Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Tampa Bay Rays

Andriese regains early form as Rays beat Yankees

NEW YORK — Sunday's 4-2 win over the Yankees was rewarding for the Rays in several ways.

They eased the frustration from losing the first three games of the seasonlong 11-game trip, watched RHP Matt Andriese return to his impressive early season form, welcomed RHP Chase Whitley back from his Tommy John surgery, hit three more home runs and got to see their young players dressed up in starred-and-striped wrestling singlets for the trip to Toronto, including through customs.

But it also came with some bad, as do most things in this rough season, as 1B/DH Logan Morrison hurt his left wrist taking a swing and is likely done for the season.

And it came with a roster shuffle, as they decided since they were short a lefty reliever to take another look at LHP Dana Eveland after his strong finish at Triple-A Durham and designated RHP Tyler Sturdevant for assignment to make room.

Andriese's strong showing was reassuring as the Rays are counting on him as a part of, or key depth for, the 2017 rotation.

"Outstanding," manager Kevin Cash said. "It was nice to see him be so efficient and pitch to the strike zone."

Andriese was 0-5, 8.47 in seven starts since moving back to the rotation from the bullpen and had lost seven straight decisions overall, with his last W on June 15.

"I don't feel like I was throwing the ball bad, couple tough breaks here and there," Andriese said. "But it definitely felt good to get back in the win column."

Whitley made his first appearance in the majors since May 14, 2015, when he was pitching for the Yankees against the Rays at the Trop. He worked two innings, allowing one hit and an unearned run, and couldn't have been happier.

"Very, very, very thankful," he said. "When I ran out (from the bullpen) and I ran past Logan (Forsythe) and (Steven) Souza, I was like, 'Okay, this is real, this is it.' "

Whitley will continue to be used on a scheduled relief basis but is slated for a similar role as Andriese in 2017, either starting for the Rays or providing depth at Triple A until needed.

GAME STUFF: The Rays took the lead in the second on a two-run homer by DH Corey Dickerson, his 19th. Forsythe (his 19th) and SS Brad Miller (27th) homered in the sixth. … CF Kevin Kiermaier returned to the lineup but went 0-for-4, ending his career-best hitting streak at 13 games. … RHP Alex Colome finished for his 32nd save.

LOMO DOWN: Morrison was on the DL earlier this season with a right forearm strain, but he said he had no previous issues with his left wrist until taking a swing in the fourth and hearing something "pop," which Cash said was related to the sheath.

Morrison, a free agent after the season, will head back to Tampa Bay this week for an MRI exam to determine the exact injury and if surgery is needed.

"More than likely, I'm probably done for the year," he said. "I'm just hoping everything is all right."

EVELAND UP: Eveland, 32, made the opening day roster but was not very good, posting an 0-1, 8.55 mark over 25 games in two stints with the Rays. But after going back to Durham in mid July he was extremely impressive, posting a 0.35 ERA (one earned run) and .176 opponents average (16 hits) in 26 innings over 18 games.

With LHP Xavier Cedeno still sidelined by a stiff neck, and potentially done for the season, the Rays wanted to take another look at Eveland. "Dana did a tremendous job when he got sent down, his numbers were just ridiculous," Cash said. "We're excited for him to get back up and provide some more depth."

MISCELLANY: Short-season Class A Hudson Valley, the lone Rays affiliate still playing, lost 3-0 to State College (Cardinals) to open the best-of-three NY-Penn League championship series. … There was a pregame ceremony to mark the 15-year anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. … Pitching coach Jim Hickey said the Saturday play in which LHP Enny Romero was supposed to intentionally walk Gary Sanchez but threw the ball over the plate, saying it slipped (resulting in a sac fly), is "inexplicable, unacceptable and just the kind of stuff that can't happen."

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