Apr 3, 2024; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Shawn Armstrong (64) throws a pitch against the Texas Rangers in the seventh inning at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Rays Drop Series to Rangers, Rockies Up Next

The Tampa Bay Rays fall to 3-4 to start the season after losing to the Texas Rangers, 4-1.

Game Overview

The game was slow to start. Through five innings, it was all tied at zero a piece. That was when shortstop Corey Seager hit his first homerun of the season, 346 feet, to right field. The game remained at 1-0 until the top of the ninth when Jared Walsh and the homerun leader for the Rangers, Adolis Garcia, both scored off of a Josh Smith single.

Heading into the bottom of the ninth, the Rays had one last attempt to right the ship. The Rays mustered two hits and a run in the ninth, but ultimately fell short. This loss puts them fifth in the American League East as it stands, while the Rangers are tied with the Los Angeles Angels for first in the AL West.

New Season for the Rays

After losing in the AL Wild Card Series to the eventual World Series champions, Texas Rangers, this was their chance at early season revenge. While that didn’t pan out, there is still light at the end of the tunnel for the Rays. They finished last season 99-63 which put them second in the AL East. They may have lost in the first round of the postseason, yet the Rays were seemingly going in the right direction to start the 2024 season.

Following a 13-0 start to begin the 2023 season, the Rays start this year 3-4. However, that doesn’t tell the full story.

First baseman, Yandy Diaz, who was impressive last year for the Rays and had the highest batting average on the team, hasn’t missed a beat to begin the 2024 season. As it stands, Diaz leads the team in RBIs and hits, but it’s left fielder, Randy Arozarena, who leads the team in homeruns.

In the pitching game, it was Zach Eflin last year who led this team in wins, earned run average, and strikeouts. To start this season, Eflin has pitched well but it’s Aaron Civale, who joined the team midway through last season, that leads the team in strikeouts, granted, it is still very early on in the season.

Rockstar Rangers

Since winning the World Series last season, the Rangers look to be on their way to another great year. With their win against the Rays, they sit atop the AL West along with the Angels.

Last season, familiar names, Corey Seager and Adolis Garcia were dominant in the batting game. To begin 2024, Seager has been good, hitting his first homerun of the season against the Rays and leading the team in overall hits. While Garcia leads the team in homeruns and RBIs, it’s third baseman, Josh Jung, who leads the team in batting average at .412.

The Rangers had a lot of depth in the pitching game in last season’s World Series run. This season, the Rangers are getting veteran pitcher, Nathan Eovaldi, involved early. He, along with Dane Dunning, were very impressive last season, and it looks to be more of the same this year.

A lot of baseball is yet to be played in 2024, but as it stands, the Rangers look good in the AL West, while the Rays have some things to figure out.

About Alexander Searle

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