Saturday, June 23, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Offensive outburst lifts Rays past Blue Jays

TORONTO — The Rays have been getting vastly improved starting pitching, best in the majors ERA-wise, since the All-Star break. But their losing record in the first 23 games since proved that hadn't been their only problem.

They addressed that Tuesday night with an impressive hit show, rapping 15 on the way to a 9-2 victory over the Blue Jays. The win made than 12-12 since the break and allowed them, at least temporarily, to shed the AL's worst record, at 46-66.

"We know we're capable of more offensively, we're capable of doing a better job with runners in scoring position, and we did tonight to an extent," manager Kevin Cash said. "So that's a good sign."

Logan Forsythe got them started with a leadoff home run off usually troubling Marco Estrada and was one of six Rays with multiple hits. The biggest was probably 3B Evan Longoria's RBI double in the sixth, then Mikie Mahtook's ensuing RBI single after the Jays had closed the gap to 3-2.

"We were able to tack on some more runs and separate," Longoria said. "So it was a good win for us."

LHP Drew Smyly did some impressive escaping, allowing six hits and three walks in six innings but only two runs, logging a fourth straight quality start, with two wins after going 11 without.

After zipping through four innings, Smyly loaded the bases to open the fifth on two singles and a walk and allowed two runs. He started the sixth the same way but, more impressively, wiggled out without allowing anything.

"He limited the damage really, really well," Cash said.

It was the 20th straight game Rays starters allowed three or fewer earned runs, a team mark.

REHAB REPORT: RHP Alex Cobb (Tommy John surgery) moves up to Triple-A Durham tonight to make his third start since resuming his rehab, and his fifth overall, with a target of four innings/60 pitches. … Newly acquired SS Matt Duffy (left Achilles strain) was 2-for-3 with a walk for Durham, planning to play for the Bulls again tonight and join the Rays for Friday's game. … OF Oswaldo Arcia (right elbow strain) started his rehab assignment with the advanced Class A Stone Crabs, going 1-for-3 as the DH at Jupiter.

ARCHER IMPACT: RHP Chris Archer today will deliver the keynote address for an International Youth Day workshop, speaking to nearly 200 teens who were staffers for the Rookie League summer day camp in Toronto Community Housing buildings.

SAFETY FIRST: 2B Logan Forsythe said he opted for caution in not trying to tag up in the seventh inning Monday on a fly to no-longer strong-armed RF Jose Bautista: "I thought it was going to be too close to call."

MISCELLANY: Fox has picked up Friday's Rays-Yankees Alex Rodriguez farewell game for national television, so there will be no broadcast on Fox Sports Sun. … The Rogers Centre official scorer changed a Monday wild pitch on RHP Jake Odorizzi to a passed ball on C Bobby Wilson, slicing two earned runs off Odorizzi's stat line and improving his ERA to 3.69. … Brad Miller started again at first base and made several nice plays. … Cash argued vehemently after Mahtook was called out for running inside the baseline but said later the umps got it right.

Comments
Rodney Page’s takeaways from Rays-Yankees

Rodney Page’s takeaways from Rays-Yankees

1. SS Willy Adames had a nice night, and there appear to be many more in his future. He had two hits, an RBI and an inning-ending leaping catch on a line drive by Didi Gregorius in the fifth.2. DH C.J. Cron needs to shake things up. Take a different ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Marc Anthony pays a visit to the Trop

Marc Anthony pays a visit to the Trop

By Allana BarefieldTimes Staff WriterST. PETERSBURG — Latin pop star Marc Anthony visited Tropicana Field on Friday to see his beloved Yankees play the Rays.Anthony spent nearly an hour on the field before the game as fans and players surrounde...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Rays journal: Daniel Robertson’s return crowds up infield

Rays journal: Daniel Robertson’s return crowds up infield

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays reinstated INF Daniel Robertson from the 10-day disabled list (left hamstring strain). To make room, RHP Austin Pruitt was sent to Triple-A Durham."It's out of my mind. I don't think about (the hamstring) when I'm bend...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Rays hang on for a 2-1 win over Yankees

Rays hang on for a 2-1 win over Yankees

ST. PETERSBURG – Many times this season the Rays' strategy of opening the game with a short reliever and using the bullpen to finish hasn't had much success.Friday wasn't one of those nights.A total of six pitchers held the Yankees and their va...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Missed time a good mental reset for Rays’ Matt Duffy

Missed time a good mental reset for Rays’ Matt Duffy

ST. PETERSBURG — Missing all of 2017 might have been the absolute worst thing for Matt Duffy.Frustratingly idled as he eventually recovered and rehabbed from ongoing left heel issues, he couldn't play the game he loved, couldn't show the Rays o...
Published: 06/21/18
Updated: 06/22/18
Rays journal: Jake Bauers proves he’s up to speed on bases

Rays journal: Jake Bauers proves he’s up to speed on bases

ST. PETERSBURG – Rookie 1B Jake Bauers has impressed at the plate and in the field since his June 7 promotion.Also, with his hustling on the bases."I knew he played hard; everybody said that at every level,'' manager Kevin Cash said. "I di...
Published: 06/21/18
Rays journal: 7 pitches, 3 straight homers prove too much in loss to Astros

Rays journal: 7 pitches, 3 straight homers prove too much in loss to Astros

HOUSTON — The Rays were engaged in a third straight tight, go-either-way battle with the defending champ Astros on Wednesday.Until they were not.A brutal seven-pitch sequence by starter Nathan Eovaldi changed everything, as he gave up three con...
Published: 06/21/18
Rays see the results of keeping a good, young core group together

Rays see the results of keeping a good, young core group together

HOUSTON — The Rays saw a lot on the weeklong trip that ended with Wednesday's game against that Astros, beyond the street hustlers prowling in Times Square and the urban cowboys and girls parading through H-town.There was an impressive debuting...
Published: 06/20/18
Updated: 06/21/18
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Wednesday’s Rays-Astros game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Wednesday’s Rays-Astros game

RHP Nathan Eovaldi said before his rough start Wednesday against the Astros that he was pitching better than his numbers showed. Well … In four starts since his six no-hit innings debut, he's 0-3 with a 6.17 ERA, allowing eight homers, four Wed...
Published: 06/20/18
For starters: Rays at Astros, with a different look

For starters: Rays at Astros, with a different look

UPDATE, 6:43: Cash said the key to how the pieced the lineup together was the opportunity to give Cron (who is struggling) and Duffy (who is doing well) back to back days off. … Looking ahead to the weekend, the Rays will use RHP Ryne Stanek as...
Published: 06/20/18