Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)


Longoria steals spotlight again for Rays

Evan Longoria slides into third base after hitting a pinch-hit two-run triple in the sixth, giving the Rays a 3-2 lead.

JAMES BORCHUCK | Times Evan Longoria slides into third base after hitting a pinch-hit two-run triple in the sixth, giving the Rays a 3-2 lead.

ST. PETERSBURG — For the second straight day, 3B Evan Longoria stole the show.

The touted prospect, 22, entered Saturday's 5-2 win over Toronto in the sixth as a pinch-hitter. With the Rays down 2-1, Longoria drilled a two-run triple to the right-center gap.

The heroics came one day after the could-be-rookie crushed a tying double off the left-centerfield wall against the Reds, wowing those in the crowd — and his own dugout.

Said SS Jason Bartlett: "You can call him, 'Evan Almighty.'  "

Longoria simply hopes the Rays call his name when picking their opening day roster. The brass has said even if he hits .500, it doesn't mean he'll break camp. At this pace, Longoria may end up calling them on that.

"Like I said before, all I've got to worry about is my job and what I have to do," he said. "I just got to keep doing what I'm doing and try to make (the decision) difficult for them."

ROCCO A GO: Rocco Baldelli's first game since his season-ending hamstring injury in May was uneventful, just the way he liked it. He got a nice ovation from the crowd of 4,918, before his first at-bat as DH. He then grounded into a forceout at third.

TRAINING TABLE: LHP Scott Kazmir is making progress in getting the inflammation out of his left elbow but is still in "Phase 1" of his recovery, manager Joe Maddon said, and not ready to resume throwing. LHP David Price, the team's top pick who was scratched Tuesday for shoulder stiffness, said he's going to throw bullpen today and hopes to get in his first game Wednesday. Maddon said SS Reid Brignac (broken toe) is getting closer to his return.

HEAVY HEART: Maddon's future mother-in-law, Eileen Sousoures, lost her battle to cancer Friday in Southern California. She is survived by her husband, Ted. Maddon said he doesn't foresee missing any games.

SHIELDS STEPS IN: RHP James Shields had an up-and-down spring debut. After a 1-2-3 first, he loaded the bases in the second, giving up one run but walking one and hitting another. Shields said he threw too much with his body instead of his arm.

MISCELLANY: C Dioner Navarro will get a couple of DH at-bats today and make his first spring start Monday. RHP Troy Percival will make his spring debut this week. … Maddon praised 2B Elliot Johnson for his two two-strike hits Saturday.

Joe Smith can be reached at

Longoria steals spotlight again for Rays 03/01/08 [Last modified: Saturday, March 1, 2008 8:49pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bucs defensive end Chris Baker (90) is seen during training camp last month at One Buc Place. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  2. Bucs' defensive attributes in opener included flexibility


    TAMPA — It's a blink-and-you-miss-it nuance, but in Sunday's opener against Chicago, on their very first defensive snap, the Bucs lined up in a 3-4 defense.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter shakes hands with cornerback Brent Grimes (24) before an NFL game between the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times 

  3. Bucs-Vikings: What if O.J. Howard and Dalvin Cook had both been taken?


    So what if the Bucs had taken neither O.J. Howard nor Dalvin Cook with the 19th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft?

    Bucs tight end O.J. Howard (80) makes a reception as Chicago Bears free safety Eddie Jackson (39) tackles him Sunday at Raymond James Stadium. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  4. Wish the Bucs had taken Dalvin Cook? Read this


    It will happen sometime Sunday afternoon.

    Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) carries the ball in the second quarter Monday night, Sept. 11, 2017 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn.  (Jeff Wheeler/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS)
  5. Bucs-Vikings: What could make Tampa Bay's defense elite again


    TAMPA — The last time the Bucs had a top-five defense also happens to be when they last appeared in the postseason.

    Bucs outside linebacker Lavonte David (54) celebrates after recovering a fumble by Chicago Bears quarterback Mike Glennon (8) during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]