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Price: Winning will decrease chance of trade

David Price said he has prepared himself - for several years - for an eventual deal, and that the speculation, intensified because of the Rays dismal start, has not been a distraction.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

David Price said he has prepared himself - for several years - for an eventual deal, and that the speculation, intensified because of the Rays dismal start, has not been a distraction.

There's nothing that can be done to limit the rampant speculation that David Price soon  may be traded.

But Price said Monday that if the Rays keep winning he thinks it decreases the possibility that he actually will be dealt.

"If we continue to play good baseball the way that we have and continue to win, I feel like we have a shot,'' Price said. "I think that would lessen my chances of getting traded.''

Price said he has prepared himself - for several years - for an eventual deal, and that the speculation, intensified because of the Rays dismal start, has not been a distraction.

Asked his gut feeling if he would still be with the Rays after the July 31 deadline for non-waiver deals, Price said he thought he would.

"We're playing well right now, so I do expect to be here,'' he said.    Asked about the possibility of being traded to the Yankees or another team in the AL East, Price said he didn't want that to happen because it would be tough to face them. "I would hope not,'' he said. "Tampa is the last team I would want to face to pitch against. ... Facing friends is the worst.''

He did say there was one exception: "Unless it was in the World Series, then that would be cool.'' …

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For starters, Rays at Yankees, trying to keep rolling

Chris Archer, who is undefeated in four starts against the Yankees, will be on the mound tonight, opposed by righty David Phelps.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Chris Archer, who is undefeated in four starts against the Yankees, will be on the mound tonight, opposed by righty David Phelps.

UDPATE, 6:01: The Rays go into play tonight needing nine strikeouts to break the major-league record for strikeouts in a month, 286 by the Cubs in August 2002. ... Maddon said the Rays should decide after seeing Escobar's pre-game workout whether he is set to return to the lineup or will be placed on the DL. ... RHP Jeremy Hellickson threw 38 pitches in a bullpen session at the Trop today and had no problems with his elbow and is set to make another rehab start on Thursday.

Here is the Yankees lineup:
Gardner lf
Jeter ss
Ellsbury cf
Teixeira 1b
McCann c
Beltran dh
Johnson 3b
Roberts 2b
Suzuki rf
Phelps p

UPDATE, 4:49: Here is the Rays lineup, with SS Yunel Escobar out again:
Jennings cf,
Zobrist SS,
Joyce DH,
Longoria 3b,
Loney 1b,
Guyer LF,
Forsythe 2b,
Hanigan c,
Kiermaier rf,
Archer p

UPDATE, 3:31: To make room for Burns on the 40-man roster, the Rays have designated for assignment RHP Angel Sanchez.

UPDATE, 3:15: The Rays have since confirmed the claiming of Burns. He will be optioned to Double-A Montgomery, and the Rays will have to make a move to create space on the 40-man roster. …

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For starters, Rays at Orioles, in a game Maddon says really matters

UPDATE, 12:27: SS Yunel Escobar tested his sore/tight shoulder by making about 40 throws at up to 90 feet and was said to be feeling better, but it is still unclear whether he will return soon to the lineup or go on the DL. He was going to take some swings in the cage and the Rays were expected to make a decision later today.

3B Evan Longoria said that with the team playing better the confidence within the clubhouse is higher than it has been all season.

Also, Longoria said Saturday was the first time he could remember losing the grip on his bat and having it fly into the stands. He said he knew he looked like a bad guy for taking the bat back, but he wanted to keep that one and later signed a different bat and gave it to the fan.

 

UPDATE, 11:02: And here is the Rays lineup:

Jennings cf,
Zobrist ss,
Joyce lf,
Longoria 3b,
Loney 1b,
Guyer dh,
Forsythe 2b,
Molina c,
Kiermaier rf,
Cobb p

UPDATE, 10:58: Here is the Orioles lineup:
Markakis rf
Pearce lf
Jones cf
Cruz dh
Davis 1b
Hardy ss
Machado 3b
Schoop 2b
Hundley c
Gonzalez p …

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For starters, Rays at Orioles, one in the sun

UPDATE, 3:03: Maddon said the Rays will wail until at least Sunday to make a decision on Escobar, saying they hope by then he will try to throw and/or swing to test his sore shoulder, and added that Escobar is optimistic he will return soon. In a brief conversation, Escobar said he felt a little better but didn't know when he would return. ... Maddon said he didn't think Longoria necessarily needed a day off his feet but it lined up well with Bedard, a lefty fly-ball pitcher, on the mound. ... Maddon didn't have much new on Jeremy Hellickson, who left Friday's rehab start with discomfort in his surgically repaired elbow, but that it wasn't considered serious. Hellickson is headed back to St. Petersburg from Triple-A Durham and may throw a bullpen session as soon as Sunday.

DEVELOPING: After playing a day-night doubleheader Friday, the Rays and Orioles are back at Camden Yards today for a 4:05 game.

The Rays once again are without SS Yunel Escobar, who is still bothered by his sore/tight right shoulder, raising the question how long the Rays will go before putting him on the DL.

Also, Evan Longoria is the DH today, the second time in two weeks he has gotten a partial day off. …

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Rays win opener, 5-2

The Rays wrapped up the first half of their disappointing season with a 5-2 win over the Orioles in the opening game of Friday's day-night doubleheader.

Brandon Guyer, who grew up an hour or so outside of Baltimore, led the way offensively with three doubles, while Matt Joyce knocked in a pair of runs.

Alex Colome, called up from Triple-A to make the start under MLB's 26th-man rules, worked impressively into the sixth, allowing only two hits, though a baserunner in each inning. Brad Boxberger, Grant Balfour and Jake McGee finished.

The Orioles scored in the bottom of the first as Colome got off to a shaky start, but the Rays came right back against Orioles call-up Kevin Gausman. James Loney led off the with a walk, Guyer doubled him in and then Joyce followed with an RBI single.

The Rays got another run in the fourth, when Joyce walked, went to second on a ground out and scored on a single by Jose Molina, who picked up his third RBI of the season. And they added two on in the sixth when Guyer and Joyce doubled, chasing Gausman, and Sean Rodriguez greeted reliever Evan Meek with a single to make it 5-1. …

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For starters, Rays at Orioles, twice in one day

The Rays will start Jake Odorizzi, coming off one of his best starts, against Orioles righty Chris Tillman.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

The Rays will start Jake Odorizzi, coming off one of his best starts, against Orioles righty Chris Tillman.

UPDATE, 5:47: Here is the Orioles Game 2 lineup:

Markakis dh
Machado 3b
Jones cf
Cruz rf
Davis 1b
Hardy ss
Lough lf
Hundley c
Flaherty 2b
Tillman p

UPDATE, 5:06: Rays Guyer as playing with some inspiration, had invited to game a 12 year-old boy who lost a leg to cancer he'd met at a charity event, told him he's try to get a hit and presented him with a bat signed by the team. Also had the boy's family there.

With nine Ks today, Rays pitchers have 252 for the month, second most all-time in June behind the 1964 Indians.

 

UPDATE, 4:58: Escobar's shoulder remains tight and he won't be used in the field, though Maddon said he may be able to pinch-hit if needed. And Maddon said if he doesn't feel better by Saturday they may have to consider the DL.

For the second game, Jennings will be the DH. …

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Rays beat Pirates 5-1 in Price's potential farewell

ST. PETERSBURG - If Wednesday indeed was David Price's last start at the Trop before being traded, he went out in impressive style.

Price worked dominantly into the ninth as the Rays averted a series sweep by beating the Pirates 5-1.

Price was strong from the start, striking out 11 and allowing only five hits. But the last was a home run by Andrew McCutchen with one out in the ninth on his 120th pitch, and manager Joe Maddon decided that was enough. Price pounded the ball into his own glove behind the mound, then walked back up the hill and off the mound toward the dugout, receiving a loud standing ovation from the crowd of 23,761 and tipping his hat.

 With the Rays unexpectedly sporting the majors' worst record, Price is considered likely to be traded, and possibly soon, though nothing appears imminent. The Rays head out Thursday on an 11-day road trip, and don't play again at the Trop until July 7.

Price got some help, too. Third baseman Evan Longoria raced to the side wall to chase down a foul ball and then hopped over it to end the third. And centerfielder Desmond Jennings made a running catch at the wall to end the seventh after Price had allowed two singles. …

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For starters, Rays vs. Pirates, in a potential Price farewell

UPDATE, 11:05: It appears LHP Cesar Ramos will not miss the Baltimore series as had been thought for the birth of their first child as his wife looks likely to go a week past her Friday due date. 

Rays Maddon on their tough challenge ahead to get back into the race: "We definitely are plastered against the wall, we don't even have our backs against the wall."

Here is the Pirates lineup:

Polanco rf
Harrison lf
McCutchen cf
Sanchez 1b
Martin dh
Mercer ss
Walker 2b
Barmes 3b
Stewart c
Morton p

UPDATE, 11:01: RHP Alex Colome was picked to come up from AAA and start the first game of Friday's DH with RHP Jake Odorizzi working the night game.

As expected, Escobar is not in the lineup, with Maddon saying he doesn't know yet if he will be available today but does expect him back Friday,

C Ryan Hanigan (stiff neck) could have played today, Maddon said, but he wanted to keep Molina with Price.

Here is the Rays lineup:
Jennings cf
Zobrist ss
Joyce dh
Longoria 3b
Loney 1b
Guyer lf
Kiermaier rf
Forsythe 2b
Molina c
Price p …

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Escobar out with sore shoulder

SS Yunel Escobar left Tuesday's game with a sore right shoulder and is not expected to play Wednesday.

Manager Joe Maddon said they hoped Escobar could return Friday when they play a doubleheader in Baltimore.

 

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For starters, Rays vs. Pirates on Archer's day

Chris Archer will be on the mound tonight against Pittsburgh lefty Jeff Locke.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Chris Archer will be on the mound tonight against Pittsburgh lefty Jeff Locke.

UPDATE, 6:33: The Rays are still deciding on a plan for Friday's doubleheader at Baltimore, but it's clear RHP Jeremy Hellickson is not ready to return and will make a fourth rehab start for Triple-A Durham. The Rays are expected to decide between callups Nathan Karns or Alex Colome; Jake Odorizzi will start the other game. .... LHP David Price acknowledged that the trade rumors are weighing on him, saying "that's why I've been in a bad mood the last week and a half."" Price said he ware thinking about the possibility of Wednesday being his last start as a Ray at the Trop, but it would not impact his preparations. ... INF Cole Figueroa, called up to replace injured Jerry Sands, was excited to be back, and may get a start as soon as Wednesday.

DEVELOPING: Still trying to turn around their season, the Rays take on the Pirates again tonight, with Chris Archer on the mound against lefty Jeff Locke.

The Rays made one change to their original lineup, scratching C Ryan Hanigan, who has a stiff neck, and starting Jose Molina.

Here are the lineups:

Rays lineup:
Jennings cf
Zobrist rf
Guyer lf
Longoria 3b
Loney 1b
Escobar ss
Rodriguez 2b
Forsythe dh
Molina c
Archer p …

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Video report: Chelsea Baker throws BP to Rays

A video report on Durant High School pitcher Chelsea Baker throwing batting practice - including her knuckleball - to several Rays players before Monday's game. Video by Will Vragovic.

 

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Jerry Sands sidelined with wrist injury

Jerry Sands will likely miss at least a few weeks after injuring his left wrist Sunday night.

DIRK SHADD | Times

Jerry Sands will likely miss at least a few weeks after injuring his left wrist Sunday night.

UPDATE, 12:49: Sands was placed on the DL after the gane, with the Rays saying he will keep the arm immobilzed for three weeks to see if there is any imprvovement. INF Cole Figueroa was called up from Triple-A Durham.

DEVELOPING: The Rays’ injury list grew Monday, with INF/OF Jerry Sands becoming the latest addition.

Sands will likely miss at least a few weeks after injuring his left wrist Sunday.

Sands said he felt something wrong on his last swing of Sunday’s 5-2 win over Houston. An MRI Monday morning revealed damage to the tendon sheath, and Sands’ arm was in a splint in the clubhouse Monday afternoon.

“Obviously at this point in time in the season, we’re going to try to rest it and see if it heals on its own,” Sands said. “After a few weeks we’ll see how it goes.’

The Rays already have two other outfielders – Wil Myers and David DeJesus – on the disabled list with wrist/hand injuries. The team has not yet made a roster move to put Sands on the DL.

“As of right now, a man down,” manager Joe Maddon said.

Sands has played in 12 games since being recalled from Triple-A Durham on June 1. He had game-winning, eighth-inning hits in back-to-back games on June 15-16. …

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For starters, Rays vs. Pirates

Alex Cobb (2-5, 3.48 ERA) will try to have a third consecutive solid start for the Rays.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Alex Cobb (2-5, 3.48 ERA) will try to have a third consecutive solid start for the Rays.

Rays lineup:

Jennings CF

Zobrist 2B

Longoria 3B

Loney 1B

Guyer LF

Joyce DH

Escobar SS

Kiermaier RF

Hanigan C

Cobb RHP

DEVELOPING: The Rays are back at Tropicana Field today to try to win their second consecutive series. Tonight’s 7:10 game starts a three-game series against the Pirates.

RHP Alex Cobb (2-5, 3.48 ERA) will try to have a third consecutive solid start. He faces RHP Edinson Volquez (4-6, 4.67).

The Rays will welcome a special guest before the game – Durant knuckleballer Chelsea Baker is scheduled to throw batting practice at 4 p.m. She’s the first female to play baseball for a Hillsborough County high school team.

Lineups and notes when we get them.

 

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For starters, Rays vs. Astros

Today's Rays lineup:

Jennings CF

Zobrist RF

Guyer LF

Longoria 3B

Sands DH

Escobar SS

Rodriguez 1B

Forsythe 2B

Molina C

Bedard LHP

 

DEVELOPING: Good morning from Tropicana Field, where the Rays will try to take the series in the final game of a four-game set against Houston.

LHP Erik Bedard (3-5, 4.33) will get the start for the Rays against another lefty, Dallas Keuchel (8-4, 2.63), who ranks among the league’s leaders in ERA and wins.

The Rays are coming off of their best offensive performance of the month – eight runs and 5-for-13 with runners in scoring position – and will try to continue that success during today’s 1:40 game.

Lineups and more when available.

 

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For starters, Rays vs. Astros

UPDATE: Today's lineups:

Houston

Fowler CF

Altuve 2B

Springer RF

Singleton 1B

Dominguez 3B

Castro DH

Corporan C

Presley LF

Gonzalez SS

Rays

Jennings CF

Zobrist 2B

Kiermaier RF

Longoria 3B

Loney 1B 

Guyer LF

Joyce DH

Escobar SS

Hanigan C

DEVELOPING: The Rays host the Astros at 4:10 today on Turn Back the Clock Night. The Rays have dropped three of their last four games and have reverted to their offensive struggles with only 2 hits in their last 24 at-bats with runners in scoring position.

RHP Jake Odorizzi (2-7, 4.73) will try to last into the sixth inning for his third consecutive start. He’ll face off against Houston RHP Jake Buchanan, who was called up after Friday night’s game and will make his MLB debut.

Lineups and more when we get them.

 

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