Rays hang on for 5-3 win, three-game sweep

MINNEAPOLIS - The Rays hung on - barely - to complete a three-game sweep of the Twins on Sunday with a 5-3 win that included third baseman Evan Longoria reaching two milestones on one swing.

Longoria broke Carl Crawford's franchise record with his 216th double, and as Matt Joyce scored on the sixth inning shot down the leftfield line, Longoria also tied Crawford's franchise record of 592 RBIs. …

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For starters, Rays at Twins, seeking a sweep

UPDATE, 1:06: Maddon said he played Casali based on how well he did Friday and liking the idea of giving Jose Molina the day off after catching a night game. ... Sam Fuld is again in the Twins lineup. ... Rays pitchers are taking BP and David Price hit a bomb into the second deck of rightfield, then another that just over the wall.

Twins lineup:
Dozier 2b
Nunez 3b
Plouffe dh
Morales 1b
Arcia rf
Willingham lf
Escobar ss
Fryer c
Fuld cf
Correia p

UPDATE, 11:36: Rookie Curt Casali will be behind the plate for his second big-league start today.

Rays lineup:

Jennings cf
Zobrist 2b
Joyce lf
Longoria 3b
Loney 1b
Guyer dh
Escobar ss
Casali c
Kiermaier rf
Archer p

DEVELOPING: Manager Joe Maddon has been stressing to his Rays - and anyone else who will listen - that the key to getting back into contention this season is winning series.

But with the Rays winning the first two games of their post-All-Star break opening series with the Twins, Maddon is getting a little greedy as they push for a sweep today.

RHP Chris Archer will be on the mound for the Rays, with veteran RHP Kevin Correia starting for the Twins.

Lineups when available.



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For starters, Rays at Twins, on David Price day

Santana cf
Dozier 2b
Plouffe 3b
Morales dh
Suzuki c
Colabello 1b
Parmalee rf
Escobar ss
Nunez lf
Hughes p     The Rays have LHP David Price on the mound tonight as they take on the Twins, and that means two things: They are likely to get a well-pitched game, and it could be the last time he pitches in their uniform.
   Price has been and will continue to be the subject of rampant trade speculation leading up to the July 31 deadline, though it certainy has not affected his performance as he has won four straight.
   The Twins are starting veteran RHP Phil Hughes, the former Yankee.
    Rays manager Joe Maddon said Friday he planned to use the weekend to make sure everyone gets some playing time, and he meant is as today's lineup does not include one of their hottest hitters, in Kevin Keirmaier, nor Matt Joyce, who is 7-for-15 with two homers against Hughes. Further, both are lefties. But Maddon said Hughes has been doing better against lefties so he is used more right-handers.
    Here is the lineup:
   Jennings cf
    Zobrist rf
   Guyer lf
    Longoria 3b
    Loney 1b
   Forsythe 2b
    Escobar ss
    Molina c
    S-Rod DH
   Price p

And here is the Twins lineup: …

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For starters, Rays at Twins, back in action

The Rays are hoping to continue their winning ways as they resume play after the All-Star break tonight in Minneapolis against the Twins.

C Curt Casali, called up Thursday to replace injured Ryan Hanigan, will get the chance to make his major-league debut right away, as he is in the lineup. So too is rookie 2B Cole Figueroa, as manager Joe Maddon said he liked the matchup best tonight to get the lefty swinger out there.

The Twins are starting RHP Kyle Gibson, the Rays are starting RHP Alex Cobb.

Here is the Rays lineup:
Jennings cf
Zobrist lf
Joyce dh
Longoria 3b
Loney 1b
Escobar ss
Figueroa 2b
Casali c
Kiermaier rf
Cobb p

And the Twins lineup, which includes ex-Ray Sam Fuld:

Santana cf
Dozier 2b
Morales 1b
Plouffe 3b
Arcia rf
Willingham dh
Suzuki c
Escobar ss
Fuld lf
Gibson p


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Price's All-Star adventure on Letterman's Late Show

Rays LHP David Price had a starring role with Todd the Intern is this All-Star Game piece that aired Thursday on The Late Show with David Letterman. Price and Todd visited the Mall of America Tuesday morning. (You can also watch on YouTube.)


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Ryan Hanigan placed on DL by Rays

UPDATE, 6:50: The Rays filled Hanigan's roster spot by selecting C Curt Casali from Triple-A Durham. The 24-year-old batted .237 with 15 RBIs in 46 games for the Bulls. He'll be making his major league debut. 

To add Casali to the 40-man roster, the Rays moved OF Wil Myers from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL. He'll be eligible to return July 30 but isn't expected to be ready until mid-August. 

ST. PETERSBURG – The Rays’ injury list grew again Thursday, as the team put C Ryan Hanigan on the 15-day disabled list with a left oblique strain. The roster move is retroactive to July 9.

It’s Hanigan’s second stint on the DL this year, after being put on the 15-day disabled list in May with a right hamstring strain.

“It’s tough,” manager Joe Maddon said before today’s optional workout at Tropicana Field. “We just can’t get him going.”

Hanigan is hitting .212 with four home runs and 27 RBIs this season. The Rays haven’t announced a corresponding roster move, but one is expected later this afternoon.

Hanigan’s left side began to become sore earlier this month during the road trip to Detroit, and he was scratched from his start Friday. …

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Selig: Need for new Rays stadum is 'obvious,' progress possible

UPDATE, 5:49: Sternberg told the Times there is reason for optimism.

"Bud is aware of my optimisim which has come out of the chats with (St. Petersburg) Mayor
Rick Kriseman,'' Sternberg wrote in an email. "I continue to believe  that the civic, business and political leaders in the city as well as  the region will do their best to ensure that Rays
baseball is here for generations to come.''

DEVELOPING:     Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig expressed some faith in the Tampa Bay market on Tuesday but reiterated the Rays' need for a new stadium and repeatedly the issue in in principal owner Stuart Sternberg's hands. …

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At All-Star media session, more Price pondering

David Price at All-Star media session


David Price at All-Star media session

David Price doesn't know either.

Asked more than once during Monday's All-Star media session about the possibility of being traded, Price said he doesn't have a really doesn't have a sense what the Rays will do with him before the July 31 deadline for nonwaiver deals.

He joked that his favorite team to go to if dealt would be the Nashville Sounds — the Brewers Triple-A team that plays here his hometown. He acknowledged that if sent packing there were some teams he "would love to go to" over others. He created a bit of stir in answering a question about what kind of team he'd want to end up with by saying "Chicago would be hands down the coolest city to win a championship" because of the Cubs' extended drought.

Talking later to the Tampa Bay Times, he pondered the question of his gut feeling, reiterated that he really doesn't think much about it, started and stopped his answer a few times, and said his guess for now is that he'd staying. …

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Rays leave for All-Star break with 3-0 win over Blue Jays

ST. PETERSBURG – After battling a disappointing first half of the year, the Rays will have a long layoff to think about Sunday’s win.

The Rays used another strong performance from ace David Price and an opportunistic offense to earn a 3-0 win over the Blue Jays at Tropicana Field. They head into the All-Star break with a 44-53 record after taking the series from Toronto.

Price – making his latest possibly last home start for the Rays – throwing eight shutout, five-hit innings.

The Rays got their first run in the second, when Logan Forsythe knocked an RBI single to right. After getting no runs out of a bases-loaded, one-out threat in the third (falling to 13-for-72 with the bases loaded this year), the Rays tacked on another run in the sixth. That’s when Yunel Escobar stole second, then sped for home on Jose Molina’s single to right. Escobar was initially ruled out on Jose Bautista’s throw, but the call was overturned by instant replay.

Evan Longoria added an insurance run with his sacrifice fly in the seventh.

Jake McGee – activated before the game from the paternity list - struck out two to get his seventh save of the year. …

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For starters, Rays vs. Jays

UPDATE, 11:53: The Rays optioned RHP Jeremy Hellickson to Double-A Montgomery before the game to give him more work during the All-Star break. Hellickson is scheduled to start tomorrow for the Biscuits.

Hellickson is still working his way back from January elbow surgery. He threw 4 1/3 innings Tuesday in his season debut, giving up six hits and one run.

Hellickson said he "wasn't opposed" to the move. Because of the All-Star break and two off days next week, the Rays don't need their fifth starter until July 29. Hellickson said the plan is for him to make one start for Montgomery and another start for the Class A Stone Crabs before rejoining the Rays during their next homestand, which begins July 25.

The Rays activated LHP Jake McGee from the paternity list, prompting Hellickson's move. The roster move also suggests a vote of confidence in the health of today's starter, David Price. Hellickson was the backup plan if Price was still suffering lingering effects of his illness, and another backup plan (starter-turned-reliever LHP Erik Bedard) threw a relief inning Saturday night. …

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Price officially out of All-Star Game, replaced by ex-mate Fernando Rodney

LHP David Price felt good enough Saturday that the Rays are confident he will be able to start Sunday's game.

And that was good enough for Major League Baseball to go ahead replace him on the American League active roster for Tuesday's All-Star Game.

Price is still expected to attend the game in Minneapolis, be introduced along the foul line and take part in all other All-Star festivities. 

Under MLB rules, pitchers who start the Sunday before the All-Star Game are typically replaced on the active roster, though they have the choice to opt in. Price, like most others, apparently decided he would not want to throw again with one day's rest.

Skipping the All-Star Game should allow him to start the Rays first game after the break on Friday at Minnesota.


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Before Saturday night concert, Joan Jett fills in as PA announcer


Joan Jett and the Blackhearts were scheduled as the postgame entertainment Saturday as part of the Rays summer concert series — but Jett went in for the full game experience, taking over as PA announcer as well. "Joan Jett's doing pretty well announcing batters," tweeted Fox Sports Florida's Andrew Astleford (@aastleford). "I think she has a future behind a microphone."

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For starters, Rays vs. Jays

UPDATE, 2:05: LHP David Price is expected to start tomorrow. He left Tropicana Field last night because of an illness, and Jake Odorizzi will start in his place today.

"I think he's doing fine," manager Joe Maddon said. "I anticipate at this point that he will (start), but I'm still not 100 percent."

CF Desmond Jennings' left knee is swollen after hitt himself with a foul ball Friday night. He's not in the lineup but might be available off the bench today.

C Ryan Hanigan could be available in an emergency situation, Maddon said. He's still battling soreness in his left side. Maddon said it's been annoying Hanigan ever since the Detroit series. Neither Jennings nor Hanigan are in today's lineup.


Kiermaier CF

Zobrist RF

Joyce  DH

Longoria 3B

Loney 1B

Guyer LF

Escobar SS

Molina C

Rodriguez 2B

Odorizzi RHP



DEVELOPING: The Rays will try to shake off two consecutive ninth-inning collapses with today's 4:10 p.m. game against Toronto.

RHP Jake Odorizzi  (4-8, 4.10) will try to stop the slump for the Rays. He replaces David Price, who became ill yesterday. The Rays hope he'll be healthy enough to start tomorrow's series finale. …

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Price scratched from Saturday start due to illness

LHP David Price was sent home from the Trop tonight and scratched from his Saturday start due to illness.

Price had said earlier Friday he had been sick on Thursday and was only feeling marginally better, and would not have been able to pitch Friday.

The Rays are hoping he is well enough to start Sunday. If he does, however, that likely would knock him out of Tuesday's All-Star Game; starters who work Sunday are typically unavailable to pitch again Tuesday so they are replaced on the active All-Star roster but still honored as All-Stars.





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Jerry Sands to have season-ending surgery

Jerry Sands will need season-ending surgery on his wrist.


Jerry Sands will need season-ending surgery on his wrist.

ST. PETERSBURG - Rays INF/OF Jerry Sands will need season-ending surgery on his wrist, Sands said before today's game.

"It's obviously disappointing I don't get to go out there and be on the field every day," Sands said.

Sands strained a tendon in his left wrist during a swing last month. Surgery was viewed as a possibility then, but Sands was still having problems with it today at his follow-up appointment, leading to the surgery decision. He said he plans to schedule that soon - while working around his wife's pregnancy and due date in August. The surgery should keep him from swinging for three or four months, but he's expected to be healthy before spring training.

"It's one of those things, I've got to get it done," Sands said. "I'd rather have it fixed and not have it lingering and have to worry about it." 

In other injury news, OF Wil Myers had his cast removed but did not have a timetable for his return.

"It's definitely weird," Myers said. "It's going to take some time to get used to."

Myers said he'll begin his rehab process soon. The Rays have said he could return three or four weeks after the cast is removed, making mid-August a realistic timeline for him to rejoin the team.


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