{}
CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

Rays eager to build on success of first month

Rays eager to build on success of first month

|
Rays eager to build on success of first month
ST. PETERSBURG -- There were plenty of concerns for the Rays entering the first month of the season: Kyle Farnsworth, B.J. Upton and Sam Fuld were injured, their schedule was grueling, there was uncertainty in the bullpen and the lineup had a few question marks.

But as the calendar turns to May on Tuesday, Tampa Bay will have its second-best April record in club history, behind only the 17-6 mark in 2010. The injuries haven't created gaping holes on the roster, Fernando Rodney has helped solidify the bullpen, and the Rays entered Monday's game ranked eighth in the Majors with 103 runs scored.

"If you would've told me this was going to be our record at this particular moment before it all began, absolutely I'd take it. We've worked pretty hard to get to this point," manager Joe Maddon said. "We've talked about it a lot. We try to anticipate things in advance, and I think we've done a good job with that. It's a great place to be at the end of April, and now we've got to just keep pushing forward.

"I think we're getting close to clicking on all cylinders because of the pitching; the starters are coming back, and there's more form to the bullpen. When we have that going on, everything kind of takes shape a little bit easier."

Even more reassuring, the Rays entered Monday with a 14-8 record despite playing against several of the clubs predicted to be among the American League's best: the Yankees, Tigers, Red Sox, Blue Jays, Angels and Rangers. But they certainly haven't let their guards down.

"There's still a long way to go, and you have to play well against everybody," utility man Ben Zobrist said. "[A strong start] does matter, but it doesn't matter any less than those games at the end of the season matter."

"We've done a lot of things well. We've hit for power. We've worked walks. We've played small ball," added Luke Scott. "At the same time, I believe we're capable of a lot more. We haven't really hit on all cylinders yet. We've done a lot of things well at the same time. We've just got to build on it and continue to get better."

{}
{}
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español