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The Rays Tank: 13 innings ended by Zorilla

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After four plus hours of baseball, the Rays extended their winning streak to seven games. That's 11 of the last 12 won, if you're keeping track at home.

J. Meric

Ben Zobrist was definitely the Rays All Star last night.

After 13 innings against the Twins, with the teams tied at three a piece, Zobrist had his fourth career walk-off hit and his first of the 2013 season with a game ending single (though the broadcast deemed it a double) through the gap in right field that scored Yunel Escobar and gave the Rays a 4-3 win. The game had been tied since the sixth, as the Rays entered the inning with one run, when James Loney singled to right field then Kelly Johnson hit a two-run homer.

Jeremy Hellickson went six innings, giving up six hits and three runs with eight strikeouts, while the bullpen combined for seven innings of scoreless relief.

Tropicana Field was strikeout central, as the Rays pitching staff had 19 total, a club record at home; the overall record in franchise history is 21. Between the Rays and the Twins they combined for 34 strikeouts, the most ever in a game in Rays history. The Rays threw 199 pitches, while the Twins topped them with 205.

For the full details of the 13 innings of Wednesday night fun, head to Gareth's postgame recap. Only 12 hours of turnaround time between last night's game and today's. Let's see the winning ways continue; though Maddon is apparently planning to shake things up a bit:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p><a href=";src=hash">#Rays</a> Maddon plans a different lineup for Thursday after lengthy game, says he wants to &quot;surprise&quot; everyone</p>&mdash; Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) <a href="">July 11, 2013</a></blockquote>

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With four games to go until the All Star Break, the Rays now stand a mere three-and-a-half games back from the first place Red Sox in the AL East, with Baltimore two games behind the Rays.

The second half is going to get pretty interesting, to say the least.

Trouble in the Tank

Well, PETA hasn't taken issue with this Tank yet, but the Rays touch tank at the Trop is feeling the heat (ba-dum-ch) from the animal rights group.

Miguel Cabrera hit a home run into the tank on June 30th, causing PETA to urge the Rays front office to put an end to the popular attraction, citing that it is constantly endangering the stingrays in center field.

PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Delcianna Winders said the following,

"The rays held captive at Tropicana Field not only were traumatically taken from their vast home waters but also are subject to harassment, loud crowds, and even baseballs capable of seriously injuring them. When it comes to compassion, the Rays are batting .000."

A letter was sent to John P. Higgins, Senior Vice President of the Rays, encouraging him to remove the tank so that the rays would no longer be "subjected to constant reverberations from crowds, poked and prodded by up to 50 unfamiliar people at a time, and left unprotected from potential abuse."

The Trop: endangering species, one home run at a time.


- When suspensions resulting from Biogenesis are announced some time post the All Star Break, how will it affect the Rays competition?

- As if the Giants season could get any more dismal, pitcher Chad Gaudin was charged with a count of "open and gross lewdness" after a pretty disturbing incident in Las Vegas this past January.

- HOVA wants a spot on the Yasiel Puig bandwagon.

- Interesting perspective and insight on PEDs in Major League Baseball from former Rockies player Ryan Spilborghs, who cites what he thinks to be the root of the problem and provides suggestions for the changes baseball would have to make to become a cleaner sport. If the link above does not work, check out an excerpt and CBS Sports' recap of Spilborghs' blog post.