The Rays just keep rolling. In his first start back from the disabled list, Wade Davis was effective, holding the Angels to two runs through 5.1 innings. He did let a heck of a lot of baserunners during those innings (six hits and three walks), but he managed to limit the damage and sneak out of some jams. His pitches weren't the sharpest ever, only generating three swinging strikes all evening (those three came on his fastball), but his velocity and command seemed to be in good shape. Davis touched 95 MPH with his fastball in the early innings and although his max velocity decreased significantly as the game went on (down to 91 MPH by the end), that's to be expected in his first start back. His pitches were clustered at the top of the zone, which I'd like to see change, but at least he managed to do okay in this start.
Outside of Davis, the big story last night was the offense. The Rays jumped on Ervin Santana, scoring four runs in the second inning and cranking a couple homeruns off him in the later innings. The Rays hit .300 with runners in scoring position last night, but they had so many baserunners, it allowed them to score a ton of runs. And now for some highlights:
- Watch out, everyone, Evan Longoria is on fire. He'd slowed down over the past few months, but Longoria continued his hot hitting last night, going 3-5 with a double and a homerun. He's slugging .759 over the last two weeks and his wOBA during that time is an ungodly .446. This is why you shouldn't freak about Longoria's decreased power until the end of the season; power numbers fluctuate and are take the longest to stabilize, so give him time.
- Speaking of hot hitting, Matt Joyce cranked a homerun last night, his seventh on the year. Over the last two weeks, his slash line has been .333/.433/.583 - not too bad.
- Joe Maddon's ejection in the fifth inning last night tied him with Larry Rothschild for the franchise record with 15. Somehow this surprises me; I can't believe Lou Piniella didn't get thrown out more during his time with us.
- The Yankees won last night, so the Rays are still tied for first with the Yanks. Boston's game got rained out, though, so the Rays are now a full six games ahead of Boston. Boston's record is good enough for them to be in first place in both the AL Central and AL West, but it's getting late early for them in the AL East.
- The Rays now have an identical home and road record of 39-24 (hat tip, Jason Collette). That early season road hot streak was amazing, but things tend to even out in the end.