UPDATE, 11:04: RHP Preston Guilmet wasn't in the clubhouse this morning but is expected to arrive later today.
Today's Rays lineup:
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. Full Story
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.
Even the best bullpens in the game are going to have to their off-days, and the Rays had one Saturday.Full Story
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.
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. …Full Story
Rookie INF Tim Beckham hit his fifth homer, and a 453-foot blast at that, but he was sent down to Triple-A Durham after Friday's game so the Rays could add an arm to their bullpen.
LHP Enny Romero, who began the season on the disabled list at Durham with a back strain, will be recalled to give the Rays a long reliever after they had to use the bullpen heavily on Friday.
Beckham, the No. 1 pick in the 2008 draft, initially made the most of his somewhat unexpected big-league opportunity, but he had just four hits over his last 38 bats, stretching back to late April, before going 2-for-4 on Friday.
Plus, the Rays made it clear when Nick Franklin came off the DL on Sunday that he would be the primary backup middle infielder, with his switch-hitting ability a significant plus as the Rays often have no lefty on the bench.
Romero, 24, made his major-league debut - and thus far lone appearance - at the end of the 2013 season, being flown back from his home in the Dominican Republic to start Game 155 for the Rays after they had played 18 innings two days before. …Full Story
This is the photo illustration on the Stone Crabs Twitter feed.
UPDATE, 5:15: The Stone have now issued an apology and a statement:Full Story
The Charlotte Stone Crabs have decided to cancel tonight's Juice Box Promotion.
The Charlotte Stone Crabs organization would like to apologize for the insensitive
nature of tonight's promotion. We in no way meant any ill-intent or to offend
anyone through this promotion.
We sincerely apologize to the New York Yankees organization, the Tampa Bay Rays organization, and anyone offended by this promotion. …
UPDATE, 5:22: Cash said the Rays were glad to see a lefty so he could get Butler and Beckham into the lineup, and Forsythe off his feet for a day. ... INF Ryan Brett and LHP C.J. Riefenhauser will start their rehab assignments for the advanced Class A Stone Crabs on Sunday. ... Cash said both OF Desmond Jennings (left knee bursitis) and DH/OF John Jaso (bruised left wrist) are doing well but nothing is scheduled for a return to action.
DEVELOPING: Sitting alone atop the American League East, the Rays take on the Oakland A's and an old friend tonight in former ace LHP Scott Kazmir.
To make it more interesting, the Rays have their current ace, RHP Chris Archer, on the mound.
The Rays lineup looks a bit different today since they are facing a left-hander, with David DeJesus and Kevin Kiermaier on the bench.
Two other ex-Rays are in the Oakland lineup: C Stephen Vogt, LF Sam Fuld.
A's lineup:Full Story
Drew Smyly will try to rehab his torn left labrum instead of undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery, he announced today at Tropicana Field.
ST. PETERSBURG - Rays LHP Drew Smyly will try to rehab his torn left labrum instead of undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery, he announced today at Tropicana Field.
"It's better than missing a year and a half to two years," Smyly said before tonight's game against Oakland. "I will take eight weeks to get better, get my shoulder right, get my body right and hopefully help this team down the stretch."
Smyly said if all goes well, he could return to the Rays' rotation as soon as late July after eight weeks of rehab.
Smyly has already started the recovery process since going on the DL on May 9. He's performed exercises with tubes and plans to begin playing catch in a few weeks. He
Manager Kevin Cash didn't want to put a timetable on Smyly's return but said he was on board with Smyly's plan.
"I don't think we're out of the woods by any means or any form," Cash said, "but if there's a chance for him to pitch this year, I think that's great."
Smyly called the tear "mild," and said he saw two doctors during the process. Smyly said other pitchers - including former college teammate and current Dodger Mike Bolsinger - have sustained similar injuries and recovered with rehab. …Full Story
JAMES BORCHUCK | Times
Alex Colome (2-1, 6.05) will make his fifth start of the season. Oakland will start RHP Jesse Chavez (1-3, 2.63).
DEVELOPING: The Rays are back at Tropicana Field to start a seven-game homestand, which begins with tonight's matchup against Oakland.
RHP Alex Colome (2-1, 6.05) will make his fifth start of the season. Oakland will start RHP Jesse Chavez (1-3, 2.63).
Kevin Kiermaier CF
Steven Souza Jr. RF
Evan Longoria 3B
James Loney 1B
Logan Forsythe 2B
David DeJesus DH
Brandon Guyer LF
Nick Franklin SS
Bobby Wilson C
Alex Colome RHP
Billy Burns CF
Marcus Semien SS
Josh Reddick RF
Billy Butler DH
Stephen Vogt C
Max Muncy 1B
Brett Lawrie 3B
Sam Fuld LF
Eric Sogard 2B
Jesse Chavez RHP Full Story
Jake Odorizzi has emerged as the Rays' most consistent starter, working into the seventh inning in all eight of his starts.
UPDATE, 5:45: Cash said Matt Moore threw his bullpen session today and it went well, but they will wait for tomorrow to talk with him and decide whether he next throws another simulated game or makes a start in extended spring training, the final step before starting a rehab assignment. .... Cash said the Rays have some info on Braves starter Williams Perez from their Triple-A staff as he faced Durham earlier while with Gwinnett. ... RHP Alex Colome was not in the clubhouse, and apparently flew home ahead of the team to be rested for his Thursday start. ... There was no update on LHP Drew Smyly, who has decided to attempt to pitch again this season after a program of a cortisone shot/rest/rehab following the diagnosis of a torn labrum.
UPDATE, 3:36: The Rays lineup looks just as it did Tuesday, expect for Odorizzi:
DEVELOPING: The Rays are looking to put a good finish on their five-game roadtrip tonight when they take on the Braves in Atlanta at 7:10. …Full Story
JAMES BORCHUCK | Times
Drew Smyly has apparently opted to try to pitch again this season after rest and rehab for the torn labrum in his left shoulder.
Rays LHP Drew Smyly has apparently opted to try to pitch again this season after rest and rehab for the torn labrum in his left shoulder.
Smyly had been deciding been season-ending surgery and a program that includes an injection of cortisone, rest and rehab.
Manager Kevin Cash said Tuesday they were "optimistic" and hearing good things, which would indicate Smyly was opting to try and come back.
"I'll say this about Smyly, everything is going, we're optimistic, but we're going to wait until we get back when Drew is there to where we can kind of sit down with Drew and talk,'' Cash said.
"But we're hearing good things.''
Hearing good things that he is not done for the year?
"We're hearing good things.''
Under a rest and rehab program, it would seem the best case for Smyly to return - if all goes well - would be sometime in August. If he had the surgery, he would be out for the rest of this season and possibily part of 2016. …Full Story
COURTESY OF NEW BALANCE
Rays 3B Evan Longoria and the New Balance sneaker with his name.
The collaboration between Rays 3B Evan Longoria and New Balance has taken form, with the formal unveiling of the Evan Longoria x New Balance 530 sneakerline that will be launched May 30.
Longoria has input in the design, which includes some baseball-style touches, including his No. 3 being highlighted.
"I think it turned out great,'' Longoria said. "It was really fun to do. It was a year-and-a-half communicating with them. It was cool to be a part of, and something that I was honored that they even let me do.''
Some of Longoria's suggestions were to make the shoe black (his most common clothing color choice), to include denim material in addition to the black big suede (since he prefers wearing jeans), and to make it comfortable given his own past foot problems. …Full Story
MARC TOPKIN / TAMPA BAY TIMES
Turner Field in Atlanta, where the Rays will play the Braves the next two nights.
UPDATE, 5:55: Cash said their hope is for Ramirez to pitch similarly to his last outing vs. the Yankees. ... Cash said he understands this is a special time for Beckham, but his best shot to contribute is likely to be pinch-hitting off the bench.
Braves lineup, without Jonny Gomes, who is a threat to pinch-hit vs. LHPs:
UPDATE, 3:27: Rays lineup has DeJesus in LF with no DH in NL city:
DEVELOPING: After having Monday off, the Rays are back at it tonight in Atlanta to take on the Braves. …Full Story
First the Rays were concerned with beating the rain on Sunday. Then it was the Twins.
Essentiallly, they did both, rapping a season-high 19 hits on the way to an 11-3 win that avoided a sweep.
Down 1-0, the Rays came back in bursts, scoring two in the thirt, one in the fifth, five in the sixth, their biggest inning since April 24, when they scored five in the fith against Toronto, and three more in the ninth.
James Loney had four hits for the Rays, and six players had two: Kevin Kiermaier, Logan Forsythe, Evan Longoria, David DeJesus, Nick Franklin (in his first game off the DL) and Bobby Wilson.
If there was a big hit, it may have been Longoria's two-RBI single in the middle of that 10-batter sixth, extending the lead from 4-1 to 6-1.
Chris Archer worked six solid innings, overcoming a bit of a shaky first to log his first win since April 26, allowing four hits and striking out four.
Jake McGee worked a 1-2-3 seventh for the Rays in his first appearance since coming off the disabled list, clocking 97 mph several times during his 14-pitch, two strikeout inning. …Full Story
The Rays decided to stick with RHP Erasmo Ramirez as their Tuesday starter in Atlanta but instead push back RHP Nathan Karns, with RHP Jake Odorizzi starting on regular rest Wednesday.
There does not appear to be anything wrong with Karns, so the decision may be based on strategy or scheduling. The Rays made the announcement just as Sunday's game was starting so any explantion from manager Kevin Cash will have to wait until after the game.
The Braves made a change in their rotation, with rookie RHP Williams Perez replacing LHP Eric Stults as their Wednesday starter. Rookie RHP Mike Foltynewicz will start Tuesday.