Rays off to a hot start

Peter Drulias, Staff Writer

With the new MLB season underway, it has already been a wild season. With the Rays starting the season with a three game series against the New York Yankees, the beginning of the season and building any type of momentum looked unlikely. Playing the series at home and with a sold out crowd two out of the three games, the Rays were able to rally and take their first series of the year, an early statement that they are a team to be reckoned with; however, the wins did not come easy.

 

  The opening day game at Tropicana set the season off in an exciting way. With James Shields on the mound, a win looked promising, but the Yankees were able to get to him and put runs on the board extremely early. Carlos Pena had a plan of his own and took the game into his own hands and hit a grand slam in his first at bat back with the Rays and gave the lead back to the Rays. The game came down to the last inning where Pena hit a walk off single in the bottom of the ninth to win the game.

 

  The two following games the Rays were able to win with old fashioned baseball. Just good pitching and great hitting. Hitting was actually a concern entering the 2012 season, but four games in there is no worry. In the second game, the final score was 8-6, thanks to the hitting from Evan Longoria, Carlos Pena, and newly signed free agent Luke Scott, who were able to bail out David Price and scored just enough to win the game. For the third game of the season, it was a bit different. The final score was 3-0 and the reigning rookie of the year, Jeremy Hellickson, pitched a shutout and picked up where he left off last year. Also the Rays new closer Fernando Rodney picked up his first save in the year, closing out the game. The stars of the series, though, were Evan Longoria and Carlos Pena. Longoria hit over .500 with an on base percentage of .647, and Pena hit two homeruns and eight RBI’S.

 

 Now in first place In the AL East, with the help of Detroit sweeping the Red Sox, the Rays traveled to Detroit for a three game series. Rookie pitcher Matt Moore fell a bit short in the first game but the Rays were able to pick up one game in the series. Even though Detroit looks to be the best team in the American League, the Rays have shown the baseball nation what could be in the playoffs at the end of the season.