Rays continue to be the surprise team in baseball

All the Tampa Bay Rays do is win. With one of the lowest payrolls in all of MLB, the Rays are 37-23 and have a half-game lead on Boston in the AL East with a five-game homestand coming against Washington and Baltimore.

Last year the Rays were 40-20 after 60 games, and this year are 37-23. The Rays won the division by seven games last year, and this year after 60 games, the Rays have a half-game lead on Boston. For first place.

The Rays have scored 295 runs this season, six more than last year after 60 games. The Rays have allowed 226 runs, three less than last year.

But, one of the significant differences has been the defense. The Rays have committed just 22 errors which are 11 less than last year after 60 games.

The Rays come back home after another winning road trip going 4-3 against the hated New York Yankees and the Texas Rangers.

Pitching was the key to a winning road trip as the Rays allowed the Yankees just one run in two of the four games.

Ryan Yarbrough had the first complete game for a Rays pitcher in five years. That 731 games if you’re keeping score at home.

Rich Hill threw five shutout innings in the win on Saturday, and on Sunday, the bullpen kept the Texas offense in check until the Rays offense could get going scoring three in the eighth and four in the ninth to get the 7-1 win.

Austin Meadows hit his 14th home run of the season and now leads the Rays with 14 home runs and 48 runs batted in.

The Rays play a lot of close games, and because of that experience, manager Kevin Cash says that has helped the Rays.

“Probably some of the experience from the past, being a little more seasoned in that high intensity, anxiety moment, they’ve got a knack for putting pressure and coming through. It certainly feels like we are in every ballgame, and we can elevate our game a little bit when it gets later in the game.”

The Rays have put together the best record in the American League by playing one of the most demanding schedules. The Rays have played 42 of 60 games against teams with winning records, winning 24 of those games.

The Rays will get a break on the schedule this week as Washington and Baltimore come to Tropicana Field. The Nationals and Orioles have a combined 45-70 record.

Tyler Glasnow will start for the Rays on Tuesday, and Shane McClanahan will go for the Rays on Wednesday.

—Rays minor league pitcher Tyler Zombro was moved out of ICU on Monday as he continues to recover from getting hit in the head by a line drive in Thursday’s game.

—The Rays continue to open up capacity at Tropicana Field. The seating capacity will be increased to 20,000, beginning with the series with Washington on Tuesday night.

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