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Ryan Brett off DL, optioned to Durham Bulls

Infielder Ryan Brett has been reinstated from the 15-day DL and optioned to Triple-A Durham, the Rays announced Thursday morning.

Brett was put on the DL on April 22 with a left shoulder subluxation. He injured his shoulder diving back to first base on a pickoff attempt in the first big-league start of his career. Brett was 2-for-3 in his brief time with the Rays before the injury.   



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Pitchers' duel ends badly for Rays in 3-0 loss

    Chris Archer did all he could to keep the Rays even while outpitching Seattle's King Felix Hernandez on Wednesday afternoon. …

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For starters, Rays vs. Mariners, facing the King

UPDATE, 11:44: Cash said he hoped he didn't get fined for his comments.  ... He said he felt trrhe decision on putting Joey Butler on 3B rather than home "could have gone either way" but he thought they should factor in the leftfielder being on the ground and the ball rolling the other way.

UPDATE, 11:25: Manager Kevin Cash said he stuck by his comments about the "terrible" and "embarrassing" umpiring in Tuesday's game but also wanted to make sure he gave the Mariners credit for winning.

Cash said both SS Asdrubal Cabrera (groin) and OF Steven Souza Jr. (wrist) are available today and the Rays are looking for both to return to the lineup on Friday in Baltimore.

Rays lineup:
Kiermaier cf,
Butler DH,
Longoria 3b,
DeJesus LF,
Forsythe 1b,
Franklin SS,
Elmore 2b,
Guyer rf,
Rivera c,
Archer p

Mariners lineup:
Jackson cf
Smith rf
Cano 2b
Cruz dh
Seager 3b
Morrison 1b
Miller ss
Ackley lf
Zunino c
Hernandez p

DEVELOPING: After a frustrating and stunning 7-6 10-inning loss to the Mariners that was their fourth straight, the Rays have the difficult task of facing dominanting Seattle ace RHP Felix Herrnadez in a 1:10 game today. …

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Balfour opts out of Durham deal

Grant Balfour, 37, had spent the last few weeks with the Bulls hoping to regain his form after being released by the Rays in late April.

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Grant Balfour, 37, had spent the last few weeks with the Bulls hoping to regain his form after being released by the Rays in late April.

RHP Grant Balfour opted out of his minor-league deal with Triple-A Durham and was released.

Balfour, 37, had spent the last few weeks with the Bulls hoping to regain his form after being released by the Rays in late April.

The Rays had to pay him his $7-milliion salary, and Balfour decided to re-sign with them and try to work his way back to the majors.

It was clear the Rays were not going to call him up. Now the question is whether he will sign elsewhere or retire. Rays manager Kevin Cash said he had not heard his plans, and Balfour's agents said the same.

Balfour appeared in eight games for the Bulls, posting a 2.79 ERA, allowing nine hits and four walks in 9 2/3 innings while striking out 11. He was typically clocked in the low 90-mph range.

"We love the fact that he went down there and tried to work on some stuff,'' Cash said. "Not sure what he's going to do. It still goes back to the career he had here as a Ray, participated in a ton of special moments, was a big part of some really good team success.'' …

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Rays Cash on umpiring: "It's terrible ... It's embarrassing"

For the first time in his two months on the job, Rays manager Kevin Cash blasted the umpires, saying decisions made by Brian Gorman's crew and the replay squad in New York were "terrible" and "embarrassing.''

Cash was primarily upset with a first-inning safe call at the plate that withstood a replay review to give the Mariners their second run, when it appeared catcher Rene Rivera had taken the throw from Alex Colome after a comebacker and tagged Seth Smith while keeping him from getting to the plate.

Noting he had no recourse "other than just to tell them how bad they stink,'' Cash made clear how much he disagreed with the call.

"Terrible. Terrible. It's embarrassing,'' he said. "We spend so much time on pace of play, let's just the damn call right on the field. It's terrible. They ought to be embarrassed. Feels like we got beat twice tonight.''

Cash also was upset with a seventh-inning call on an Evan Longoria drive down the leftfield line that was reversed from foul (by third-base ump Jerry Layne) to fair, but on which Joey Butler, who was on first base, was awarded third base but not home. The Rays got nothing as Logan Forsythe and Tim Beckham made outs. …

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For starters, Rays vs. M's, with no Cabrera and Souza again

The Rays are starting RHP Alex Colome, pictured. The Mariners will counter with LHP J.A. Happ.

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The Rays are starting RHP Alex Colome, pictured. The Mariners will counter with LHP J.A. Happ.

UPDATE, 5:10: Here is a stat that tells you all you need to know about the Rays lineup tonight:

3B Evan Longoria has 189 career home runs, 656 RBIs and 1,020 hits. The other eight players in the lineup COMBINED have 84 homers, 359 RBI, 854 hits.

UPDATE, 5:05: Manager Kevin Cash said both Cabrera and Souza are doing better and could be available tonight, though ideally the Rays would like to give them both until Friday. Souza has taken some dry swings (no ball) and taken throws on the infield during batting practice.

LHP Matt Moore (Tommy John surgery) will throw in another extended spring game on Thursday, and RHP Kirby Yates (right pec strain) will also pitch.

OF Desmond Jennings (left knee) played catch on the field and took some swings, with Cash saying he was getting closer to returning to action, but also that there was no date for him to get on the field in a rehab game.

DEVELOPING: The Rays are looking to snap a three-game losing streak and snap out of an offensive funk that has seen them score only three runs in those games tonight when they take on the Mariners again at 7:10. …

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For starters, Rays vs. Mariners on a holiday night

UPDATE, 3:11: Mariners lineup with ex-Ray Justin Ruggiano in CF:
Smith rf,
Miller lf,
Cano 2b,
Cruz dh,
Seager 3b,
Ruggiano cf,
Morrison 1b,
Taylor ss,
Zunino c,
Elias p

DEVELOPING: After losing the last two games to the A's and three players to injury (with 1B James Loney ending up on the DL), the Rays cap off the holiday weekend by hosting the Mariners tonight at 7:10.

RHP Jake Odorizzi will be on the mound for the Rays, and they are hoping he can work deep into the game. The Mariners are starting LHP Roenis Elias.

Two of the players called up by the Rays Monday are in the lineup, Tim Beckham at SS (as Asdrubal Cabrera had a groin strain) and Jake Elmore in leftfield (as OF Steven Souza Jr. sprained his wrist).

Here is the Rays somewhat patched together lineup:

Guyer rf,
Butler DH,
Longoria 3b,
Forsythe 1b,
Beckham SS,
Elmore LF,
Kiermaier cf,
Franklin 2b,
Rivera c,
Odorizzi p

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UPDATED: Loney out 4-6 weeks; Beckham, Elmore called up

UPDATE, 5:04: Loney said he is expected to be out 4-6 weeks.

"It was disappointing, it was unfortunate,'' Loney said. "I knew yesterday it was probably broken.''

Logan Forsythe will be the primary first baseman in his absence, with C Rene Rivera and Beckham filling in.

Souza (sprained left wrist) is considered day to day, manager Kevin Cash said, but was to undergo further medical evaluation today which could provide some clarity to his situation. Souza could be used in an emergency tonight, most likely to run if needed.

Cabrera (groin) said he was feeling better and would be totally off today with the possibility of returning to action on Tuesday.

Beckham was booked on an 11 a.m. flight today to rejoin Triple-A but got a call saying he was instead in the starting lineup.

Loney said the is confident the team can contiunue to play well without him:

"It's going to take more than one guy to win the division and we've been doing that with all our guys. Everybody's been chipping in,'' Loney said. "I don't think we're going to miss a beat.''

This is Loney's second stint on the DL this season; he missed 15 games in April with an oblique strain.



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Rays injury updates: James Loney, Steven Souza Jr. and Asdrubal Cabrera

ST. PETERSBURG – Some quick injury updates from the Rays’ 7-2 loss to Oakland:

First baseman James Loney left after spraining his left middle finger on a slide. He’s scheduled to be evaluated more tomorrow and was wearing a brace in the clubhouse after the game.

“Just a little sore,” Loney said. “We’ll see.”

Outfielder Steven Souza Jr. is day to day after leaving the game with a sprained left wrist. He said he injured himself colliding with catcher Stephen Vogt at home in the first inning.

“On the collision I kind of felt something and figured it would just go away,” Souza said. “Took some swings on deck. It was lingering a little bit, but nothing too severe. But on the check-swing, I felt the pain. We’re just being precautious.”

Souza was wearing a brace in the clubhouse and said initial X-rays were negative. He plans to have an MRI tomorrow.

Shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera also left the game with a mild groin strain. He’s considered day to day, too, after feeling a pop while trying to get back to second in the seventh inning.

“I feel a little sore, but it’s more tightness,” Cabrera said. “I think I’ll be all right in a couple days.”


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Rays split series with Oakland A's with 7-2 loss

ST. PETERSBURG -- For a team that entered Sunday leading the American League East, the Rays' 7-2 loss to Oakland was painful in more ways than one.

Outfielder Steven Souza Jr. left the game in the third inning with a sprained left wrist and is considered day to day. The injury happened after his foul tip - and two innings after a hard collision at the plate, in front of an announced crowd of 15,692.

Souza tried to sneak home from first after James Loney's two-out single to leftfield. Shortstop Marcus Semien wasn't fooled and threw out Souza at home, where he collided with former Rays catcher Stephen Vogt.

That inning-ending out was the best scoring chance for the Rays (24-21) against A's starter Sonny Gray. Oakland's ace allowed only four hits in his five shutout innings before leaving with a bruised right ankle.

Rays starter Erasmo Ramirez was hit around early and often in his longest start of the year. Billy Burns took Ramirez's first pitch - a thigh-high fastball over the middle - into the rightfield seats for his first career home run. …

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Steven Souza Jr. leaves game with injured wrist

ST. PETERSBURG - Outfielder Steven Souza Jr. left today's game against Oakland with a sprained left wrist. The Rays said he's day to day with the injury.

Souza left the game in the bottom of the third, after his foul tip on the first pitch of his at-bat. He was replaced by Joey Butler.

Souza was involved in a hard play at the plate two innings earlier, when he collided with Oakland catcher Stephen Vogt at home. Souza was thrown out on that play to end the inning.

Souza entered the season as the club's top prospect. The rookie leads the Rays with seven home runs and seven stolen bases. He also has 17 RBIs and a majors-most 65 strikeouts.

This story has been updated.

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For starters, Rays vs. A's

UPDATE, 11:04: RHP Preston Guilmet wasn't in the clubhouse this morning but is expected to arrive later today. 

Today's Rays lineup:

Kiermaier CF

Souza RF

Longoria 3B

Loney 1B

Forsythe 2B

DeJesus DH

Cabrera SS

Guyer LF

Wilson C

Ramirez RHP

A's lineup:

Burns CF

Semien SS

Reddick RF

Vogt C

Butler DH

Muncy 3B

Canha 1B

Sogard 2B

Fuld LF

Gray RHP

DEVELOPING: The Rays will finish up a four-game series against Oakland today at Tropicana Field. RHP Erasmo Ramirez (2-1, 6.44) will get another chance to make his case for sealing a spot in the rotation as the team's fifth starter. The Rays' bats get a tough test against Oakland RHP Sonny Gray (4-2, 1.92). Gray has allowed only five runs in his last three starts.

The latest new face in the Rays' bullpen will be RHP Preston Guilmet, who will be recalled today from Triple-A Durham. He'll take the spot of LHP  Enny Romero, who threw three innings Saturday.

Lineups and more when available. 

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Romero optioned back to Durham, another pitching coming

After working 3 innings to save the bullpen from further use, LHP Enny Romero was optioned back to Triple-A Durham after the game.

Another pitcher will be called up for Sunday's game to add depth as the Rays have RHP Erasmo Ramirez starting.

The primary options would appear to be RHP Jose Dominguez and RHP Preston Guilmet. Two other candidates, Matt Andriese and Andrew Bellatti, are not yet eligible since it hasn't been 10 days since they were last sent down.


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Rays crumble in 5-0 loss to A's

     Even the best bullpens in the game are going to have to their off-days, and the Rays had one Saturday.
   Xavier Cedeno, who had been impressive and nearly flawless since joining the Rays in late April, gave up a pair of run-scoring singles in the sixth inning, leading to a 5-0 loss to the Athletics.
     The Rays offense didn't do much to help, managing only three hits in six innings against starter Kendall Graveman and six  total. And the defense was sloppy, making two errors on one play and several misplays.
    The result dropped the Rays to 24-20 but kept them atop the American League East by 1 1/2 games.
        Rays starter Nathan Karns battled through the first five innings, giving up six hits but no runs. He ran into more trouble, however, in the sixth, allowing a leadoff single and then a one-out walk. He struck out Josh Phegley on his 99th pitch of the day, but manager Kevin Cash decided that was enough.
   He opted for lefty reliever Xavier Cedeno, who has been extremely reliable, unscored on in 12 appearances since being acquired in late April from the Dodgers for cash.
  But Cedeno allowed a single to Eric Sogard, scoring Josh Reddick with the game's first run. Then Cedeno walked Mark Canha to load the bases. And then he allowed a single to former Ray Sam Fuld, who had 4 hits in his previous 54 at-bats.
    Two A's scored on the hit, and to make it worse, the Rays made two errors on the play, Kevin Kiermaier botching the ball and then catcher Rene Rivera dropping the throw home, resulting in a third run, and a 4-0 lead.
   Trying to rest their over-worked bullpen, the Rays turned to lefty Enny Romero, just called up Saturday, to work the final three innings. He got the job done, though it wasn't pretty as he walked four straight during a 36-pitch eighth inning.
   The teams wrap up their four-game series at 1:10 Sunday, with Tampa Bay's Erasmo Ramirez facing Oakland ace Sonny Gray.

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For starters, Rays vs. A's, looking to be as easy as 1-2-3

UPDATE, 2:08: Cash said sending down Beckham was a very tough conversation and that he's proven he is a big league player, but the priority was adding a bullpen arm  to provide some protection. Cash said they could go back to carrying an extra bench player once/if the bullpen gets some rest. ... Cash said he just wanted to get Longoria off his feet with the DH day,  but that it is still a tough sell: "We play cribbage for it.'' ... Romero said he had to get up at 3 a.m. to get a flight from Scranton - where Triple-A Durham was playing - to connect in Charlotte and get to Tampa

UPDATE, 12:22: LHP Matt Moore, completing his rehab from Tommy John surgery, made his first extended spring trainng start on Saturday, throwing 36 pitches over two innings, allowing 2 runs on 5 hits while striking out 1.

DEVELOPING: The first-place Rays are looking to make it as easy as 1-2-3 as they face the worst-in-baseball A's today in the third game of the four-game weekend series. …

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