It was a good weekend for the Tampa Bay Rays.
The Rays took care of business against the Kansas City Royals, winning three out of four, highlighted by Drew Rasmussen’s five innings of no-hit ball on Saturday.
Harold Ramirez and Manual Margot returned for the Rays this weekend, and the team immediately felt the impact of Harold Ramirez.
Ramirez actually returned in the last game of the series against the Yankees. And his bat has been on fire since his return. Against the Royals, Ramirez went 7/12 with three RBIs.
Since he has been back with the Rays, Ramirez is 8/17 with a homer and four RBIs.
The pitching was excellent against the Royals, as the Rays allowed Kansas City just two runs per game.
The 3-2 win Sunday afternoon moves the Rays to 65-55 and ties the best record for the Rays this season which is ten games over .500.
The Los Angeles Angels now come to Tampa for a four-game series. This is another team that the Rays need to beat up on and put some wins together.
The Royals and the Angels are not the best teams in baseball, but these are the teams you have to beat to gain ground in the standings if you are to be one of the teams playing baseball in October.
The schedule for the Rays gets more difficult in September,
The Rays will play six games against the Yankees, nine against Toronto, six against Houston, and three against Cleveland. These are all teams in playoff contention battling for a playoff spot.
That is why it is crucial that the Rays now win many of these games. It looks like September could be a make-or-break month for the Rays to make the playoffs.
It also looks as if the Rays may have to play down the stretch without one of their best players Wander Franco.
Franco was pulled from his rehab assignment at Durham due to pain in his right wrist that was surgically repaired.
Franco feels soreness in his wrist every time he swings a bat and is now back in St. Petersburg for further evaluation.
Franco’s last game for the Rays was July 9th, and soon after, he had surgery to repair an injured bone in his right wrist.
It is now uncertain if Franco will even be able to return to the Rays this season. Franco was hitting .260 with five homers at the time of the injury.
Franco signed the largest contract in Ray’s history during the off-season, an 11-year 182 million dollar extension.
Will Franco’s absence affect the Ray’s ability to make a deep playoff run?
The Rays and Toronto are 65-55, while Seattle is 66-56 as the three teams battle for the top wild-card spot.
Minnesota and Baltimore are 2.5 games out of a playoff spot, while Chicago is three games out.