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Tampa Bay Rays News and Links: A Perfect Homestand

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Rays sweep Boston, Carlos Gomez continues to be great, and Chris Archer is struggling in Pittsburgh

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MLB: Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The last week could not have gone more perfectly on the field for the Rays as they have now won 8 consecutive games for the nth time this season. They played the last 7 games of the streak at Tropicana Field, sweeping the Kansas City Royals over four games and then taking all three from the team with the best record in baseball, the Boston Red Sox, during Players Weekend.

Yesterday afternoon, everything clicked for the Rays as Blake Snell was once again dominant, the offense was relentless in their assault on the Boston pitching staff, and the defense did its thing.

The top four hitters in the Rays lineup — Joey Wendle, Matt Duffy, Ji-Man Choi, and Tommy Pham — all had multi-hit days, with Pham providing three hits. Kevin Kiermaier tripled, Michael Perez doubled. Blake Snell worked six innings, allowing just a run on two hits, while he collected eight strikeouts. Diego Castillo and Andrew Kittredge held Boston in check over the final three innings.

The Rays are now 70-61 on the season, nine games back of the Oakland Athletics, who have won three in a row, for the second Wild Card spot.

The Rays will now have an off-day, before taking on the Braves in Atlanta for a brief two game series, before being off again on Thursday, and then traveling up to Cleveland for a three game series, starting on Friday.

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Name the player based off this excerpt from Baseball America

Hint - He would go on to become an All-Star

The Rays signed [Player] after the 27-year-old tried out for former Tampa Bay manager Hal McRae in January 2002. After two reconstructive elbow surgeries, [Player] started and relieved in Triple-A and was the organization’s pitcher of the year. [Player] had his first major elbow operation in 1997, and missed the entire 2001 season after his second. He’s known for his excellent command, and he relies on changing speeds and getting ahead of hitters. His best pitch is his changeup, followed by his curveball and a fastball with below-average velocity. [Player] also refuses to give in to hitters, and counts on his patience to frustrate opponents. His perseverance has enabled him to overcome long odds, which should help him compete for a relief job on the Rays’ staff this spring.