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The Tampa Bay Rays finished the second-best homestand in their history Khari Willis Jersey , with a much easier path between now and the All-Star Game as they try to claw their way back into wild-card contention.

Tampa Bay (41-40) went 8-1 at Tropicana Field, finishing a grueling stretch of 16 games against the New York Yankees, Houston Astros and Washington Nationals and going 10-6 in those games to rise back above .500.

Now the Rays have a stretch of 16 straight games against teams with losing records, including a three-game series at the Miami Marlins (34-51) starting Monday.

The Rays have dominated with their patchwork pitching staff, allowing a total of seven runs in their last six games, with five wins and a 1-0 loss. They took three of four from Houston to close out the homestand and hope to continue the success to take some positive momentum into the All-Star break.

“The fact that we have been winning and everyone has been coming together at clutch moments has been great,” said outfielder Mallex Smith Josh Allen Jersey , who had a late solo home run in Sunday’s 3-2 win over Houston. “We’ve been jelling as a team. We’ve been feeding off one another. It seems like someone new coming through at the right time every day.”

Next for Tampa Bay is Nathan Eovaldi (2-3, 4.08 ERA), who played for the Marlins from 2012 to 2014 and will almost certainly fare better than his only career appearance against his former team. In June 2015, he played there with the Yankees and gave up nine hits and eight earned runs in less than an inning, leaving after two outs with a 108.00 ERA to show for it.

Eovaldi has shown promise since returning from Tommy John surgery — his last start against Washington lasted six innings and he gave up no runs, one and and two walks with nine strikeouts.

The Marlins will answer with Wei-Yin Chen, who knows the Rays from his days with the Baltimore Orioles. He has started 21 career games against Tampa Bay http://www.jaguarsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-jawaan-taylor-jersey , more than any other opponent, and posted a 5-6 record with a 3.72 ERA.

That’s considerably better than his overall numbers this year — he’s 2-5 with a 6.14 ERA, though his last start was solid. He limited Arizona to one run and five hits in six innings last week. Against Tampa Bay last year, he pitched well, holding the Rays to two runs and two hits in six innings.

The in-state rivals will meet again right after the All-Star break for three more games, but the extended run against lesser opponents is something the Rays must dominate if they want to get back into wild-card contention.

Even after winning eight of nine games, Tampa Bay is still 11 games behind Seattle for the second AL wild card. Still Josh Oliver Jersey , being 42-41 after opening the season 1-8 isn’t bad, especially considering the injuries they’ve dealt with and the talent traded away since the end of last season.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — The New York Giants have an X-Man, hopefully with the power of a pass rush.The Giants addressed their need for an edge rusher, taking defensive end Oshane Ximines of Old Dominion late in the third round Friday.A four-year starter and the first player to be drafted at his school, Ximines had 58 tackles this season, including 18 1/2 for losses. The defensive end had 12 sacks last season http://www.jaguarsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-quincy-williams-ii-jersey , finishing his career with 33. He had 11 forced fumbles in his career.“As we all get to know ‘X-Man’ better, you are going to see why we picked him,” coach Pat Shurmur said.General manager Dave Gettleman said Ximines had second-round value and the Giants started focusing on him as a potential pick roughly 14 or 15 picks before taking him with the 95th pick overall.Ximines, who grew up in North Carolina, said his parents were from New York City and they were rooting for him to be drafted by the Giants.“I figured the NFL was a possibility by my junior year,” Ximines said in a conference call. “They just started reaching out to me and it started to become a reality for me. I just tried to work as hard as possible.”While Ximines did not play in a top-level conference, Gettleman said he had the ability to start for teams in the ACC.He also said he was unique in that he has to ability to make counter moves against an offensive lineman Ryquell Armstead Jersey , something college players usually have to learn after they get to the NFL.Defensive linemen from small schools have excelled with the Giants. Hall of Famer Michael Strahan was from Texas Southern and Osi Umenyiora played at Troy.The Giants had three picks in the first round on Thursday. They took quarterback Daniel Jones of Duke at sixth overall, Clemson tackle Dexter Lawrence at No. 17 and Georgia cornerback Deandre Baker at No 30 after a late trade with Seattle.They waited 65 picks on Friday before taking Ximines.“I said it last night, we need pass rush help,” Gettleman said. “We feel we’ve addressed it. We got inside pass rusher help (Lawrence) and we got outside pass rush help.”The Giants will have six picks in the final four rounds on Saturday. They still need help at safety and linebacker as well as a wide receiver who can go deep.“The draft, it’s a full draft,” Gettleman said. “There are guys in the fourth and fifth rounds that we really like and we still have third-round guys available.”

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