Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Blue Jays' Arencibia appealing one of three error calls on Tampa Bay Rays' Evan Longoria

TORONTO — 3B Evan Longoria remained in dubiously rare company after his three-error game Tuesday, though an appeal of the scoring decision on the first error is in the works.

Under new MLB policy, appeals can be made by either of the teams or by the players union, and the batter, Toronto's J.P. Arencibia, is believed to have requested a review by an MLB committee.

Longoria said he assumed the third-inning play was scored a hit and didn't know it was an error until Arencibia got to third (after Longoria's second error) later in the inning.

"He was like, 'How about that error?' I was like, 'What?' And when I looked at the board, I'm like, 'That was an error?' " Longoria said. "And he's like, 'I'm definitely appealing that because I'm hitting .069 or whatever. I'm going to have somebody call for me.' "

Longoria said he felt worse that the error led to a loss than the mark on his record and didn't care whether it was changed or not: "I'll take it. … It doesn't matter to me. It's all about winning and losing." (That's also a diplomatic response since if it is changed, three earned runs get added to teammate Jeff Niemann's stats, hiking his ERA from 4.50 to 7.20.)

Longoria tied the Rays franchise record, joining six others, and is one of only four Gold Glove winners to have a three-error game over the past 10 years, joining Cesar Izturis, Albert Pujols and Alex Rodriguez.

PLAN OF ATTACK: RHP Jeremy Hellickson has two goals in mind when he takes the mound tonight: be more aggressive and mix his pitches better.

Hellickson doesn't feel there was much wrong in his last outing, when he allowed five runs (on three homers) in five innings at Boston, though he admitted he was too quick in abandoning his changeup when it wasn't working at the start of the game.

"It's tough when it's not there," he said. "It wasn't there, and I went away from it way too early, I think. It goes back to mixing up a little better. The changeup is obviously one of my better pitches, and I need to throw that a little more than last time."

Conversely, he found himself throwing the cutter, a new addition, too often. "I went to it way too much last game," he said. "I was feeling good, getting consistent with it. At the same time I can't throw that many again."

UPTON UPDATE: CF B.J. Upton (lower back soreness) played what were expected to be the final games of his rehab assignment, going 0-for-3 in both games of a doubleheader for Double-A Montgomery. Manager Joe Maddon said Upton could join the Rays in Toronto tonight, though the more likely scenario is for him to meet them at home on Friday. Upton will return to centerfield and most likely hit "more toward the middle" of the order.

HELPING THE CAUSE: With their 2-year-old son, GoGo, diagnosed with autism, INF Sean Rodriguez and his wife, Gisele, are eager to participate in the Walk Now for Autism Speaks event 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Raymond James Stadium. "We want to do everything we can to promote awareness," Rodriguez said, adding that several teammates are expected to stop by. For info, see walknowforautismspeaks.org.

MISCELLANY: RHP Lance Pendleton, who pitched 15 games for the Yankees and Astros last year, was signed from the independent Atlantic League and sent to Triple-A Durham. … Rodriguez got his first homer and his first RBI. … LHP David Price improved to 4-0, 3.41 in Toronto. … Maddon said he "wasn't dissing anybody" in saying he'd start as many lefties as he could Tuesday against Jays LHP Ricky Romero, who snarled at the comments after the game. … Tickets ($45) are available for the April 25 St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon at the Carillon Hilton, See stpete.com for info.

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