The Tampa Bay Rays have made history in the world of modern baseball by becoming only the third team ever to begin a season with 13 straight wins.
They routed the Boston Red Sox 9-3, with Yandy Diaz and Brandon Lowe both smashing solo homers on Thursday. The Rays’ batting line-up was in top form, piling on seven runs in a fifth inning rally and securing their place in the record books at Tropicana Field.
The Rays’ phenomenal start to the campaign ties the best winning streak to start a season, a feat previously achieved by the Atlanta Braves in 1982 and Milwaukee Brewers in 1987. The only other team to have achieved a longer opening streak in baseball was the St. Louis Maroons, who went 20-0 in 1884 while playing in the defunct Union Association league. It’s worth noting that baseball’s all-time record winning streak, at any stage of the season, stands at 26 games, a feat achieved by the New York Giants in 1916.
Despite their record-equalling performance, there was a shadow cast over the Rays’ victory due to an injury sustained by pitcher Jeffrey Springs, who left the game in the middle of the fourth inning. The team later announced that Springs was suffering from ulnar neuritis. Springs is the third member of Tampa Bay’s rotation to have been sidelined with an injury, following Tyler Glasnow in spring training and Zach Elfin earlier this week.
Nonetheless, Rays manager Kevin Cash was full of praise for his team following their historic victory. “Pretty amazing, congrats to all of our guys,” he said. “I’m glad that we did it at home because we had tremendous support from our fans. They really got loud when they needed to and our guys were energized by that. There’s not one part of our game right now that we don’t feel good about.”
Although the Red Sox took an early lead with a home run from Rob Refsnyder in the first inning, the Rays were quick to level the score with a homer of their own from Diaz.
The Red Sox managed to score two more runs in the fourth and fifth innings to lead 3-1, but any hopes of an upset were soon dashed as Tampa Bay’s bats broke the game wide open in the bottom of the fifth. Francisco Mejia, Randy Arozarena, Manuel Margot, and Lowe all drove in run-scoring singles before Harold Ramirez cleared the bases with a three-run double. Lowe then hit a solo home run in the seventh inning to extend the lead, capping off a remarkable victory for the Rays.