With Roy Halladay returning from the 15-day DL, the Rays league leading offense knew runs were going to be scare tonight. At times the Rays were a little too aggressive with failed stolen base attempts by
speedsters Gabe Gross and Dioner Navarro. However, the team isn't only winning with speed; they also have the power to back it up.
There is something about Carl Crawford and Rogers Centre. CC has more home runs in Toronto than any other ball park. He is also the Rays best hitter against Roy Halladay. After a single and his 40th stolen base in the first inning, CC would put the Rays on the board with a towering third inning home run off the Doc. Crawford hammered the second pitch of the at-bat just foul into the right field stands. B.J. Upton successfully stole second base on a pitchout and then CC belted a curveball into right field nearly taking out a Rogers Centre worker changing the trash bags. It was Carl's eight home run at the stadium and his fifth home run in his last 104 at-bats.
Slowly, but surely we are starting to see more and more power from Crawford. His OPS is over .830 the past 30 days and his slugging is near .500 during the same time frame. He trails Ben Zobrist and Carlos Pena for the most homers over the past 27 games by a Rays player. CC is now slugging around .461 on the season. Roberto Clemente had a slugging percentage of .454 during his age 27 season.
Crawford wasn't the only Rays player showing off his power. Pat Burrell hit his third home run of the season, his second since coming off the DL. After hitting a home run against his former team last week, Burrell is slugging .480 over the past seven games. It's way to early to declare that "the bat" is back, but it does look as if a healthy Burrell is still capable of hitting the ball with authority.
The Rays have now run off six straight for the second time this month and opened up a two game lead on the Blue Jays for third place in the AL East.