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Rays 10, Braves 4: Rays snap losing streak ahead of the break

Rays bats come alive as they snap losing streak

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Tampa Bay Rays Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

The Rays entered Sunday afternoon trying to snap a seven game losing streak, maintain a diminished two game lead over the O’s, and salvage a win against he Braves after dropping the first two games of the series.

Having lost seven straight in rather demoralizing fashion, the odds seemed stacked against the Rays to avoid the sweep and enter the break having lost eight straight.

Nonetheless, the bats bounced back in a big away and Zach Eflin held the best team in baseball to just two runs over five innings of work. By the end of the day, the Rays would have their first win in over a week, some much needed confidence, and some days to rest.

Eflin faced off against Bryce Elder, the second year starter fo the the Braves in the midst of a fantastic season. Eflin, who also had a great first half, won the day as Elder battled control issues and surrendered seven runs across just 3.1 innings.

The Rays jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning thanks to a two run double by Jonathan Aranda and a two run bomb by Isaac Paredes.

Eflin would start the game with three consecutive scoreless frames prior to allowing a pair of runs to cross the plate in the fourth. The Rays lead was cut to 4-2. Former Rays catcher, Travis d’Arnaud, launched his 8th homer of the year, a solo shot.

The Rays answered with three runs in the bottom of the fourth to reestablish their lead. Bethancourt singled home Taylor Walls to make the score 5-2. Then, Yandy Diaz blasted a ball to left-center and gave the Rays a 7-2 lead. The homer was the 13th of the year for starting first baseman in the All Star game.

The following inning, Walls’ ground-rule double scored Arozarena and the Rays took a 8-2 lead.

In the sixth inning, Matt Olson doubled one Austin Riely to cut the lead to just five runs for the explosive Atlanta offense. The following inning, Michael Harris III singled home Rosario and the Rays lead was down to a grand slam, 8-4.

Yandy Diaz, seemingly in an effort to get one last good swing in before Tuesday night, doubled home a pair of runs and extended the Rays lead to six runs, 10-4.

Eflin served as a stopper for the Rays and the offense finally clicked. On the day, Eflin went five innings, struck out five, walked none, and only surrendered the two runs. He took the win and will enter the break with a record of 10-4.

Jason Adam and Robert Stephenson combined for two scoreless innings and four punch outs to end the game.

Kevin Cash and the Rays clubhouse can once again breath easy as they approach the break. They will enter the break with the best record in the American League, despite the seven game losing streak, the second best record in all of baseball, and a two game lead in the East.