The Rays like this interleague play thing. After their victory over the Astors on Saturday they moved to 8-3 against the senior circuit this season.
This was one of the best games Wade Davis has pitched in while. Yes, he had won his previous two outings as well, but he was more efficient here. Had this game been played in an American League park you'd have to think that Joe Maddon would have left Davis out there for the eighth inning after only throwing 85 pitches through seven. He was helped out by two double plays and some poor base running by the Astros, but he only walked one and used his fastball very effectively, throwing it 42 times for a strike percentage over 70. It also helps that the Astors just aren't a good hitting team. You don't see many of those in the American League. I'd still like to see the fastball velocity get back up to where it was in the past, but since Davis is sticking to the Dirk Hayhurst approved "pitch to contact" model hopefully a start like this can help boost some confidence.
Offensively the Rays were powered by Evan Longoria, Casey Kotchman, and B.J. Upton. Combined the trio went 7-13 with three doubles, a home run, and six runs batted in. Longoria really seems to be coming to life. His two RBI Saturday gives him nine in his past five games. The road trip has also been pretty successful for Upton, with at least one hit in every game, six runs batted in and two homers. I'd get yelled at if I didn't mention that Kotchman is riding a seven game hitting streak, actually upping his average from .339 to .342 over that span.
Jeff Niemann starts today's game and hopefully he can build off last week's successful outing against the Brewers and help the Rays finish this road trip 5-1.