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Rays Offense Comes Alive In 9-5 Victory Over Rangers

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Does anyone else feel as exhausted as I do after watching that game? I know all I did was sit on the couch, but a four hour game can be pretty draining.

Anyways, onto the game.

The Rays got a much needed win Sunday, thanks in large part to the offense showing up in force. Leading the charge on offense was John Jaso. Acting as the leadoff hitter for the second game in a row, Jaso had arguably his best day of the season going 3-5 with a home run, double, single, 5 RBI and even throwing in a stolen base for good measure. His two-run homer in the third inning gave the Rays a 2-1 lead which they would never relinquish. While I'm still entrenched in the camp that feels Ben Zobristshould be leading off every day, Jaso has impressed the past few days. In any case, I don't see any way in which Dioner Navarro keeps his job much longer. When Kelly Shoppach can spend a full game behind the plate Navarro should be as good as gone.

The Rays had another offensive star tonight, and his name was B.J. Upton. The center fielder, who was batting 9th, went 3-4 - though it should have been 4-4 since the error that was charged to Michael Youngwas bogus - with a walk, a double, RBI, and stolen base. After not registering a hit in the first two games of the series it was good to see the Bossman come around for the series finale. A performance like his really shows how much better this offense functions when he's getting on base consistently. Here's to hoping it carries over to the Toronto series.

The offense needed to be on point today because Matt Garza did not have his best outing. The right hander with the newly trimmed facial hair went 5.2IP, allowing 6H, 4ER, 2BB with 4K. Garza's strike percentages on the night weren't far from his seasonal averages, but his slider wasn't nearly as effective. On the season his slider has registered an amazing 20.4% Whiff Rate. Today he threw the pitch 20 times and got only 2 swinging strikes, and those came very early on in the game. It took Dan Wheeler, Randy Choate, Grant Balfour, Joaquin Benoit and Rafael Soriano to close out the game. I was pleased when the offense blew the game open late, because a one run lead in Texas makes my stomach do flips.

The Rays end the road trip a somewhat disappointing 3-3. I say somewhat because it certainly could have been a lot worse. They have an off day Monday before starting a home stand with a crucial series against Toronto, who remain in 4th place but are just 4.5 games back.

I know a lot of people are starting to panic with the Rays so-so level play lately, but I just wanted to again point out that the team remains in first place in the AL East and still has the best record in baseball.