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Tampa Bay Rays News and Links: How sweep it is

The Rays are just firing on all cylinders right now

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MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Chicago White Sox David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Rays winning ways continue as they completed their first sweep of the season, taking three straight in Chicago against the White Sox. The Rays are now 10-3 on the young season; they’re the only team in the American League East with a record over .500, and they posses a 4.5 game lead over the Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees for the division lead.

A quick recap of yesterday’s action:

Tommy Pham launched his first home run of the season, and then later on he launched his second home run of the season. His on-base streak is now at 45 games, and he has reached base in 50 of 52 games in a Rays uniform. The Rays are 37-15 when he’s been in their lineup since acquiring him last July.

Austin Meadows also homered during the Rays offensive barrage, launching his 4th longball of the season, as part of a three hit day. Avisail Garcia also had another day at the plate, lacing three hits of his own. Willy Adames stayed hot with a multi-hit game. Ji-Man Choi and Brandon Lowe both had doubles on the afternoon.

Mike Zunino laced a 9th inning double that Baseball Savant has as the second hardest hit ball in the Statcast era (116.1 mph), trailing just behind a Steven Souza double.

On the mound, Tyler Glasnow was incredible. He delivered six more scoreless innings, racking up a career high 11 strikeouts, yielding just two hits and a solo walk on the afternoon. Jalen Beeks delivered the three inning save, allowing a run on four hits, walking none and picking up three strikeouts of his own.

The Rays are off today, as they’ll travel to Toronto for their first division series of the 2019 season.

News and Links

Third base: Yandy Díaz, Rays

Maikel Franco is crushing it (.294/.442/.706) in a lower-pressure spot in that loaded Phillies lineup. But admittedly -- and strictly as a matter of living in Cleveland -- I’m less a Francophile than I am a Yandy Fandy.

For the last couple years, I’ve watched up close as Diaz struggled to get real opportunity with the Indians because of the club’s infield depth and the defensive concerns with putting him in the outfield. It was widely assumed that if Diaz -- who has one of the highest exit velocities in the sport and biceps bigger than your head -- ever improved his launch angle to stop the mass massacre of worms, he could be a force of nature. It’s early, but he’s been exactly that since his offseason trade to the Rays, as our Mike Petriello wrote about at length.

Sights and Sounds