ST. PETERSBURG — In a season filled with unexpected developments, the Rays have done something they never had in their previous 25 seasons: have five players hit 20 or more home runs.
Brandon Lowe hit his 20th on Friday (then his 21st Sunday), joining Isaac Paredes (29), Jose Siri (25), Randy Arozarena (22) and Yandy Diaz (20).
Plus, they’re just a few good swings over the final two weeks from having two more join the club, as Luke Raley has 19 and Josh Lowe 18 (to go with his 30 steals).
The Rays have never had more than four hitters reach 20 in the same season, which happened four times, last in 2021 when Brandon Lowe had 39, Mike Zunino 33, Austin Meadows 27 and Arozarena 20.
If Raley and Josh Lowe get to 20, the septuple would match the second most in major-league history (the 2019 Twins had eight).
The Rays go into play Tuesday tied with the Angels — who they host — for the American League lead with 216 homers; the Twins have 215.
The Rays lead the AL in steals, 155-152 over the Royals, and have a chance to become the first team since the 1995 Indians to lead the league in both categories.
They also have a chance to break the franchise home run record of 228, set in 2017. The team record for steals is 194 in 2009.
Shortstop Taylor Walls was activated from the paternity list after the Sunday birth of a son, and lefty reliever Jalen Beeks was called up Monday. To make room, the Rays optioned infielder Tristan Gray, who had an impressive two-game first big-league stint, and veteran righty reliever Chris Devenski, who had a 4.15 ERA over six games since being signed Aug. 29.
Postseason ticket sales
Having clinched their fifth straight playoff berth Sunday, the Rays will put tickets for potential American League Wild Card Series and Division Series home games on sale Sept. 27 at 10 a.m. As usual, there will be pre-sales for season members and subscribers to the Rays Insider email newsletter who are signed up by Sunday.
Akinori Iwamura throwing first pitch
Saturday’s unveiling of the first two statues of great moments in franchise history (at 1:30 p.m. outside Gate 4) will include an appearance by one of the subjects, as Akinori Iwamura will attend and throw out the first pitch. One statue is of Iwamura getting the last out of the 2008 AL Championship Series. The other is of Evan Longoria’s walkoff homer in 2011 Game 162. Fans at Saturday’s game will get replicas of one of the statues. … Seven employees who have worked at Tropicana Field since the March 31, 1998, first game will be honored before Tuesday’s game: Don McDonald, Cindy Hasher, Wendy Berry, Sharon Jones, Dick Sprankel, Joe Schultz and Dan Russo. … The Rays are doing their annual “Shirts Off Our Back” promotion during the final homestand, with scratch-off card prizes running the gamut from 2024 game tickets to “one free Purple Drank” from the Fo’Cheezy food stand.
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Reliever Jason Adam, sidelined since late August with an oblique strain, continues to progress, with plans to throw live batting practice Tuesday at the instructional league camp in Sarasota. … The Rays are one of three teams to make the playoffs for the fifth straight season, joining the Braves and Dodgers, with the Astros in position to be the fourth. The Cardinals and Yankees fell short this season after making it each of the previous four. ... Manager Kevin Cash was ejected Sunday for arguing a check-swing call, his second time being tossed this month and third of the season. Cash said he did so to keep Paredes from being ejected.
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