ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays like where they are.
With 100 games down and 62 to go and despite a list of injured players that includes their best reliever and top starter plus a dozen others, they have a shiny 60-40 record, hold a firm grasp on a wild-card berth and sit one game back in the American League East.
“With or without injuries, we’re doing good things, we’re playing well,” manager Kevin Cash said. “The guys, they just come with such good energy. They bring the energy constantly. It helps that they’re winning games. It’s easy to have that energy while you’re winning. But, yes, we’re very pleased where we’re at at this point in this season.”
And now things are about to get really interesting.
The Rays on Tuesday open, at least to date, their biggest homestand of the season, hosting their two most-rabid rivals, the Yankees and Red Sox.
“Obviously, two big series coming up,” said starter Shane McClanahan, who faces the Yankees Tuesday and the Red Sox Sunday. “We’re excited for that. That’s why you play the games, for these meaningful series.”
The Rays are between the teams in the standings, a hefty eight games ahead of the Yankees and one behind the division-leading Red Sox, pending Boston’s Monday result against Toronto.
“Playing in-division rivals/opponents is always huge, especially when we’re all kind of chasing each other,” said centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier. “We know what the standings…