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The Rays Tank: Enter Sandsman

Sorry Mariano.

Brian Blanco

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Consecutive days of go-ahead hits for Jerry Sands. <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Dejavu&amp;src=hash">#Dejavu</a> <a href="http://t.co/TtgoUtJKNN">pic.twitter.com/TtgoUtJKNN</a></p>&mdash; Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) <a href="https://twitter.com/RaysBaseball/statuses/478728757549993985">June 17, 2014</a></blockquote><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Per <a href="https://twitter.com/EliasSports">@EliasSports</a>: Sands is first AL player with pinch-hit, game-winning RBI in consecutive team games since Oakland&#39;s Harold Baines, Sep &#39;90</p>&mdash; Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) <a href="https://twitter.com/RaysBaseball/statuses/478741143573004290">June 17, 2014</a></blockquote><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

The fourth win in the past five games, and a rally win at that, plus another decisive game-winning run delivered from Jerry Sands; my, I don't want to jinx anything, but it appears as if something's going on with the mojo of this little team.

Heck, I'm not the only one feeling it:

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For the full game recap, head here; and please, if anything read it because Brett was a tad bit bitter about missing this:

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***

Joe Maddon said the hustle issue with Yunel Escobar from Sunday's game is in fact a non-issue, noting the difference between Yunel's situation and those that occurred with B.J. Upton: Maddon not noticing Escobar starting slow out of the box, and a "lack of prior infractions:"

"I didn't see it; I'm watching the play in left-centerfield," he said. "The times it happened with B.J. they were like ground balls and you're just looking over there. And furthermore with B.J., I had spoken to him in advance of those moments, too."

"I don't like that, you're absolutely right," Maddon said. "We don't like that. We don't want that here. But I didn't see it, and that matters."

***

Jeremy Hellickson is due to pitch tonight in Durham, making his third of three scheduled rehab starts, but he may pitch one additional game to ensure that he feels good before returning to the team. With one more start, Helly would join the Rays in Baltimore on June 27th for their day-night doubleheader.

Links:

- Another sad day in the baseball world yesterday with the passing of  the great Tony Gwynn, but this allowed another perfect tribute from the one and only Vin Scully:

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>&quot;You could say a lot of things about Tony Gwynn, a lot of numbers... but more than that he was a sweet heart of a guy.&quot; Vin Scully</p>&mdash; Vin Scully (@VinScullyTweet) <a href="https://twitter.com/VinScullyTweet/statuses/478720561762140161">June 17, 2014</a></blockquote><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>The thing I will remember the most is his smile ..Tony Gwynn one of the really special people, a wonderful human being. May he rest in peace</p>&mdash; Vin Scully (@VinScullyTweet) <a href="https://twitter.com/VinScullyTweet/statuses/478721425453236224">June 17, 2014</a></blockquote><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

- Vin wasn't the only one with kind words, with some of my favorites coming from Buster OlneyJoe Posnanski and Tyler Kepner. Lots of dusty reads.

- And just because you need a little picker up after those...Happy Tuesday:

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