Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Tampa Bay Rays

Mahtook ends 0-for-34 slump with key hit for Rays

ST. PETERSBURG — LF Mikie Mahtook took early batting practice every day this week, hoping to shake his career-long slump that was getting closer by the game to Luke Scott's Rays-record 0-for-41 slide in 2012.

Mahtook wasn't aware of that mark and didn't want to know how close he'd come Thursday afternoon, after he snapped his 0-for-34 skid with an RBI double in the seventh inning for what proved to be the winning run in the Rays' 2-1 victory against the Red Sox.

"It's nice that I don't have that record on the books," Mahtook said.

Mahtook's last hit had been Aug. 9 at Toronto. He was 0-for-21 during the homestand when he stepped in against Red Sox starter Drew Pomeranz after Steven Souza Jr. singled to start the seventh. Mahtook hit a sinking line drive to left-center and Souza hustled all the way home. A relieved Mahtook clapped and looked toward the heavens after sliding into second.

"You go in every day expecting to get hits and expecting to do well," he said. "Day after day it just kind of gets on you. Finally, to break through like that was nice. It was a relief, but it was more of me feeling good about all the work that I put in leading up to it to finally see the results."

Mahtook's slump was the fourth longest in team history. Jose Cruz Jr. was 0-for-37 in 2004 and Josh Wilson was 0-for-35 in 2007.

Mahtook also contributed defensively when he threw out RF Mookie Betts at second to end the eighth. Betts tried to stretch a single down the leftfield line into a double.

"Mikie's been wearing it pretty tough lately," manager Kevin Cash said. "It was good to see a big smile on his face today."

ODO BEING ODO: RHP Jake Odorizzi won for the sixth time in eight starts since the All-Star Break and lowered his second half ERA to an AL-low 1.59 after Thursday's win.

His six-game winning streak matches RHP Matt Andriese for the longest this season by a Rays starter.

Odorizzi allowed a run in the sixth inning on a sacrifice fly by Betts. He walked DH Hanley Ramirez to load the bases with one out then, after a visit by pitching coach Jim Hickey, got Jackie Bradley Jr. to hit into a double play.

"I have to give credit to Hick," Odorizzi said. "He said 'First-pitch change-up, double play.' And that's exactly what we did."

30 FOR LONGORIA: 3B Evan Longoria was pleased to reach 30 home runs for the fourth time in his career, doing so Wednesday with an eighth-inning homer.

"There's a lot more home runs being hit this year but I don't think there is going to be a huge list of players that will hit 30," Longoria said. "It's a cool number. It's a number I'm very proud of at this point and something that I can go and build on and see what kind of special year I can end up having."

NOTEWORTHY: 1B Brad Miller had 11 RBIs during the 10-game homestand. His batting .304/.382/.644 with 31 RBI since the All-Star break. … SS Matt Duffy's fourth inning double was his first extra-base hit since joining the team. … The Rays were 7-3 on the homestand, their best mark during a 10-game homestand since going 9-1 in July 2013. … They improved 10-19 in one-run games. … The bullpen ended the series with 11 scoreless innings. It has a 2.69 ERA since the All-Star break. … UTL Nick Franklin (concussion) is scheduled to play tonight for Charlotte and is expected to join the Rays on Saturday in Houston.

 
Comments
Canseco’s tweets about sexual misconduct could jeopardize job on A’s telecasts

Canseco’s tweets about sexual misconduct could jeopardize job on A’s telecasts

LAKE BUENA VISTA — A series of tweets by former Tampa Bay Devil Rays and Oakland Athletics slugger Jose Canseco about sexual misconduct and politicians could put in jeopardy his job as a studio analyst on A’s telecasts. Canseco posted several times ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Is Alex Colome telling us something about Rays’ plans with his Instagram account?

Is Alex Colome telling us something about Rays’ plans with his Instagram account?

Closer Alex Colome was not traded by the Rays to the Cardinals on Tuesday night.But he appeared to be either prepping for or having some fun with the possibility.On his alexcolome37 verified Instagram account, Colome started following the Cardinals o...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 2 – with some news

Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 2 – with some news

UPDATE, 8:45: Tommy Hunter parlayed his solid 2017 season with the Rays into a two-year deal with the Phillies.UPDATE, 7:13: Unexpected sighting in the meetings lobby: Luke Scott, who looked in great shape at 39 and is at least talking about playing ...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Winter meetings journal: Rays add more infield depth, claim it isn’t prelude to a trade

LAKE BUENA VISTA — The Rays on Tuesday adding their third infielder in the past two weeks would sure look like a precursor to trading front-liners such as 3B Evan Longoria or 2B Brad Miller.But GM Erik Neander insisted that was not the case and that ...
Updated: 12 hours ago
GMs-turned-pundits believe now may be the time for Rays to sell

GMs-turned-pundits believe now may be the time for Rays to sell

LAKE BUENA VISTA — The Rays have been doing a lot of talking, making another small deal Tuesday while still working toward bigger ones of a still-being-determined degree.And there have been a lot of baseball people at the winter meetings talking abou...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Tampa Bay Rays make another small deal, acquiring INF Ryan Schimpf

Tampa Bay Rays make another small deal, acquiring INF Ryan Schimpf

The Rays made another small move to add infield depth on Tuesday, acquiring Ryan Schimpf from the Padres for minor league infielder Deion Tansel.Schimpf, 29, has played parts of the last two seasons in the majors, posting just a .195 average but with...
Published: 12/12/17
Could the Yankees’ new Death Star prompt a Rays surrender?

Could the Yankees’ new Death Star prompt a Rays surrender?

I have a theory that Major League Baseball is always way more interesting when the New York Yankees are good.Well, the Yankees got way better in the past few days.But baseball didn’t get more interesting. It got way worse.And it could get worse in Ta...
Published: 12/12/17
MLB ump Dale Scott retires rather than risk more concussions

MLB ump Dale Scott retires rather than risk more concussions

LAKE BUENA VISTA — As a big league umpire, Dale Scott saw maybe 1 million pitches from the field. His final call, it turned out, was the easiest of all. Rather than risk yet another concussion, Scott has decided to retire at 58. "I’m done," he told T...
Published: 12/12/17

Tampa Bay Rays make a small deal, acquire INF Joey Wendle

While continuing discussions on bigger topics, the Rays made a small deal Monday, acquiring INF Joey Wendle from the A's for a player to be named later or cash.Wendle, 27, spent part of the last two seasons in the majors, hitting .266 over 36 games. ...
Published: 12/11/17
Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 1

Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 1

UPDATE, 6:14: The Rays continued talks with no major moves seemingly close, but did make a small deal, acquiring INF Joey Wendle from the A's. Wendle, 27, has spent parts of the last two seasons in the majors, hitting .266 in 36 games. He is a lefty ...
Published: 12/11/17