Associated Press - Wil Myers must be thinking this is easy; or least fun. The Tampa Bay Rays improved to 28-9 since the rookie outfielder was called up on June 18 with a 5-2 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday night.
The bullpen wasn't needed Tuesday night. Roberto Hernandez came within one out of a shutout, and Yunel Escobar and Ben Zobrist drove in two runs each for the Rays, who have won 21 of 25 games this month.
Hernandez (6-11) opened the game by hitting Gerardo Parra with a pitch and giving up a single to Aaron Hill. He then retired 22 of the next 25 batters he faced before Parra singled leading off the ninth. Eric Chavez ended Hernandez's shutout bid with a two-out home run off the right-field foul pole.
Chavez's ninth home run was one of only five hits off Hernandez, who struck out six and walked one in his first complete game of the season. It was the seventh complete game thrown by the Rays this month, the most by any team in a calendar month since the Philadelphia Phillies had seven in 1999.
The veteran right-hander is the closest the Rays have had to a hard-luck pitcher during their charge to the top of the AL East. He is 2-5 in his last eight starts.
Zobrist and James Loney drove in runs in the first inning off Arizona starter Ian Kennedy, and Escobar made it 3-0 with his eighth home run in the fourth inning.
Making his 10th straight unsuccessful attempt for his 50th career wins, Kennedy gave up six hits and three runs while striking out seven in five innings. He has not won since June 1.
Hill had two of Arizona's four hits, but was doubled up after each of them. With one game left in July, the Rays' current 21-4 record ranks as the best July since the 1941 New York Yankees went 25-4 in the month Joe Dimaggio's 56-game hitting streak ended.