The Tampa Bay Rays took one of the hottest streaks in team history, certainly one of the hottest streaks of the, season into Monday's off-day. There was not much worry in the clubhouse that a day off before they begin a six-game road trip tonight at Fenway Park would cool the five-game winning streak.
"We haven't taken batting practice in five days, we might as well take a day off," CF B.J. Upton said after Sunday's 3-0 win against the visiting Blue Jays. "We come in and relax, man, and go out and play. So a day off isn't going to hurt us at all."
Manager Joe Maddon said after Sunday's win he wouldn't have been upset had the Rays been scheduled to play Monday. But his players said they were glad for the break.
"I know I do. At this point of season they're all good," 3B Evan Longoria said. "If you don't need it physically, which everybody does, but it's more for mental, get away from the game a little bit. We all understand what's at stake. I think the best thing we can do is get our minds away form it for a day and really just take how well we've been playing and keep that momentum going."
The dress theme for this road trip through Boston and Chicago is "Wigs Gone Wild."
"Hopefully from real hair so we can donate it to the Moffitt Cancer Center. They like gently used hair over, there so we're going to try and get the gently used wigs," Maddon said.
Another vote for Vogt
C Stephen Vogt was pleasantly surprised to find himself in Sunday's lineup. Maddon said he made the move because he felt Vogt, who was making his first big league start behind the plate, would pair well with RHP Jeremy Hellickson.
"I thought he caught really well," Maddon said after the game. "I think he blocked the ball extremely well (with a) runner on third base. I thought him and Helly were on the same page. Helly worked at a good pace. And I liked (Vogt's) at-bats. This guy, even though he has no-hits (in 21 big league at-bats) he's had good at-bats. Very calm up there … I like what he's doing out there. I have no qualms regardless if he's got a hit or not, he's worked some good at-bats."
The Rays have outscored their opponents, 46-13, during this five-game winning streak. They have a plus-102 run differential for the season. … The Rays have out-homered their opponents, 10-1, during the winning streak. … LHP J.P. Howell, who recorded a big out and pitched out of a seventh-inning jam by throwing only one pitch Sunday, entered the game with a 10.80 ERA this month. … RHP Fernando Rodney has allowed one earned run in 40 2/3 innings. … C Jose Molina has appeared in a career-high 16 straight games.