The Tampa Bay Rays still don’t know what it feels like to lose in the 2023 MLB season after sweeping the Boston Red Sox on Thursday afternoon for their 13th straight win.
This victory ties the MLB record for the longest streak without losing to start a season, a record that has stood for 138 years.
Since 1885, only the 1982 Atlanta Braves and 1987 Milwaukee Brewers have gone 13-0 to start a season. But these Rays seem determined to be in a league of their own.
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The Rays had another offensive attack on the Red Sox with a seven-run fifth inning that decided the game before it was over. Brandon Lowe went to the yard for the fifth time in his last six games, and Yandy Diaz hit his fourth of the season in the first inning off Corey Kluber.
Harold Ramirez led the way with three RBIs after a bases-clearing double capped the surge in the fifth inning.
With a 9-3 win over the Sox, the Rays are now looking to make history.
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The Toronto Blue Jays, another rival from the AL East, await the Rays for a game on Friday night at the Rogers Center. It’s a road game for Tampa after the Rays played six at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. And it will be his toughest rival this season.
The Blue Jays are 8-4 going into Thursday night’s game against the Detroit Tigers to end a series, one the Blue Jays hope to sweep at home.
But the Rays will have a matchup on Friday night that could go in their favor.
José Berríos is scheduled to start for Toronto, and he’s not off to a very good start after posting a 5.23 ERA in 32 starts in 2022. Berríos has allowed 14 earned runs in 9.2 innings in two starts this season. With a team batting average of .287, the Rays can feast.
However, the Blue Jays are the only team better than the Rays in that category this season, hitting .289 as a team. But the Rays have been ruthless with runs down this stretch, bringing home 101 runners.
The Blue Jays, by comparison, have scored 67 runs.
The Rays have also enjoyed the long ball this season, hitting 32 home runs in 13 games. They have struck out 94 times, tied for fifth-fewest with the New York Mets among MLB’s 30 teams.
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For the Rays, Drew Rasmussen will take the mound in Toronto. Rasmussen hasn’t allowed a run this season and has allowed just three hits in 13 innings. Rasmussen has been solid since he was acquired by the Rays in 2021, posting a 2.84 ERA in 28 starts last season.
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The first launch is scheduled for 7:07 p.m. ET, and history could be made in Toronto.