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For starters, Rays at Red Sox, on trade day

Erasmo Ramirez will be on the mound for the Rays. [Jon Blacker/The Canadian Press via AP]

Erasmo Ramirez will be on the mound for the Rays. [Jon Blacker/The Canadian Press via AP]

UPDATE, 5:49: Baseball ops president Matt Silverman said they looked at some possibilities of adding bats but there were "no glaring holes" in their lineup that they could fill at the deadline. ... He also acknowledged the "dynamics were odd" in trading Jepsen to a team they were chasing in the wild-card race but said that was the case in several of their conversations. ....  Several Rays said they were disappointed to see Jepsen go but they understood it was a business. .. Cash said they will use several relievers to fill his role, with Geltz and Gomes seemingly the most likely, and that he won't use the bullpen any differently, meaning McGee could still pitch in the 7th if matchups dictate and Boxberger in the 8th. ... Yates will also get some opportunities.

UPDATE, 3:21: Red Sox lineup, with Josh Rutledge, married to former Rays TV reporter Laura McKeeman, at 3B:

Holt 2B,
Bogaerts SS,
Ortiz DH,
Napoli 1B,
De Aza LF,
Castillo RF,
Swihart C,
Bradley Jr. CF,
Rutledge 3B,
Rodriguez P

  …

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Trade deadline update: Jepsen traded to Twins for 2 minor-league pitchers

The Rays have enough depth in pitching to at least listen, and were said to be discussing starter RHP Nathan Karns and reliever RHP Kevin Jepsen, pictured, among others

JAMES BORCHUCK | Times

The Rays have enough depth in pitching to at least listen, and were said to be discussing starter RHP Nathan Karns and reliever RHP Kevin Jepsen, pictured, among others

UPDATE, 4:01: There were no other deals for the Rays by the 4 p.m. deadline.

UPDATE, 3:30: Jepsen said he was surprised to be dealt, and even more surprised to go to a team the Rays are competing with for a playoff spot:

"You hear the rumors and stuff like that that your name is out there about being traded, but when it actually happens, it sinks in,'' Jepsen said.

"In the off-season when I got traded (from the Angels to the Rays) it was a little easier because I had a couple months to get ready and head to spring training. This is during the season, I'm about to catch a flight and head to Minnesota.

"It's fun and it's nice to be wanted, a team that's in it, in the hunt. And they're looking to fill in some pieces that I could hopefully help with and be in the playoffs at the end of the year.''

Jepsen spoke in the lobby of the team hotel, having already gone to Fenway Park to retrieve his baseball equipment.

As for going to 53-48 Twins team that the 51-52 Rays are competing with for a wild-card, Jepsen said: "It is a little surprising on that part.''

Also he said it will be tough to leave the Rays guys. …

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Ace Chris Archer "hoping" Rays make moves to improve team

   After seeing the AL East rival Blue Jays deal for All-Stars LHP David Price and SS Troy Tulowitzki, Rays ace RHP Chris Archer called on his bosses to improve their team.

   "It should be a very interesting two months of baseball in our league and division,'' Archer told the Tampa Bay Times on Thursday.

  "I'm speaking for our clubhouse when I say this, WE are hoping and confident that the areas of need will be addressed in the coming hours so that we can stay competitive not just in September but through the month of October as well.

 "Other teams have, and I hope that motivates not only the players to give it all they have but the management as well.''

   The primary "areas of need" would be in the lineup, as the Rays rank at or near the bottom of the American League in most key offensive categories. But both principal owner Stuart Sternberg and baseball operations president Matt Silverman said recently they are unlikely to make any significant acquisitions by Friday's 4 p.m. deadline for nonwaiver deals and feel the team they have is good enough - though at 51-52 - to remain competitive. …

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David Price is back in the AL East ... with Blue Jays

David Price reportedly was traded Thursday from the the Tigers to the Blue Jays.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

David Price reportedly was traded Thursday from the the Tigers to the Blue Jays.

The Rays are going to see more of David Price.

So is the rest of the American League East.

Price was traded Thursday from the the Tigers to the Blue Jays, one of the teams the Rays are competing with for a playoff spot.

The Jays gave up several top prospects, including LHP Daniel Norris, to get Price, who is a free agent after this season. The other players going to Detroit are lefthanded pitchers Jairo Labourt and Matt Boyd.

Toronto will pick up the entirety of Price's remaining salary.

The Rays face the Jays twice more this season, September 25-27 in Toronto and Oct 2-4 at the Trop in the season finale.

This mark's the second straight year Price has been dealt at the trade deadline. Last season, he was traded from the Rays to the Tigers.

The Price trade, following the Jays' previous acquisition of star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, certainly caught the attention of Rays ace All-Star Chris Archer, who posted this tweet:

 

If anyone wants to know what it looks like to be all in, check out the Jays.

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Despite Archer's bid for perfection Rays lose 2-1 to Tigers

Rays ace Chris Archer was perfect into the seventh inning Wednesday, but a mistake by shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera led to a frustrating 2-1 loss to the Tigers.
  Archer flirted with a perfect game by retiring the first 19 Tigers, but after he allowed an infield single with one out in the seventh an error by Cabrera on what should have been an inning-ending double play changed the narrative dramatically as a 1-0 Rays lead became a 2-1 deficit.
    The loss, before a camp day-boosted crowd of 28,057 at the Trop, kept the Rays from a three-game sweep of the Tigers and dropped then back under .500 at 51-52.
     Jose Iglesias was the first Tiger to reach against Archer one out into the seventh, hitting a slow bouncer to the left side and beating the throw from Cabrera. Official scorer Bill Mathews didn't hesitate in calling it a hit.
    The Rays should have been out of the inning when Yoenis Cespedes hit a grounder up the middle, but Cabrera booted it and couldn't even get the lead out. That put two runners on and though Archer retired always dangerous Victor Martinez on a fly to left, he gave up a ground ball single to J.D. Martinez that scored the tying run, and then another single to Nick Castellanos on a liner off Cabrera's glove that scored Cespedes and put the Tigers up 2-1.
  By retiring the first 19 Tigers, Archer made the longest perfect game bid in Rays franchise history. Matt Garza retired the first 18 Red Sox in an April 30, 2009 game. (Garza has also thrown the only no-hitter in Rays history, on July 26, 2010, vs. Detroit.)
  Archer, riding an especially nasty hard slider, did his part in striking out 10 of those 19, including five in row.
   But centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier lend a hand with a spectacular catch, running with his back to the field, then leaping and reaching across his body to corral James McCann's fly ball just before hitting the wall.
   Still Archer went from near perfection to a frustrating loss, allowing two unearned runs on the three hits while striking out 11 over seven innings, having thrown 101 pitches.
  Tigers starter Justin Verlander was equally impressive early on, retiring the first 14 Rays he faced, until Cabrera homered on an 0-1 pitch with two outs in the fifth. Verlander, with his girlfriend model/actor Kate Upton in the stands, worked eight innings, allowing just four hits and striking out 10 for his fur
   The Rays had a final shot to tie in the ninth when Evan Longoria was hit by a Joakim Soria pitch with two outs, but Tim Beckham struck out.

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For starters, Rays vs. Tigers, on Archer Day

UPDATE, 11:06: Casali said the last few days have been wild and rewarding, the first time he's hit two homers in a game since high school. He also said the success if the result of a more aggressive approach he and other hitters have taken over the last couple weeks. .. Interesting note to Casali becoming the first rookie catcher in MLB history to have multiple homers in back to back games - he surpassed Kenji Johjima, who did it in back to back starts (with a game off in-between) for Seattle in 2006, and the other catcher on the team both times was Rene Rivera. ... Wilson, pride of Seminole High, started the season with the Rays then was designated for assignment on June 12.

UPDATE, 11:03: The Rays added C Bobby Wilson to the roster, likely only for today, as protection with red-hot C Bobby Wilson serving as the DH and Rene Rivera catching. ... OF Grady Sizemore seems the most likely callup for Friday.

Here is the Rays lineup:
Jaso lf
Souza rf
Longoria 3b
Loney 1b
Forsythe 2b
Cabrera ss
Casali DH
Kiermaier cf
Rivera c
Archer p

And here is the Tigers lineup:
Kinsler 2b
Iglesias ss
Cespdes lf
V. Martinez dh
J.D. Martinez rf
Castellanos 3b
Avila 1b
McCann c
Gose cf
Verlander p …

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Rays trade DeJesus to Angels

The Rays traded outfielder David DeJesus to the Angels for minor-league pitcher Eduar Lopez.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

The Rays traded outfielder David DeJesus to the Angels for minor-league pitcher Eduar Lopez.

The Rays traded OF David DeJesus to the Angels for minor-league RHP Eduar Lopez.

DeJesus said he was shocked to be traded but pleased to be going to the Angels, as his wife and son are living in the LA area. "It's a good problem,'' he said.

Rays baseball ops president Matt Silverman said Lopez was a "mid-level prospect" and the deal was more about creating more at-bats for John Jaso and eventually Desmond Jennings, who is expected back in mid-August, and also "to save some money.''

DeJesus had about $2-million remaining on his 2015 salary, and a $1-million buyout on a $5-million option for next season.

Silverman said he had been talking to the Angels over several days.

 

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For starters, Rays vs. Tigers, facing David Price

Jake Odorizzi, fresh off a tough with manager Kevin Cash about getting to stay in games longer, will be on the mound for the Rays.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Jake Odorizzi, fresh off a tough with manager Kevin Cash about getting to stay in games longer, will be on the mound for the Rays.

UPDATE, 5:16: Cabrera was only going to play one rehab game anyway and with rain possible again tonight the Rays decided to go ahead and activate him after an extensive Monday workout. ... Kiermaier said his left eye felt much better after a good night's sleep and he is good to go ... Cash said they weren't comfortable - yet anyway - with Beckham at 1B so decided to move Forsythe there tonight ... OF Desmond Jennings is slated to fly to Durham on Thursday and start what could be at least a 10-game rehab assignment there this weekend,

DEVELOPING: After beating the Tigers 5-2 on Monday, the Rays are prepping for the tough task of facing former teammate LHP David Price.

The Rays beat Price 1-0 last year in his first game back as a visitor, and Price called it arguably the best game he ever pitched and didn't win.

RHP Jake Odorizzi, fresh off a tough with manager Kevin Cash about getting to stay in games longer, will be on the mound for the Rays.

Despite leaving Monday's game after 6 innings with blurred vision due to an abrasion on his left eye, Kevin Kiermaier is back in the Rays lineup. And Curt Casali, who homered twice on Monday, is in the lineup for a fourth straight game. …

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Kevin Kiermaier hurts eye .... while stretching legs

  So just how did Rays CF Kevin Kiermaier hurt his left eye?
  By stretching his legs before Monday's game.
  Kiermaier said he was using an elastic stretching band about 30 minutes before game time and went to switch feel when the mishap occurred.
  "I had a little too much slack on it when I was switching legs and the band kind of just squared me up right in the eye,''  Kiermaier said. "I don't know how.''
  Kiermaier said he expects to be back in the lineup Tuesday, though the Rays want to see how he is first before committing.
  Kiermaier said he at first thought he was fine, but realized in tryinh to track Yoenis Cespedes first-inning fly ball he was having trouble with blurred vision, and made it worse by continuing to rub it.
   Though he had an RBI bloop double in the fourth he continued to have problems and said by his sixth inning at-bat, when he struck out, "I couldn't see at all.''
 The Rays took him out at that point.
  "It's the most uncomfortable I've felt in the batters box all year,'' Kiermaier said. "I even told (Tigers C Alex) Avila, "I can't see right now.'' (I'm sure he was) like "Okay, cool, this kid can't see right now." I know I probably shouldn't have said that, but I said, you know what, this is a hang-with-'em type of at-bat.''

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Cabrera activated off DL, Elmore sent down

SS Asdrubal Cabrera was rained out of a planned rehab game in Port Charlotte Monday, but apparently showed the Rays enough in an afternoon workout that he was over his right hamstring strain, and he will be reinstated from the DL Tuesday.

To make room, INF Jake Elmore was optioned to Triple-A Durham. Foreshadowing that move, INF Tim Beckham did pregame work at first base, giving the Rays another right-handed hitting option with several lefty starters upcoming, a role Elmore had been filling.

Elmore took the news well.

"Another opportunity to play in the big leagues and help the team any way you can (like) moving around positions. And now I go back to Triple-A and hopefully get my swing back completely and hopefully be back and help the team win some more,'' he said.

"So it's hard for me to stay down. Obviously, the news hurts, but I feel confident that I'll be back. I'm just taking positives from every situation that happens.''

Cabrera has been out since getting hurt July 11.

 

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For starters, Rays vs. Tigers, still in a rut

Nathan Karns will be on the mound for the Rays, coming off his home-run heroics in Philadelphia.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Nathan Karns will be on the mound for the Rays, coming off his home-run heroics in Philadelphia.

UPDATE, 5:21: LHP Drew Smyly said he was encouraged by his Sunday rehab outing for Durham, that he was clocked in the 90s and his arm felt great. He will make another start on Friday, location TBA, and said it's just a matter now of building up innings. ... OF Desmond Jennings (knee) is slated to start a rehab assignment this weekend with Durham. .... SS Asdrubal Cabrera (hamstring) was washed out off a planned rehab game with Charlotte tonight; the Rays are deciding what to do next as he is close to returning. ... RHP Jake Odorizzi said he had a talk with Cash about being pulled early from his last start and feels things will be "back to normal" now. ... Tigers LHP David Price is excited about pitching here on Tuesday, with his whole family coming in for the game, and said going through the trade process with the Rays last year has made it easier for hin to handle the situation this year.

UPDATE, 3:15: Struggling Steven Souza Jr. has been dropped to 6th in the order.

Jaso DH,
DeJesus lf,
Longoria 3b,
Loney 1b,
Forsythe 2b,
Souza rf,
Kiermaier cf,
Beckham ss,
Casali c,
Karns p

And the Tigers lineup: …

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For starters, Rays vs. Orioles with a Jimbo Fisher cameo

UPDATE, 12:49: It really is a Florida State day at the Trop. Football coach Jimbo Fisher will throw out the ceremonial first pitch in a few minutes...to 2013 Heisman Trophy winner and Bucs rookie quarterback Jameis Winston. 

In Rays news, SS Asdrubal Cabrera and OF Desmond Jennings continued to do work before the game. Cabrera said he expects to return to the Rays sometime during the upcoming series against the Tigers.

Today's lineups:

Rays

Guyer CF

Souza RF

Longoria DH

Forsythe 2B

Butler LF

Loney 1B

Beckham SS

Elmore 3B

Casali C

Moore LHP

Orioles

Lough LF

Davis DH

Machado 3B

Jones CF

Hardy SS

Reimold RF

Flaherty 1B

Schoop 2B

Joseph C

Chen LHP

DEVELOPING: After Saturday night's loss in front of the largest home crowd since opening day, the Rays will try to take the series against Baltimore when they finish their three-game series today at 1:10.

LHP Matt Moore (1-1, 7.23) will start for the Rays. He's still looking to regain his All-Star form as he makes his fifth start since returning from Tommy John surgery. He has yet to last longer than five innings.

Baltimore will start LHP Wei-Yin Chen (4-6, 2.86). …

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Drew Smyly to start rehab assignment Sunday for Durham Bulls

LHP Drew Smyly is getting closer to a return to the Rays' rotation.

He is leaving for Norfolk today to start his rehab assignment tomorrow for Triple-A Durham as he returns from a torn left labrum. Smyly, who hasn't pitched in a game since May 5, will be scheduled for about 45 pitches or three innings.

"Get him up and down a couple times - that's kind of the priority," manager Kevin Cash said.

Smyly will return to Tropicana Field after his rehab start, Cash said. The Rays aren't putting a timetable on when he might be ready to rejoin the rotation.

In other injury news, OF Desmond Jennings (left knee) and SS Asdrubal Cabrera (right hamstring strain) both did work on the field before the game for the second day in a row. The pair hit, completed defensive drills and ran the bases. Cash said both did well and that an update on their health could come tomorrow.

 

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For starters, Rays vs. Orioles

UPDATE, 3:56: RF Steven Souza Jr. will lead off for the second game in a row. … In fashion news, the lucky, game-winning shoes worn by Tim Beckham are still wet after his celebratory Gatorade shower after Friday’s victory. He’s breaking in a new pair of Nikes with neon yellow laces and chrome spikes.

Today’s lineups:

Rays

Souza RF

Jaso DH

Longoria 3B

Loney 1B

Forsythe 2B

DeJesus LF

Beckham SS

Kiermaier CF

Casali C

Ramirez RHP

Orioles

Lough LF

Davis DH

Machado 3B

Jones CF

Wieters C

Flaherty 1B

Hardy SS

Snider RF

Schoop 2B

 

Gonzalez RHP

DEVELOPING: After perhaps their biggest win of the year, the Rays are back at Tropicana Field for the second game of a three-game series against the Orioles.

The good news for the Rays: RHP Erasmo Ramirez (8-3, 3.54) will start. The Rays have won in 10 of Ramirez's past 12 starts. His best performance of the season came against these Orioles in May when he struck out seven in seven shutout innings. Baltimore will start RHP Miguel Gonzalez (8-6, 4.21).

The Rays are expected to announce the next step for injured LHP Drew Smyly (shoulder) today. If Smyly isn't ready to begin a rehab assignment, he will likely throw another simulated game.

Lineups and more when available.

 

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For starters, Rays vs. Orioles

Chris Archer (9-7, 2.73) will take the mound for the Rays as he tries to snap a four-start winless streak.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Chris Archer (9-7, 2.73) will take the mound for the Rays as he tries to snap a four-start winless streak.

UPDATE, 4:53: SS Asdrubal Cabrera (hamstring) ran the bases at 80 percent today for the first time since his injury. He and the Rays weren't ready to announce a timetable for his return, but he used the word "soon" repeatedly. ... The Rays will likely announce tomorrow whether LHP Drew Smyly (shoulder) will be ready to start a rehab assignment or will throw another simulated game before making a rehab start.

INF Logan Forsythe isn't in the lineup; manager Kevin Cash said the Rays wanted to give him another day off. OF Steven Souza Jr. is leading off as the Rays alternate lefties and righties. 

Today's lineups:

Rays

Souza RF

Jaso DH

Longoria 3B

Loney 1B

Beckham 2B

DeJesus LF

Elmore 2B

Kiermaier CF

Rivera C

Archer RHP

Orioles

Paredes DH

Flaherty 2B

Machado 3B

Jones CF

Davis RF

Hardy SS

Snider LF

Joseph C

Parmelee 1B

Tillman RHP

DEVELOPING: After a 2-4 road trip, the Rays have returned to Tropicana Field, where they host the Orioles tonight in the first game of a three-game series.

RHP Chris Archer (9-7, 2.73) will take the mound for the Rays as he tries to snap a four-start winless streak. RHP Chris Tillman (7-7, 4.96) will start for Baltimore. …

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