So, you still want the Rays to fire hitting coach Derek Shelton?

That has pretty much been the rallying cry of Rays fans for the past four years. Carlos Peña hits .197? Blame Shelton. B.J. Upton takes yet another called strike three? Must be Shelton's fault. The Rays get no-hit? Fire Shelton.

For a guy who doesn't actually play and isn't a manager or head coach, Shelton has taken more heat that anyone in Tampa Bay sports over the past four years.

Admit it, if you're a Rays fan, you've probably called for his head or at least cursed his name once or twice since he was hired prior to the 2010 season.

What do you have to say now?

The Rays are staying afloat in the American League East not because of their pitching, but because they can hit. The offense bailed out the pitching again Tuesday, banging out 16 hits in a 7-6 victory over the Marlins.

You can look it up. No team in baseball has scored more runs since April 17, a span of 38 games. Over that stretch, the Rays are second in the majors in batting average, third in on-base percentage, third in slugging percentage.

They are averaging just about five runs a game, fifth best in the majors.

"I'm sure it takes a little bit of pressure off (Shelton) and a little bit of the weight off of him," Rays third baseman Evan Longoria said. "But I think we all understand how hard he works and how well he's respected (by) the offensive guys in this clubhouse."

Not that anyone outside the clubhouse is patting Shelton on the back.

"He has the toughest job in baseball," the Rays' Sean Rodriguez said. "When things are going well, the players get the credit. When things aren't going well, he gets all the blame. No matter what, he's never in a good spot. It might be the worst job there is."