Posted August 12, 2012 on AP on Fox
Much has been made of Evan Longoria's return to the lineup, but it's thanks to the pitching staff the Tampa Bay Rays were able to keep in playoff contention while he was sidelined. The Rays go for their season-high seventh straight win Monday night when they open a three-game series against the Seattle Mariners. Tampa Bay kicked off a 10-game road trip with a three-game sweep against Minnesota over the weekend. The Rays (62-52) won 7-3 in 10 innings Sunday to match a season high with their sixth straight victory. Jeff Keppinger homered, doubled and later drove in the go-ahead run in the 10th. Tampa Bay moved five games behind New York for first place in the AL East - the closest it has been since the morning of June 26 - and leads the AL wild card. "I believe in all these guys,'' manager Joe Maddon said. "I like the energy with which we're playing." It was the third time in four games Maddon's club scored at least seven runs. The Rays haven't lost since the return of Longoria...
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