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Tampa Bay Rays News and Links: The Rays are the coolest team in baseball

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MLB: Kansas City Royals at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

After the series that shall not be mentioned again, the Tampa Bay Rays have taken two straight against the Kansas City Royals to improve to 16-8 on the season and maintain a 2.5 game lead over the New York Yankees, who have won five in a row.

It was a solid game all around for the Rays; Mike Zunino was the main offensive force for the Rays as he slugged his second homer of the year as part of a three hit game. Yandy Diaz, Brandon Lowe, and Joey Wendle all knocked a run in apiece. Ryne Stanek was efficient as the opener, Jalen Beeks was dominant in his bulk outing as he racked up seven strikeouts over his scoreless 4 23 innings of work.

Austin Pruitt allowed the two Royals runs in his season debut for the Rays. Adam Kolarek continued his solid work and Emilio Pagan impressed as he locked down the save for the Rays.

This afternoon, the Rays will go for the sweep as Blake Snell makes his return for the Injured List. First pitch is slated for 1:10.

News and Links

5. Wander Franco, Tampa Bay Rays

Rays: Wander Franco, SS (No. 1, MLB No. 12) -- 3-for-3, 3 2B, 2 R, BB (Class A Bowling Green)The 18-year-old shortstop has hit in nine straight games for the Hot Rods after collecting a season-high three hits (all doubles) as part of a perfect day at the plate. His overall batting line improved from .263/.343/.386 to .300/.389/.467 with the performance, and he’s now tallied eight extra-base hits (6 2B, 2 3B) in 16 games. Franco took home the Rookie-level Appalachian League MVP Award at age 17 last year, hitting .351/.418/.587 with 11 homers in 61 games, with a circuit-best 85 hits and 57 RBIs.

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