Longoria had two solo homers and collected his 500th career RBI on a sacrifice fly for the Rays. He came into this game struggling to produce consistently as of late, but seems poised for a breakout after collecting five hits over the past two days. That raised his batting average from .298 to .307, notable considering the entire team feeds off him.
Take tonight for example. Longoria’s three RBI’s were huge, but everyone in the starting lineup contributed. Desmond Jennings had three hits (two doubles), Yunel Escobar took Boone Logan deep for a couple of insurance runs and Jose Lobaton scored Wil Myers.
With the win, Tampa Bay erased the possibility of being swept. They also took a 4-3 lead in this season series. Both teams play through Sunday at Yankee Stadium, and will meet there again to end July.
After falling seven games behind the division leading Boston Red Sox two days ago, the Rays now find themselves five back. More than that, they are just 1.5 games behind the third place Yankees. Not bad considering their downward spiral this past weekend. The American League East race will likely go down to the season’s final day, so every game between division foes will be significant.