The Tampa Bay Rays won again on Friday night, defeating the Oakland Athletics, 9-5, (box score) to improve to 7-0. Major League Baseball's only undefeated team has won each of their seven contests by at least four runs -- that's the most since the 1884 St. Louis Maroons reeled off 13 consecutive four-plus run wins to start the season. Those Maroons ended up with a 94-19 record on the year.
Believe it or not, the Rays trailed for a few minutes on Friday. They fell behind 1-0 in the top of the second inning before storming back in the bottom half of the frame. Isaac Paredes hit a grand slam that served as the exclamation point on a six-run rally. The Rays extended their advantage to 8-2 in the third, and that lead proved to be more than enough to hold the rest of the way.
, here are the longest streaks to start a season in American League history:
- 13 - 1987 Milwaukee Brewers
- 11 - 1981 Oakland A's
- 10 - 1966 Cleveland Indians
- 9 - 2003 Kansas City Royals, 1984 Detroit Tigers, 1944 St. Louis Browns
- 8 - 1982 Chicago White Sox
- 7 - 2023 Tampa Bay Rays, 2016 Baltimore Orioles, 2015 Kansas City Royals, 1996 Texas Rangers, 1952 Cleveland Indians, 1933 New York Yankees
The Rays are the 28th team to begin their season with a 7-0 mark. Of those 27 prior clubs, 15 improved to 8-0; 12 to 9-0; and six to 10-0. Will the Rays join any of those clubs? They would seem well-positioned to take Saturday's contest, when Jeffrey Springs takes on Shintaro Fujinami. Springs struck out 12 batters over six no-hit innings in his seasons debut; Fujinami, making his big-league debut, surrendered eight runs in fewer than three innings.