Sunday, July 22, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Forsythe, Kiermaier help Rays in return

ST. PETERSBURG — 2B Logan Forsythe returned to the lineup and made a big difference in Sunday's 8-4 win against the Rangers, and CF Kevin Kiermaier returned and indirectly made an impact.

Forsythe, serving as the DH after missing four games with back spasms, hit a three-run homer in the fourth inning that gave the Rays a 6-2 lead.

"The back did well," he said.

He has homered in three straight games, making him the second leadoff hitter in franchise history to do so. The first was Gerald Williams, who did it July 9-14, 2000 (around the All-Star Game). Williams set the franchise record for home runs out of the leadoff spot that season with 21. Forsythe has 16.

Forsythe said he hopes to return to second base tonight against the Red Sox.

Kiermaier, who hadn't played since the second inning of Friday's game because of tightness in his left hip, entered in the eighth inning as a defensive replacement in center. That moved Mikie Mahtook over to leftfield in place of Corey Dickerson.

The moved paid off when Mahtook ran down Adrian Beltre's line drive with Ian Desmond on second base and one out in the eighth. It was a two-run game at the time.

Manager Kevin Cash said he was hoping to give Kiermaier another day off but felt his defense was needed. Cash didn't say if Kiermaier would start tonight.

SMYLY WINS AGAIN: LHP Drew Smyly's streak of quality starts ended at five when the bullpen allowed an inherited run to score in the seventh inning. But he continued his winning ways, improving to 4-0 with a 2.79 ERA in his past six starts.

"I'm trying to go out there and compete and stay out of the heart of the plate," he said. "Feels like I've been good for a home run every game, but besides that I feel like I've been keeping runners off base."

Smyly allowed two home runs, giving him a career-high 26. Of the 108 runs he has allowed this season, 59 have scored on home runs.

BLAKE MEET PAPI: LHP Blake Snell, who has tied LHP Matt Moore's team rookie record with seven consecutive starts of two or fewer earned runs allowed, has a chance to set the record tonight against the high-powered Red Sox.

"I'm excited," Snell said. "They're a good team, a really good team."

While tonight is a matchup of the Rays left-hander of the past (David Price) against the Rays lefty of the future (Snell), Snell said he's more eager to face DH David Ortiz.

"I'm looking forward to that," Snell said. "He's a good hitter. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing what he can do. But it's going to be a good challenge. The whole lineup is really, really stacked."

Ortiz is batting .324 with four home runs and 24 RBIs this season against left-handed pitchers. Lefties are batting .232 against Snell.

LUKE MEETS LUKE: Luke Nielsen, 12, of Wesley Chapel came up with the ball that C Luke Maile hit Saturday for his first big-league home run. Luke, his father, Eric, and his brother Caleb, 11, were attending their first Rays game. The family just moved to Tampa Bay from Oklahoma City.

Maile exchanged a bat for the ball.

NOTEWORTHY: RF Steven Souza Jr. has two home runs in his past nine at-bats. He had one in his previous 158. … Mahtook extended his slump to 0-for-29, though he did walk in his last plate appearance. … Dickerson is batting .350/.435/.800 with three doubles, two home runs and five RBIs during his six-game hitting streak.

Comments
Rays journal: New faces, same old loss

Rays journal: New faces, same old loss

ST. PETERSBURG — To get a sense of how things are going for the Rays right now, consider that opening day starter Chris Archer was wearing a promotional DJ Kitty head in the dugout and veteran OF Carlos Gomez was playing second base during Satu...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Kevin Kiermaier frustrated as injuries continue

Kevin Kiermaier frustrated as injuries continue

ST. PETERSBURG — This season has been quite a pain for Rays centerfielder and centerpiece Kevin Kiermaier.A cold bat, a nagging illness, a searing foul ball we'll come back to shortly and a torn thumb ligament that required surgery, all in the ...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Saturday’s Rays-Marlins game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Saturday’s Rays-Marlins game

Joey Wendle continues to impress, playing anywhere asked and hitting everywhere. Friday he joined the play-of-the-year race with an amazing glove flip to first. Saturday he was the first Ray with a decent swing off Pablo Lopez, homering in the fourth...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Rays Tales: Sure is a lot to talk about

Rays Tales: Sure is a lot to talk about

WASHINGTON — There was a lot of talk specific to the Rays at the All-Star Game last week, from commissioner Rob Manfred's strong endorsement of the Ybor stadium plan to Wilson Ramos' rousing ovation from the Washington fans to Blake Snell's imp...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Another bad look for Rays in 3-2 loss

Another bad look for Rays in 3-2 loss

ST. PETERSBURG – To get a sense of how shorthanded the Rays were by the final innings of Saturday night's game, all you had to do was look at the field and see Carlos Gomez playing second base.It was that kind of night for the Rays, who lost an...
Updated: 10 hours ago
For starters: Rays vs. Marlins, with Justin Williams called up

For starters: Rays vs. Marlins, with Justin Williams called up

UPDATE, 3:52: 3B Matt Duffy (back) is feeling better but Cash said they would stay away from using him except in an emergency. That's not that unlikely, however, as the Rays wull have a short bench, with only C Adam Moore and Williams, assuming he ge...
Published: 07/21/18
Rays journal: Replacement catcher Adam Moore ready to play

Rays journal: Replacement catcher Adam Moore ready to play

ST. PETERSBURG — The newest Rays player is also nearly the oldest.With All-Star C Wilson Ramos on the disabled list with a hamstring injury, Tampa Bay turned to veteran Adam Moore, 34, as the new backup catcher behind Jesus Sucre. Only reliever...
Published: 07/20/18
Updated: 07/21/18
Martin Fennelly: Rays and Marlins at different stages of same mission

Martin Fennelly: Rays and Marlins at different stages of same mission

ST. PETERSBURG — New York Yankees god and former Tampa resident Derek Jeter, who was once going to save the Rays (or so we thought), was at Tropicana Field on Friday night. The Captain had the gall to show up as Miami Marlins chief executive of...
Published: 07/20/18
Late rally falls short as Rays lose to Marlins, 6-5

Late rally falls short as Rays lose to Marlins, 6-5

ST. PETERSBURG –The Rays rallied for four runs in the bottom of the ninth Friday night, but their rally came up short as the Marlins held on for a 6-5 win at Tropicana Field.Tampa Bay's bullpen gave up five runs in the seventh, and that was too...
Published: 07/20/18
Kiermaier has ‘severe bone bruise’ in foot, dates back to April injury

Kiermaier has ‘severe bone bruise’ in foot, dates back to April injury

Rays outfielder Kevin Kiermaier left Friday's game in the fifth inning when an injury to his right foot that has bothered him since April flared up with the worst pain he's encountered this season.Kiermaier called the injury a "severe bone bruise" an...
Published: 07/20/18