The Tampa Bay Rays took advantage of Detroit Tigers spot starter, Eddie Bonine early on Wednesday night. Bonine on lasted 3.1 innings and gave up 8 hits and 5 earned runs. Jeff Niemann rebounded off his rain delayed last start in Cleveland and recorded his 9th win of the season. Grant Balfour pitched the 7th and Joaquin Benoit the 8th. Rafael Soriano came on in the 9th to record his 28th save of the season.Tampa won 7-4 and now have moved to 24 games above .500.
I think you’d be hard pressed to find a better set up man and closer than Benoit and Soriano right now in baseball.
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Tampa Bay posted 14 hits on Wednesday night, and everyone who started collected a hit. No one had a better night at the plate than 3B Evan Longoria who was 3-4 scored twice and drove in two. Those two RBI’s coming off a homerun in the bottom of the 8th which basically sealed the game for the Rays. The blast ends a 0-19 skid Longoria had been in.
The Rays lost super utility man Ben Zobrist, who left the game before the start of the 4th inning. Zobrist is listed as day to day with some stiffness in his back. Zobrist had been playing center field, replacing the injured BJ Upton who is nursing a sprained ankle.Upton might not return to the lineup until after this weekend’s series with the New York Yankees.
Thursday’s game is a rare 12:10pm start time and features David Price (13-5 2.90) squaring off against Rick Porcello (4-8 5.55)