After two consecutive losses, the Tampa Bay Rays got back to their winning ways with an 8-1 victory over the Blue Jays on Sunday. The Rays’ offense added on to Alek Manoah’s struggles by scoring four runs in the fifth inning, with Christian Bethancourt’s three-run homer being the highlight of the day. A bad outing by Manoah gave the Rays an early advantage with a three-run head start. Meanwhile, Shane McClanahan had another strong outing, allowing only one run in six innings. McClanahan had a shaky start but settled in quickly, striking out six batters and allowing only three other baserunners.
The Rays’ performance in the game was a throwback to the first 13 games of the season, where they tied the modern-era record for consecutive wins. However, that historic run was followed by a two-game losing streak, causing fans to question whether the Rays’ success was sustainable. The Sunday victory puts fans’ fears to rest, and the Rays now have a franchise-best 14-2 start to the season.
The switch-flip for the Rays begs the question of what caused their sudden resurgence. Was it a phone call from Stuart Sternberg or a fiery speech from manager Kevin Cash? Quite possibly, it could be a collective decision from the team to forget about the previous two games and start again on a fresh day. The Rays are now heading to Cincinnati to continue their run with two games in the new stadium.
The Rays have a balanced roster with a mix of experienced and young players, and their unity on the field is what sets them apart from their competition. This victory against the Blue Jays showed that they were not shaken by back-to-back losses, and it took only one game to regain the lost momentum. It is reassuring for the Tampa Bay Rays’ fans that the team is primed for another successful season.
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