Roger Mooney covers the Tampa Bay Rays for The Tampa Tribune, TBO.com and News Channel 8. He has covered the Rays since their first season in 1998, including 11 years for the Bradenton Herald. Roger has also covered Florida, South Florida and Florida State football, the Bucs and the Lightning.
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Rays 7, A’s 2: Rolling, rolling, rolling
Posted May 4, 2012 by Roger Mooney
Updated May 4, 2012 at 11:53 PM
ST. PETERSBURG Rolling, rolling, rolling …
The Rays made it look easy Friday night in their 7-2 victory against the visiting A’s. David Price struck out a season-high 12 in eight innings, B.J. Upton had a pair of RBI doubles, Jose Molina hit his first homer as a Ray and Luke Scott drove in a pair of runs with a single.
It was the Rays sixth-straight win, tying their longest winning streak of the season.
They have won 12 of their last 13.
They are also 13-1 at home, which ties them with 10 other teams for the best 14-game start to a home schedule in major league history. The others are the 2009 Dodgers, 2002 Twins, 1987 Yankees, 1972 White Sox, 1951 Yankees, 1936 Giants, 1932 Yankees, 1921 Brooklyn Robins, 1910 A’s and 1907 Giants.
Their 10-game winning streak this season at the Trop is the longest home streak in majors this season. Dating back to last season, the Rays have won 18 of their last 19 at the Trop.
At 19-8, they have the best record in baseball.
Here are some odds and ends culled from the postgame notes …
—Price (5-1) joined James Shields (5-0) as the only five-game winners in the American League. Friday was the fourth time Price recorded at least 12 strikeouts.
—In their last 18 games, the Rays ERA is 2.26, dropping the team ERA from a season-worst 6.75 to 3.80. They are averaging 9.2 strikeouts per game during this run of good pitching.
—Joel Peralta came on in the ninth with two outs and the bases loaded and got out of the jam with a game-ending grounder to first base. It was the first one-out save of his career.
It was also Peralta’s 10th straight scoreless appearance.
—The Rays led 7-1 after four innings but fell shy of scoring at least 10 runs in a home game for the 114th straight game. That’s the longest streak of its kind in the majors since the 1980-82 Blue Jays went 165 games with scoring in double-digits.
—Scott’s two-run single in the third inning gave him a team-high 21 RBI in 23 games. He had 22 in 64 games last year during his injury-shortened season with the Orioles. He is averaging 1 RBI every 3.67 at-bats.
—Molina’s homer was a two-run shot in the third. It was his first homer with a runner on base since July 25, 2010.
—Sean Rodriguez hit his first double of the season. He has two extra-base hits in his last three games. He had one in his first 22 games.
The Rays had been the last team in the majors to not have a double from the shortstop position.
—Friday’s win was the Rays 11th in their last 12 games against an AL West opponent.
—The A’s have scored 7 or fewer runs in each game this season, a streak that is at 43 games dating back to last season.
—The Rays have won 41 of the last 42 games in which they’ve scored at least five runs.