Rays bench coach Dave Martinez said he'd love to be a big-league manager someday, and believes he's ready.
And with the Astros firing Bo Porter Monday, there's speculation that Martinez could be one of the candidates to replace him. Martinez interviewed with Houston in 2012 for the managerial job and was said to be a finalist when Porter got the job.
Martinez, 49, said before Tuesday's game he hasn't been contacted by the Astros, but would be interested if called.
"My job is to be the bench coach with the Rays and help this team succeed," said Martinez, who has also previously interviewed for manager jobs with the Cubs, Indians and Blue Jays. "If another opportunity arises, I'd welcome the opportunity. (The Astros) are good people over there. I've interviewed with them before. If they do call me, I'd be looking forward to it."
The Astros fired Porter Monday, saying the dismissal had not as much to do with the 59-79 record as a need for a "new direction" and "united message throughout the entire organization." Martinez, the Rays bench coach the last six seasons, has been impressed with the young talent the Astros have added over the years. …Full Story
WILL VRAGOVIC | Times
Jeremy Hellickson will start for Tampa Bay with, veteran knuckleballer RHP R.A. Dickey going for Toronto.
Update 5:25 p.m. CF Desmond Jennings is not in the lineup for the fifth straight game due to a sore left knee, and is unsure when he'll return.
Jennings tested the knee by jogging again before today's game, but said it feels the same as it did Friday, when he was a late scratch from the lineup. He said it's been a lingering injury. Manager Joe Maddon said Jennings is available to pinch-hit, but they don't want to rush him back and run him into the ground, especially when they have several available, healthy outfielders.
*OF Wil Myers said Monday's three-hit game, a season-high, was an encouraging step forward, and hopes to build off it. Myers said he saw the ball better Monday than he had in a while, and that while this has been the most difficult year of his life, he's planning on building some confidence in the final month.
*RHP Steve Geltz said he appreciated Maddon giving him an opportunity in a big-situation Monday, the day he was called up from Triple-A. Geltz gave up a run, but struck out Mike Napoli to end the inning. …Full Story
The Rays haven't had a lot to celebrate this season, so they made sure to enjoy themselves after a 4-3 10-inning walk off win over the Red Sox.Full Story
Matt Joyce delivered the winning run with a fly ball over the outfield to score Sean Rodriguez, marking the Rays first walkoff win since May 24, and just their fourth total.
Ryan Hanigan started the rally, lacing a liner down the leftfield line and sliding in headfirst to second, the call standing after a replay challenge by Red Sox manager John Farrell. The Sox then had Burke Badenhop intentionally walk rookie Kevin Kiermaier. After Ben Zobrist bunted the runners up, the Sox intentionally walked Wil Myers to load the bases for Joyce.
With the win, the Rays split the four-game series with the last-place Red Sox, improving to 67-71 as they seek to stay on the fringe of the American League wild-card race and push for a seventh straight winning season.
The Red Sox took a 1-0 lead in the third before the Labor Day gathering of 10,543 at Tropicana Field. Starter Drew Smyly had retired the first eight, but issued a two-out walk to No. 9 hitter Christian Vazquez and then allowed a well-struck double to left-center by rookie Mookie Betts.
The Rays came back with three runs in their third. Ryan Hanigan got them started with a leadoff single, and Ben Zobrist rolled a ball toward third for a one-out infield single. Wil Myers drove a ball down the rightfield line for a double to score the first run. After Matt Joyce struck out, Evan Longoria came through with a clutch hit, fouling off the first 2-2 pitch then lining the next up the middle for a two-run single.
The Red Sox got one of the runs back quickly in the fourth, when Mike Napoli, serving as the DH with David Ortiz getting a day off, knocked a 2-2 pitch over the leftfield wall.
Smyly was not quite as sharp as he had been, but good enough to get into the sixth inning, leaving to a nice ovation with two out and on one. Brad Boxberger finished that inning and then the next.
But the Rays gave the lead up in the eighth. Mookie Betts singled with one out off Jeff Beliveau and went to second on an slow bouncer to the mound. Steve Geltz, called up from Triple-A for his Rays debut, allowed a full-coutn single to Yeonis Cespedes, with Betts coming around to score.
The Rays open a three-game series with the Blue Jays on Tuesday, with Jeremy Hellickson taking on knuckleballing nemesis R.A. Dickey.
UPDATE, 12:03: Geltz said his May drug suspension was the result of an off-season mistake, having too much fun with his friends, and definitely a lesson learned. .... The Red Sox are giving Ortiz the day off facing Smyly. ... Rays are 3-9 on past Labor Days.
Red Sox lineup:
De La Rosa p
UPDATE, 11:59: David DeJesus is not only back on the active roster but in the lineup, Maddon eager and hopeful that he provides a spark to a group that needs it. Maddon said DeJesus will play regularly for now, though with CF Desmond Jennings potentially back in the lineup during the Toronto series those decisions will be tougher. ... Maddon said again he is eager to see Geltz pitch in the big leagues given his Triple-A success.
DEVELOPING: After being shut down and shut out on Sunday, the Rays are looking to break even against the last-place Red Sox today as they wrap up a four-game series with a holiday matinee. …Full Story
The Rays showed little in losing 3-0 to the last place Red Sox on Sunday, held to three hits and making another key error.Full Story
The loss dropped the Rays to 66-71, and potentially 9 1/2 games back in the race for the second American League wild-card, pending late results, with 25 to play.
The Red Sox took advantage of more Rays sloppiness in taking the early lead.
Xander Bogaerts singled, thru a space vacated by the shift, to open the third. Cobb's pickoff throw eluded backup first baseman Sean Rodriguez, makring the eighth straight game the Rays made an error, allowing Bogaerts to move up to third. Christian Vazquez promptly singled to right to turn th error into a run.
The Sox added another in the fifth. Brock Holt singled with two outs and stole second as Cobb's pitch skipped past catcher Jose Molina, then scored as rookie Mookie Betts singled.
And they expanded the lead in the eighth off Joel Peralta when Betts led off with a double as Kiermaier missed on a diving catch of his sinking linger, and David Ortiz, booed heavily throughout the series, grounded a ball through the shortstop hole vacated by the shift.
The Rays hitters, meanwhile, were shut down and shut out by Boston righthander Clay Buchholz, who came into the game Winless in his last seven starts with a 6.35 ERA, having allowed 45 hits and 21 walks in 45 1/3 innings.
The Rays managed only three hits - a leadoff single by Kevin Kiermaier (who had another adventurous day in centerfield), then after 10 straight were retired a double by Matt Joyce in the fourth and a leadoff single by Jose Molina in the sixth.
The teams continue the four-day holiday weekend series with a 1:10 matinee on Monday, Rays lefty Drew Smyly taking on Boston righthander Rubby De La Rosa
The Rays announced three players will be called up on Monday when rosters expand: RHP Steve Geltz, RHP Brandon Gomes, C Curt Casali. Also, OF David DeJesus will be activated off the DL.
Geltz has two games of big-league experience with the Angels in 2012. He was acquired in March 2013 in trade for RHP Dane De La Rosa, had an impressive 2013 at Triple-A Durham, was invited to spring training with the Rays this year, was having another good season at Durham when he got suspended 50 games for a recreational drug violation, and returned to pitch well.
The Rays will have to drop someone from the 40-man roster to add Geltz.
Gomes has been up and down for several seasons. Casali had been with the Rays for more than a month when he was sent down last with Ryan Hanigan coming off the DL.
DeJesus has been out since mid-June with a left hand fracture.
UPDATE, 12:37: The Rays announced the three players who will be called up Monday when rosters expand - RHP Steve Geltz, RHP Brandon Gomes and C Curt Casali. Also, OF David DeJesus will be reinstated from the DL. The Rays will have to make room on the 40-man roster to add Geltz.
Also, Maddon had said Saturday he was looking to give Zobrist a day off and that Jennings probably needed at least one more day.
Red Sox lineup:
UPDATE, 12:31: Escobar is back in the Rays lineup, Jennings is not and Ben Zobrist is getting a day off:
DEVELOPING: After Jake Odorizzi, Jeff Beliveau and Kirby Yates combined to hold the Red Sox to one hit in a 7-0 win on Saturday, the Rays will hand the ball today to Alex Cobb, trying to improve their slim playoff hopes.
Despite a rough outing in Baltimore on Tuesday, Cobb is 7-0, 2.14 over his last 11 starts, and has allowed two or fewer runs in his last nine. He is 2-2, 4.19 in seven starts against the Sox. …Full Story
UPDATE, 5:19: Maddon said an MRI showed no damage to Jennings left knee beyond a bruise and he could be available even in tonight's game off the bench. .... Maddon also said it was just a planned day off for Escobar and he didn't see any reason for his recent rough stretch. Escobar said his arm feels fine and that the errrors were "just part of the game.'' He also said he was no longer bothered by last week's trade rumors. ... Maddon said OF David DeJesus will be activated from the DL on Monday and there will be three or four others added with the rosters expanding - third catcher Curt Casali and two relievers, plus possibly one other player/pitcher.
Red Sox lineup:
DEVELOPING: The Rays are looking to snap out of a stretch of sloppy play tonight as they take on the Red Sox again.
The Rays will try to do so with two of the regulars not in their lineup - SS Yunel Escobar, who has made a series of errors and misplays this week, and CF Desmond Jennings, who was a late scratch from Friday's game due to what the team said was a sore left knee. …Full Story
WILL VRAGOVIC | Times
Chris Archer will take the mound in his first start against the Red Sox since he criticized DH David Ortiz for admiring his home runs.
Update 5:24 p.m. Rays manager Joe Maddon said he "would not doubt" that there will be more attention paid to David Ortiz's at-bats against Chris Archer tonight, considering the critical comments the two players traded after the last meeting.
But Maddon hope nothing comes of it, pointing out that sometimes things are said in the heat of the moment.
*Maddon said he would have been surprised had someone told him before the season that this late-August series between the Rays and Red Sox would include the fourth and fifth-place team in the division. Maddon said his team's situation is a byproduct of a 1-14 stretch earlier in this season that put them behind, and though they got back to .500 after being 18 games below, it took a lot out of them.
*While Maddon said LHP Drew Smyly could get shut down after 2-3 more starts - because he's at a career-high 141 1/3 innings - the lefthander hopes he can still keep pitching. Smyly said he feels great, but knows the decision is not in his control.
*Maddon said Archer's fastball command has gotten better, part of the reason for his recent roll, along with better self-awareness.
Here's the lineups: …Full Story
The Rays are adding a second, hipper-looking Joe Maddon Mr. Potato Head giveaway on Sept. 20, free to the first 20,000 fans.
"What can I say - flattery comes in so many different forms,'' Maddon said. "This year I've been flattered twice by having my resemblance likened to that of a potato.''
This version has a hoodie, cooler glasses and white hair.
Jeremy Hellickson, who has been solid in his return from the DL, will be on the mound for the Rays against veteran RHP Bud Norris.
UPDATE, 6:06: Maddon said to expect 4-5 additions when rosters can be expanded on Monday. C Curt Casali and OF David DeJesus (who has been on the DL) are two, and at least two pitchers are expected, likely relievers. RHP Brandon Gomes would seem likely to be one, with LHP C.J. Riefenhauser a possibility to be the other. The Rays eventually will add at least one other starter, but may wait as Triple-A Durham is in the playoffs. Others may be called up then as well. .... Maddon said he is pleased with the results and the approach that Longoria has been using, and disputed observations by some scouts suggesting he wasn't using his legs or lower half properly.
UPDATE, 3:41: Rays lineup, with Myers at DH again and Molina catching Hellickson:
DEVELOPING: After riding another impressive pitching performance from Drew Smyly to a 3-1 win on Wednesday, the Rays are looking for a split of their four-game series and an overall winning road trip as they take on the Orioles tonight. …Full Story
WILL VRAGOVIC | Times
Drew Smyly will be on the mound for the Rays tonight, coming off his first professional complete game.
UPDATE, 6:01: OF Kevin Kiermaier is back in the Rays lineup after missing two games with a stiff neck and Evan Longoria is back at 3B after giving his sore right forearm a rest with two days at DH.
Otherwise, it was a quiet pre-game for the Rays, with no on-field activities aside from some pitchers playing catch.
Maddon said Longoria is not 100 percent but said he was good enough to play the field and they don't have any special handling planned.
Here is the Rays lineup:
DEVELOPING: The Rays came into this four-game series with the Orioles with aspirations of sweeping their way back into the AL East race. Now after losing the first two games, and looking bad in doing so, they are hoping just to break even and not lose any more ground in the chase for the second AL wild-card.
LHP Drew Smyly will be on the mound for the Rays tonight, coming off his first professional complete game, a 105-pitch two-hit masterpiece in which he faced only 28 batters. The Orioles are starting RHP Kevin Gausman, an impressive 23-year-old rookie who faced the Rays twice earlier this season. …Full Story
There's a reason Evan Longoria is DH-ing for a second straight day for the Rays - he has soreness in his right forearm.
Longoria said he has been bothered by the soreness for about five days, though it is only an issues when he throws - adding later that it "just hurt" when he threw but wasn't limiting - but not when he is hitting.
Longoria said he will not have to go on the DL or even have an MRI and expects to be back at third base on Wednesday, confident playing through the soreness won't lead to a further injury.
"My forearm's been a little sore,'' he said. "I don't think it's any cause for concern. It was something I was playing through for maybe five days before that. I'm just trying to give it a rest, let it calm down. It doesn't batter me to hit, so that's a good thing. I should be back in there tomorrow.''
Longoria said there was no one moment or throw that led to the issue, nor was there a pop or any kind of reaction.
"I didn't really feel it on any specific play or anything, it just kind of crept up on me, and was pretty sore throwing the ball,'' he said. "It's something I won't go on the DL for, I won't miss any time for, and tomorrow I hope to be back on the field.''
WILL VRAGOVIC | Times
The Rays today activated catcher Ryan Hanigan from the DL, sending Curt Casali to the minors temporarily.
UPDATE, 4:51: Orioles lineup, similar after the 5-homer showing last night:
UPDATE, 4:14: Hanigan is back in the Rays lineup, and Longoria is the DH for a second straight day as the result of soreness in his right forearm.
DEVELOPING: After a 9-1 loss that knocked them 11 games back in the AL East race, the Rays are back on the field tonight to take on the Orioles in the second of what was supposed to be a key four-game series.
RHP Alex Cobb, who is 7-0, 1.99 in his last 10 starts, will be on the mound for the Rays against Orioles LHP Wei-Yin Chen.
The Rays earlier today activated C Ryan Hanigan from the DL, sending Curt Casali to the minors temporarily - he is expected back Monday when rosters can be expanded beyond 25.
Also, MLB denied the Rays protest of Saturday's game.
Lineups when available.
C Ryan Hanigan was activated from the disabled list and Curt Casali was optioned, temporarily, to Class A Charlotte.
Hanigan has been out since July 8 due to an oblique strain. He played in three rehab games for Charlotte.
Casali was optioned to the Stone Crabs to expedite his return on Monday; the usual 10-day rule for a demotion to the minors is trumped by the end of a minor-league season; Charlotte is done on Sunday.