didn't have a chance to go right off the bat, but I knew my bat was broken. I guess once it got up in the air it just went.''

And once the other Rays saw that, they all started swinging. "I think that gave everybody a little bit of confidence going up there to hack,'' Ben Zobrist said.

By the end of the night, Carlos Peña had his American League-leading 21st homer of the season. Former Rockie Gabe Kapler had his fourth in his last four games (after hitting none in his first 34). Zobrist had his sixth in his last 13 games and 14th overall. B.J. Upton had one. And Longoria got to show off in front of his former Long Beach State roommate and teammate, Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki.

Kapler and Zobrist each had a chance to be the first Ray to hit for the cycle — Kapler had a triple, homer and single, but was removed during a double-switch in the seventh. Zobrist also needed just a double, but grounded back to the mound in the eighth.

The Rockies' 11-game winning streak, which matched the Red Sox for longest in the majors this season and tied the team record, was built mostly on strong starting pitching. The Rays didn't need long to change that, chasing lefty Jorge De La Rosa in the third.

"I know they've been playing at a very high level; it's hard to sustain that for a real long period,'' Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "That's something that's just going to happen. We had good at-bats tonight.''

Jeff Niemann, whom the Rays kept at the end of spring training and traded Jason Hammel to the Rockies, worked five innings for his team-leading sixth win.

"Oh boy, that was a fun win right there,'' said Zobrist. "A complete team effort there. That was probably one of our best wins of the year.''

The Rays are 35-31 overall, the first time they've been four games over .500 this season, and five games behind first-place Boston. Their six-game streak is the longest current streak in the majors. Since returning from Cleveland on a five-game losing streak to face Minnesota May 29, they have a 13-4 record that is the best in the majors. The Rockies are 13-5 over that span.

"We've been playing pretty well of late,'' Maddon said. "We normally work good at-bats. We see a lot of pitches. Getting Jason Bartlett back in the lineup is very big for us also.''

Rays 12

Rockies 4

Tampa Bay Rays rout Colorado Rockies 06/17/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 17, 2009 1:26am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Countryside alum A.J. Andrews lands in ESPN's annual body issue


    A.J. Andrews has taken over the spotlight in softball. Last year, the former Countryside High and LSU standout became the first female to win a Rawlings Gold Glove in the award's 59-year existence.

    Former LSU/Countryside softball player AJ Andrews, now w/ Akron, is the first female to win a Rawlings Gold Glove in the award's 59-year history. (Courtesy of Rawlings)
  2. James Wilder Jr. back at running Canada


    Remember when former Plant High star and Florida State running back James Wilder Jr. announced he was switching to linebacker?

    That was short-lived, apparently.

  3. Cup-winning Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk makes Hockey Hall of Fame

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Hall of Fame coach Scotty Bowman said Dave Andreychuk's name has surfaced often the past eight years with the selection committee.

    30 Oct 2001:  Left wing Dave Andreychuk #25 of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates towards the blue line during the NHL game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada.  The Maple Leafs defeated the Lightning 3-2.  Mandatory Credit:  Dave Sanford /Allsport
  4. Rays acquire slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria from Marlins

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Chaim Bloom said the Rays weren't necessarily in the market for a shortstop. The team has a number of those. But when the Marlins recently began shopping Adeiny Hechavarria, well, that was too much to pass up.

    Adeiny Hechavarria has emerged as one of baseball’s top defensive shortstops in the past three seasons with the Marlins.
  5. Rays at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, Pittsburgh

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Pirates

    7:05, PNC Park

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Probable pitchers

    Rays: Alex Cobb (6-5, 4.05)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)