The Tampa Bay Rays (45-44) blew past the New York Mets (35-51) on Sunday afternoon in New York City. With the win, the Rays moved back above .500 on the season and claimed the series win over the National League rival.
Tampa Bay struck early and often in this one - CJ Cron hit a three-run bomb in the first inning to give him a career-high seventeen home runs, and it was off to the races for the Tampa Bay offense. The Rays added two more in the third inning to make it 5-0, and chased Mets starter Chris Flexen (0-2, 12.79) after the third inning. Rays starter Nathan Eovaldi helped his own cause when he beat out an infield single for an RBI in the top of the fifth frame, before Tampa Bay ran away late. Jake Bauers added his third home run in the sixth, while Joey Wendle added a homer in the eighth inning, and the Rays ran up the score against one of the teams with the worst records in the National League.
The story of the day, however, was Rays starter Nathan Eovaldi (3-3, 3.35) who absolutely worked the Mets for the first two times through the order. Eovaldi did not allow a baserunner through six innings until Brandon Nimmo singled to lead off the seventh inning. Wilmer Floras then struck out before Asdrubal Cabrera grounded out, meaning Eovaldi only faced the minimum 21 batters in seven innings. All told Eovaldi finished the seven shutout innings with just the one hit, no walks and striking out nine in the marvelous effort. Andrew Kittredge then came in and worked the final two innings of the win.
The Rays return home for a brief three-game home-stand against the Tigers beginning on Monday. First pitch from Tropicana Field is scheduled for 7:10 PM and coverage begins with Steve Carney and the Inside Pitch at 6 on 620 WDAE and 95.3 FM.