Well, it’s now time for that dreadful part of the MLB season, interleague play. The Tampa Bay Rays will kick off their second portion of NL opponents tonight with the first of a home and away series with the Rays cross state rivals, the Florida Marlins.
Tampa has owned the Marlins taking 10 of 12 from them in the past two seasons. In fact as much as I despise interleague play, the Rays seem to enjoy it owning a 28-12 record since 2008, second only to the Minnesota Twins (28-11).
1B Carlos Pena continued his homerun streak last night, hitting his 129th in a Tampa uniform, which moves him into first place in Rays history. Pena’s blast last night moves him ahead of Aubrey Huff (128 HR’s) and while Pena will enjoy riding a top the career homerun leader list this year, his time at number one should be short lived. Pena is believed to be leaving the Rays after this season due to salary constraints and sitting at #5 on the Rays leader list is 3B Evan Longoria with 71.
Tonight’s matchup at the Trop will feature James Shields (5-4 3.64) for the good guys against Anibal Sanchez (5-3 3.18) for the Marlins. Florida is in last place in the NL East 5.5 games back and have committed 46 errors in 60 games.
The Marlins are coming off a 2-0 win over the Philadelphia Phillies and Roy Halladay. I will be interested in watching Marlins phenom OF Mike Stanton who’s debut in the bigs was overshadowed by Washington Nationals pitching star Stephen Strasburg.
Remember Rays fans, make sure to visit MLB.com and vote for all your favorite Tampa Bay Rays for the All-Star team.