With a 10-6 win in Game 2 of Thursday’s seven-inning doubleheader against the Orioles at Camden Yards, the Rays completed one of their season goals: back-to-back postson appearances for the second time in franchise history With (with 2010) and ’11).
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Since 2008, the Rays have seen six postseasons, trailing only the Dodgers (10), Yankees (8) and Cardinals (7).
“It matters a lot,” manager Kevin Cash said. “I can’t imagine being a player in today’s game to see what has happened, the challenges, what’s on their plate. It’s about a weird season as well as you can sum it up. These people should be able to Give much credit to the way we went about, found ways to win games on a nightly basis, and now, we want to build as much momentum as possible.
Birthday clinching this season did not include a big on-field celebration, a party in the clubhouse or Willie Adams dancing all over the plate. But the Rays had a lot to celebrate after already overcoming a lot of adversities in this 60-game regular season.
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The Rays have lost five pitchers to season-ending injuries, and at one point, they had 13 key players on the injured list. Beginning 5-7 years old, Tampa Bay has established itself as one of the best teams in the American League. This is what Cash told the team during the postgame speech at the guest club house.
“It’s a crazy season, something that certainly hasn’t happened before in the history of baseball,” Reiler Mike Brosse said. “So under the circumstances, it’s great to know that a team under these protocols and what’s going on in the world came together and played well enough to get us into the postseason.”
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“I knew we could do awesome with the talent we had,” Adams said. “Today, he paid for the work we are doing. It feels really good, and I am very excited for the team. I’m glad we’re going back [to the postseason] This year, and hopefully we can go all the way and win it. ”
The Twins in the Rains offense had a much-needed breakout performance in the second game of the bill. Tampa Bay’s lineup had calmed down over the past few weeks, but it had a major contribution to the win from a number of struggling players, most notably Adams, who went on to win the Game 1 victory four times.
Adams made his scoring debut in Game 2 with a three-run homer in the first innings of the Orioles’ left-handed batsman Bruce Zimmerman, the first start of his career. For the Rays to make some noise in the postseason, they are likely to need their star shortstop to hit.
“We’re not doing anything without Willie in the way he is capable of,” Cash said. “Willie enjoyed it, when he did it, the dugout was pumped, because he is one of those people, if you don’t like Willie Adams, you need to check yourself and look in the mirror. He is such a worthy person and you want to see him succeed, and it was a big hit in the game. ”
Hunter Renfro hit a solo homer in the third, which is another good sign for Tampa Bay. Joe Wendley hit a two-run homer in the fourth, while the Rays broke the tie at 6-6 with a four-run rally in the fifth, as well as Nate Lowe’s RBI.
Now that Tampa Bay have achieved one of eight AL Postson berths, the club will look to reach another goal. When Ray flew back to St. Petersburg after his Game 5 loss to Astro in the AL Division Series last year, he talked about the importance of winning the AL East in 2020.
With nine matches left in the regular season, Tampa Bay has put itself in a good position to meet that goal. The Rays have a 3 1/2-game lead over the Yankees, and the Magic now have six to secure their first AL East crown since 2010.
“This is the first step,” Adams said. “Like I said at the beginning of the season, everyone has the same shot, and for us being on top means a lot in the clubhouse and for our families. We have to keep winning the division, and I know Is that if we win it will be special. ”