Friday, April 20, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays hope to reverse trend against Red Sox

CHICAGO — The Red Sox had the final say last October in eliminating the Rays from the first round of the playoffs. But they were an issue for them all season, winning 12 of the 19 games and relegating them to wild-card status.

"They kept us out of first place," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "They definitely did. 7-12, that's not good, and a lot of them were really close games."

Six were decided from the ninth on, three by walkoffs. Reversing that record, or at least evening it out, would be of considerable benefit this season.

And the Rays get their first chance tonight when they open a three-game series at Fenway Park against the Sox, who are also off to a slow start at 12-14.

"They're good," Maddon said. "They're good again. Every team in our division is good. The whole league is good. I've talk about the parity that's going to exist through the entire season. It's going to be hard to run away and hide the way this thing is balanced out."

ERIK THE GREAT? Veteran LHP Erik Bedard flew to Boston ahead of the early morning-arriving team to be better rested for tonight's start.

Maddon is confident Bedard will have a better showing, insisting that as bad as his stat line looked Thursday — walking four in an ugly first inning and lasting only four in throwing 90 pitches — there were encouraging signs in how he threw, specifically just missing the inside corner repeatedly.

With the pitch limits from his first two starts (75 and 90) lifted, Maddon said he told Bedard he expects better.

"The blanket's off so go, just go and get deeper into the game because you have the stuff to get deep in the game, you have the experience to get deep into the game," Maddon said.

WELCOME TO FENWAY: C Ryan Hanigan grew up outside of Boston going to Red Sox games as a kid, but this series will be the first time he has played there as a big-leaguer.

"I'm looking forward to it," Hanigan said. "It'll be fun."

Hanigan has played at Fenway once, in a high school all-star game. But now he's playing in the big leagues, against the Red Sox, and with a large group of relatives, friends, and former youth and school teammates and coaches on hand cheering him on. "There'll be a whole lot of that going on," he said.

DD DH: OF David DeJesus made his fourth straight start at DH Monday, still bothered by a sore left shoulder he injured April 18 diving for a ball against the Yankees at the Trop. "I think I just banged it on the ground, and it's an unforgiving ground," he said. "It's getting better though. I'd probably say we're at 85 percent." DeJesus said he expects to return to the outfield in Boston, noting that the short leftfield wall makes for less taxing throws. Maddon said that sounded about right but said "there's no rush on it," noting how well Matt Joyce has been playing.

MEDICAL MATTERS: Maddon said RHP Jeremy Hellickson, who threw off the mound at the Trop Sunday for the first time since Jan. 29 arthroscopic elbow surgery, is "feeling really good." And RHP Alex Cobb, sidelined by an April 12 oblique strain, is playing catch at a distance of 90 feet. Cobb is hoping for a late May return, Hellickson eyeing early June.

MISCELLANY: Tonight will be the team's 1,000th game since changing from Devil Rays to Rays in 2008, with a 561-437 record going into Monday. … The Rays on Sunday were the first team to make four errors in an inning since the Rangers on Sept. 26, and the first team to do that and hit into four double plays since the Orioles on May 13, 1999. … The Rays on Sunday also allowed nine runs for the fifth time, matching the Astros for the AL most. … Maddon, OFs Wil Myers and Brandon Guyer, RHP Heath Bell and team president Matt Silverman will attend the Tampa Chamber of Commerce lunch on May 9; see tampachamber.com for ticket info.

Comments
Plan to entice developers to help pay for Rays ballpark hits speed bump

Plan to entice developers to help pay for Rays ballpark hits speed bump

TAMPA — Private developers would bear much of the cost of a new Rays stadium in Ybor City under a plan Hillsborough County officials are putting together.Developers would benefit by cashing in on commercial, retail and other construction around a ne...
Updated: 2 hours ago
For starters: Rays vs. Twins, 7:10 p.m.

For starters: Rays vs. Twins, 7:10 p.m.

Tonight's Rays lineup against the Twins. Brad Miller back in the lineup following his DL stint (left groin strain). First pitch at 7:10 p.m.LF Denard SpanDH C.J. CronRF Carlos Gomez1B Brad Miller3B Daniel Robertson2B Joey WendleC Wilson RamosCF Malle...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Rays DFA Brandon Snyder to activate Brad Miller

Rays DFA Brandon Snyder to activate Brad Miller

The Rays activated INF Brad Miller off the DL for Friday's game.Miller had been out 11 days due to a groin strain.To make room on the roster, they DFA'd INF/OF Brandon Snyder, who was called up on Tuesday.
Updated: 4 hours ago
Wall Street Journal: Baseball in Florida ‘has been a disaster’

Wall Street Journal: Baseball in Florida ‘has been a disaster’

The Rays and Miami Marlins "are at a moment of reckoning" after histories of low attendance and an offseason in which they sold off many of their top players and were singled out by the MLB Players Association for failing to spend revenue-sharing mon...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Rays’ Chris Archer ready to move past messy outing tonight against Twins

Rays’ Chris Archer ready to move past messy outing tonight against Twins

Rays RHP Chris Archer goes into tonight's start against the Twins with no trouble moving on from his messy Saturday performance against the Phillies that included arguably the worst inning of his career."It's already gone," Archer said Wednesday...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Memorable off day for Rays’ Ryan Yarbrough

Memorable off day for Rays’ Ryan Yarbrough

Rays rookie LHP Ryan Yarbrough has enjoyed everything about his first major-league experience, from pitching in the games to traveling in top-notch style to getting to play in front of family and friends to seeing his first paycheck.And then the Lake...
Updated: 10 hours ago
The Mallex Smith effect can take effect for Rays

The Mallex Smith effect can take effect for Rays

ST. PETERSBURG — Mallex Smith has style.Effervescent personality. Pop culture hipness. Sense of fashion with accoutrements.Now the Rays are going to find out if he has game.More specifically, enough game to be a front-line outfielder, even an i...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18
Rays journal: Whew. Alex Colome gets the job done

Rays journal: Whew. Alex Colome gets the job done

ST. PETERSBURG — In the end, Alex Colome got the three outs to save the game, the day and the stomach linings of his bosses from further deterioration, so in theory that should be what mattered most Wednesday.And the fact that he was smiling in...
Published: 04/18/18
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays’ 4-2 Wednesday win

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays’ 4-2 Wednesday win

Alex Colome's ninth-inning dramatics took the focus, but the work of newly corn-rowed RHP Chaz Roe in the seventh (three Ks) and LHP Jose Alvarado (one K, two infield outs) was textbook, and showed how the bullpen can work.RELATED: Whew. Alex Colome ...
Published: 04/18/18
Anonymous Rays rally to beat Rangers 4-2, win series

Anonymous Rays rally to beat Rangers 4-2, win series

ST. PETERSBURG — Even before they lost several of the hitters they were relying most on to injuries, the Rays did not exactly have a lineup built on intimidation.Their own owner said opening day that he expected them to rank among the least pro...
Published: 04/18/18