MLB.com is keeping track of a Stat of the Day for the Rays this season, highlighting a unique, interesting or fun nugget from each game.
April 15: Rangers 6, Rays 4 -- Three under .500? It's been a while
After losing three straight games to the Rangers at Tropicana Field, the Rays have lost eight of their last 11 to fall to three games under .500 for the first time since they woke up with a 37-40 record on June 25, 2018. That may not seem like all that long ago, but consider this: Of the 10 players who started that game, only two -- center fielder Kevin Kiermaier and Willy Adames, who was at second base in just his 16th game in the Majors -- are still with the team. Tampa Bay was still more than a month away from acquiring Tyler Glasnow and Austin Meadows at that point. The '18 Rays went 53-32 from that point on, before going 96-66 in 2019 and 40-20 last year.
April 14: Rangers 5, Rays 1 -- Going for grounders and a Gold Glove
Rays left-hander Josh Fleming took the loss in Tampa Bay's 5-1 defeat against Texas despite pitching five strong innings and allowing just one run. It was a quintessential Fleming outing in many ways, including this one: He recorded nine outs on the ground, four of which were hit back to him on the mound. Fleming's four assists were one shy of tying the club record for a pitcher and the most by a Rays pitcher since Nathan Eovaldi logged four on June 15, 2018, against the Yankees. "I like getting ground balls. That's the kind of pitcher I am. And I like fielding them, too," Fleming said afterward. "Want to get that Gold Glove, so anytime I can make a play, I'm going to do it."
April 13: Rangers 8, Rays 3 -- A frustrating night for Yarbrough
After taking the loss, lefty Ryan Yarbrough is winless in his last 20 starts, going 0-9 with a 4.99 ERA as a starter since Aug. 17, 2019. Pitcher wins and losses aren't always reflective of individual performance, but this is a particularly frustrating stretch for Yarbrough as he's allowed six runs or more in consecutive starts for just the second time in his career. His nine-game losing streak is the longest by a Rays starter since Jason Hammel dropped 10 straight from April 11, 2006-Aug. 23, 2007. Additionally, Yarbrough allowed a career high-tying 10 hits for the fourth time, with three of those going to the first four batters he faced and another four in a row to begin a four-run fourth inning.
April 12: Rays 1, Rangers 0 -- Tyler Glasnow's historic dominance
According to Stats LLC, only three pitchers in baseball’s modern era have recorded at least 29 strikeouts while allowing one run or less in their first three starts of the season: Pedro Martínez and Curt Schilling in 1998, and now Tyler Glasnow. That's just one of the many impressive stats about Glasnow after his career night on Monday: a 14-strikeout, 7 2/3-inning gem against the Rangers at Tropicana Field in which he recorded a career-best 27 swinging strikes. Additionally, the Rays became the first team to win multiple 1-0 games within the first 10 games of a season since 2018, when the Giants and Royals each won two 1-0 contests. Glasnow has been on the mound for both: Opening Day and Monday's win. The last time that happened twice for a pitcher in the first 10 games of the season? The Mets' Tom Seaver in 1971.
April 11: Yankees 8, Rays 4 (10 innings) -- A rare late-inning lapse
The Rays' loss was their second this season when leading after seven innings, making them 2-2 in those games this year after they went 25-0 when leading after seven in 2020. Sunday also was the first time Tampa Bay lost at home when leading after seven since July 20, 2019, against the White Sox. It's a statistic that speaks mostly to the significant bullpen injuries the Rays have incurred, including the loss of high-leverage arms Nick Anderson and Pete Fairbanks, as the club has now blown a lead in four of its five losses to start the season.
April 10: Rays 4, Yankees 0 -- Meadows continues to rake against Yankees
Rays outfielder Austin Meadows took Yankees right-hander Domingo Germán deep to right field in the first inning Saturday afternoon at Tropicana Field. That was nothing new for Meadows, who has hit nine home runs against the Yankees since the start of the 2019 season, including two in last year's American League Division Series. The only player to homer against the Yankees more than Meadows during that time is Toronto's Randal Grichuk, who has done so 10 times. Meadows has hit 10 home runs against the Blue Jays in his career, his most against any single opponent. But he's been particularly effective against Germán, going 4-for-8 with three homers off the Yankees righty -- tied with Toronto's Trent Thornton for most homers against one pitcher.
April 9: Rays 10, Yankees 5 -- Rays move to .500 in home openers
The Rays' victory over the Yankees on Friday afternoon improved their all-time record in home openers to 12-12. They also scored double-digit runs in their first home game of the season for the second time in franchise history, their second-highest output in a home opener behind only a 15-5 win over the Yankees on April 13, 2009. Additionally, Tampa Bay improved to 5-0 in home openers against New York, with wins in 2004 (Tokyo), '09, '12 and '17. It was a welcome performance in the Rays' first game in front of fans at the Trop since Game 4 of the American League Division Series against the Astros on Oct. 8, 2019.
April 7: Red Sox 9, Rays 2 -- McHugh matches his longest relief outing
Collin McHugh probably wishes this feat came under better circumstances, but in a mop-up role during Wednesday's loss, he worked three scoreless innings of four-hit ball, matching the longest relief outing of his nine-year career. The outing doubled as his longest shutout appearance since an April 16, 2019, start against Oakland (McHugh pitched for Houston at the time).
April 6: Red Sox 6, Rays 5 -- Stopping the stopper
Entering Tuesday night’s 6-5 loss to the Red Sox at Fenway Park, the Rays had won nine straight regular-season games started by Tyler Glasnow dating back to last Aug. 13. Tuesday’s defeat was, obviously, no fault of Glasnow, who permitted just one run while striking out nine over six spectacular innings of work in Boston. Glasnow has allowed five total hits in 12 innings over two starts to begin the season. But he fell short of becoming the third pitcher behind whom the Rays could have won 10 consecutive games with. The only two who hold that distinction are Matt Moore from Sept. 22, 2012-May 19, 2013, when the Rays went 11-0 and Moore 9-0; and Blake Snell from Aug. 10-Sept. 29, 2018, when the Rays went 10-0 and Snell 9-0.
April 5: Red Sox 11, Rays 2 -- First loss at Fenway in 9 games
The Rays’ 11-2 loss to the Red Sox on Monday night in Boston brought a halt to their eight-game winning streak at Fenway Park. That was the longest streak by a visiting club in Boston since the Blue Jays won 15 straight from 1987-89, the longest road winning streak by a Red Sox opponent since Fenway Park opened in 1912. That was also the longest winning streak at an opponent’s home ballpark in Rays history, surpassing four seven-game streaks (Anaheim, Houston, two stretches in Miami). The last time the Rays lost at Fenway Park was June 8, 2019, 667 days before Monday’s defeat. The Rays are still 13-2 at Fenway since Aug. 19, 2018, and they’ve outscored the Sox 97-59 during that time.
April 3: Marlins 12, Rays 7 -- Relay replay
The Rays' first loss of the season could have gotten even further out of hand if not for a perfectly executed relay by left fielder Manuel Margot and shortstop Willy Adames. Margot followed Miguel Rojas' double to the wall in left, picked up the ball and quickly made an 81.3 mph throw to the cutoff man. Adames made the exchange in 0.77 seconds, according to Statcast, then fired a 92.1 mph strike to catcher Mike Zunino. That gave Zunino plenty of time to tag out slow-footed catcher Chad Wallach, who attempted to score from first on the play.
April 2: Rays 6, Marlins 4 -- Two and counting
After beating the Marlins, the Rays are 2-0 for only the fourth time in the franchise's 24-year history. They also won their first two games in 2002, '10 and '12. They have only begun the season with a three-game winning streak twice in franchise history -- in 2002 and '12 -- and they've never won four straight games to begin a season. It's probably not fair to read too much into the results of the first series of the season either way, however. In 2012, they won 90 games; in '02, they went on to lose 106 games.
April 1: Rays 1, Marlins 0 -- Another nail-biter
The Rays beat the Marlins, 1-0, in their season opener. They're obviously no strangers to playing -- or winning -- close games. Last season, Tampa Bay played 33 games decided by two runs or fewer, tied with Houston and Toronto for most in the Majors. The Rays went 23-10 in those games, the best winning percentage in the Majors. And they were an MLB-best 14-5 in one-run games, including a 13-3 run in one-run games beginning last Aug. 7. The Rays had 13 hitters record a save between the regular season and postseason last year, the most in Major League history, and Diego Castillo locked down their first of 2021 on Opening Day.