Road Warriors and Other Stuff

The Rays entered Sunday’s action with a Major League best 21-11 road record. Currently they own a five-game road winning streak.

Helping to fuel that success has been a Major League leading 2.82 ERA — compared to a 3.72 ERA at home. The Rays also own the Majors’ best road record dating back to June 4, 2014 at 51-29.

“It’s pretty impressive and I don’t think any of us have an exact reason why other than just the personalities in the clubhouse,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “We say that all the time at home or on the road. We have played really good baseball on the road, but I can’t pinpoint a reason why.”

John Jaso has been taking batting practice with the team on this trip. He’s not holding back, but said he can still feel the left-wrist contusion that has sidelined him since Opening Day. “The question is, can I put up a competitive at-bat? Jaso said. “I think so.”

The Rays begin their 10-game homestand Monday with the first of three games against the Blue Jays, who entered Sunday with the Major Leagues’ best June record at 14-4.

“They’re swinging the bat really well,” Cash said. “They’re playing good baseball and getting big hits. They have some definite thump in that lineup. But we can pitch. We can really pitch. We’ll factor that in and it should be a good matchup.”

Steve Geltz has retired 25 consecutive batters, 18 of those coming since he was kissed by Paula Abdul on June 11 after catching her ceremonial first pitch. Technically, that leaves him two shy of a perfect game.

“PG right?” said Geltz when asked about his feat. “That would be unique. …It’s funny because I’ve been a little bit clueless. As a reliever you just want to have good outings and be consistent.”

Virginia and Vanderbilt will meet in the finals of the College World Series. Given that catcher Curt Casali went to Vanderbilt and outfielder Brandon Guyer went to Virginia, a bet of some sort seems to be in the making. The only question are the stakes.  One proposition focused on having the healthy-eating Guyer having to eat a cheeseburger if Virginia loses. If that becomes the bet, Casali would likely have to choke down some tofu in the event of a Commodores loss.

–Bill Chastain

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