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Tampa Bay Rays News and Links: Let’s play two

A rain out on Tuesday leads to a double header on Wednesday

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Tampa Bay Rays v San Francisco Giants Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Last night, rain postponed the second game of a four game series between the Tampa Bay Rays and Kansas City Royals, forcing both teams to play a day-night double header later on today.

Despite not playing, the Rays gained ground in the division as the Yankees fell to the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Rays now have a 2.5 game lead on New York, with the Toronto Blue Jays next in line at 5.5 games back.

The first game of the twin bill will commence at 1:10 with Ryne Stanek opening for Tampa Bay; 45 minutes following the conclusion of the first game, the second game will commence with Blake Snell tabbed as the Rays starting pitcher.

News and Links

The Rays will remain atop the AL East for another month.
There’s zero reason to think the Rays are going to fade. That pitching staff is too good and too deep and throws too hard. Besides that, the Rays have more Major League-ready talent in the Minors. Offensively, the Rays have improved by nearly a half-run per game and are hopeful that’ll keep going up as new lineup combinations are tried. But it’s the pitching that separates the Rays.

Evan Longoria (TB 2010-17, SF 2018-19):
Longoria might not have turned out to be the Hall of Famer it looked like he might have become when he debuted with Tampa Bay, but he’s far and away the best player in Rays history. He has dipped a little in the past couple of years, but he’s never even resembled a bad player. He never ended up having the peak MVP season many thought he would, but no one has ever been upset to have him on their team. Poor guy, though: He appears to have left Tampa Bay right when the Rays got good again and he arrived in San Francisco right when the Giants took a downturn.