ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- "Swarm" has been the buzzword of late within the Tampa Bay Rays.
It is a catchy and appropriate term used to describe what their offense has become recently: An efficient, consistent attack that has sparked a run that includes six consecutive wins, 10 victories in their past 11 games and 13 triumphs in their past 16 to lift them to sole possession of second place in the American League East.
This "swarm" features contagious offense, an invisible but real concept (so says infielderoutfielder Kelly Johnson) that lifts individuals to add to the group momentum that is building. On Tuesday night, in the Rays' 4-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins at Tropicana Field, the latest example of this idea was found in outfielder Matt Joyce.
Before Tuesday, Joyce had gone 70 plate appearances without an RBI, the most recent occurring in a victory over the Kansas City Royals on June 15. But in the fourth inning here, his fortunes changed: With two outs, he smacked a 91-mp...