Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Pool pro takes on Rays; curtailed workout; Kiermaier artwork

Rack 'em up

While most of the activities at today's FanFest are baseball-oriented, there will be some competition on the pool table as pro Jeanette Lee, known as the Black Widow, plays against OF Kevin Kiermaier and RHPs Steve Geltz and Erasmo Ramirez.

The dish

Today's full-squad workout starts at 8:30 a.m. at the Charlotte Sports Park (2300 El Jobean Road) and will last about 1¾ hours. Admission and parking are free. Driving time from the bay area is 1½-2 hours. Suggested route: Interstate 75 South to Toledo Blade Road. Go west 6½ miles to El Jobean Road (SR 776). Go right 2 miles. Stadium complex is on left. Information: (941) 235-5025.

Heads up

Because of the team FanFest at the Trop, the workout will be abbreviated. LHP Matt Moore and RHPs Jake Odorizzi and Brad Boxberger are among the pitchers throwing live BP. Some of the bigger-name players are not scheduled to hit.

A new masterpiece

Kevin Kiermaier is constantly expanding his tastes, for example recently taking a liking to champagne. Now he has his first piece of prized art — a painting of his Aug. 31 homer-robbing catch in Baltimore, presented Friday by teammates. "It looks phenomenal, so realistic," Kiermaier said. "That's definitely going up on one of the walls at my place here pretty soon."

Quote of the day

"I don't think going through the motions helps anyone."

LHP Drew Smyly, endorsing manager Kevin Cash's call for intensity from the start of camp

Exhibition schedule

Rays tickets: Range from $10-29, available at raysbaseball.com, by calling toll-free 1-888-FAN-RAYS (326-7297), and at CSP or Tropicana Field box offices, team Tampa Store (400 N Tampa St.).

All games 1:05 p.m. unless noted.

March

2 vs. Nationals

3 vs. Orioles

4 at Red Sox (Fort Myers)

5 at Orioles, 7:05 (Sarasota)

6 vs. Twins

7 at Red Sox (Fort Myers)

8 at Tigers (Lakeland)

9 vs. Blue Jays

10 vs. Pirates

11 at Pirates (Bradenton)

12 vs. Yankees

13 vs. Red Sox, at Blue Jays (Dunedin)

14 at Braves (Disney)

15 vs. Phillies

16 OFF

17 at Phillies (Clearwater)

18 vs. Red Sox

19 vs. Orioles

20 at Orioles (Sarasota)

21 TBA (Cuba?)

22 TBA (Cuba?)

23 at Twins (Fort Myers)

24 at Yankees, 6:35 (Tampa)

25 vs. Twins

26 at Pirates, 6:05 (Bradenton)

27 vs. Blue Jays

28 OFF

29 at Blue Jays (Dunedin)

30 vs. Red Sox

31 vs. Pirates

April

1 at Braves (Disney), at Tigers (Lakeland)

Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

Comments
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...
Updated: 17 minutes ago
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...
Updated: 1 hour ago
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...
Updated: 2 hours ago
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...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Kevin Kiermaier returns to the Rays

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Kevin Kiermaier returns to the Rays

Times sports columnist Tom Jones joins Rick Stroud to discuss Kevin Kiermaier's return to the Rays, whether Victor Hedman should win the Norris Trophy for the NHL's best defenseman, Bucs expectations for this season and Barry Trotz's next c...
Published: 06/20/18
How the Rays really won Tuesday’s game over Astros

How the Rays really won Tuesday’s game over Astros

There was some interesting inside baseball elements that factored into the late innings of Tuesday's 2-1 Rays win.* First, on Matt Duffy's double off reliever Hector Rondon to lead off the eighth.Duffy said he doesn't like "to guess" what a pitcher i...
Published: 06/20/18
Rays’ Kevin Kiermaier returns, with energy to spare

Rays’ Kevin Kiermaier returns, with energy to spare

HOUSTON — Energy.That's what Kevin Kiermaier said he felt he'd provide most in rejoining the Rays Tuesday against the Astros after missing two-plus months recovering from thumb surgery."I like to think I bring energy on both sides of the ball, ...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/20/18
Rays journal: Blake Snell outlasts Justin Verlander in 2-1 win

Rays journal: Blake Snell outlasts Justin Verlander in 2-1 win

HOUSTON — The starting pitcher walked seven over seven otherwise solid innings Tuesday. That seemed weird enough for the Rays. Then the next pitcher they brought in was the one who started Monday's game. Even more bizarre.And then there was thi...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/20/18
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays-Astros

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays-Astros

This is how odd LHP Blake Snell's night was — he became the first pitcher to work seven or more innings and walk at least seven since Edwin Jackson threw his 149-pitch, eight-walk no-hitter at the Rays on June 25, 2010.If you weren't aware of t...
Published: 06/19/18
For starters: Rays at Astros, with Kiermaier back and an ace-high matchup

For starters: Rays at Astros, with Kiermaier back and an ace-high matchup

UPDATE, 6:45: Cash said Smith will continue to play a lot, getting time in LF and RF, meaning something of a rotation system for rookie Johnny Field and veteran Carlos Gomez.UPDATE, 4:49: Kiermaier is batting leadoff and playing center as expected, w...
Published: 06/19/18