Sunday, June 24, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays journal: Spectacular defense by Adeiny Hechavarria helps preserve shutout

ST. PETERSBURG — SS Adeiny Hechavarria was asked if he practiced making spectacular plays like the one in the fifth inning Saturday, when he dived to his left, knocked the ball down, picked it up barehanded, stood and threw to first for the out.

"No, no, no," he said.

Hechavarria, who joined the Rays on June 27, said he has made them before. He said he was somewhat surprised this time since he recently switched to using a smaller glove.

His acrobatics robbed Red Sox C Sandy Leon of a hit to end the fifth inning of the Rays' 1-0 victory. He robbed DH Hanley Ramirez of a hit to start the second when he made a leaping grab of a line drive headed to leftfield.

"They don't get made. It's not real," winning pitcher Alex Cobb said of the two plays. "When you're on the mound you just feel like you hit the lotto."

Cobb said the plays are worth more than the one out on the scoreboard. They create momentum and enable the pitcher to pitch deeper into the game. They also demoralize the other dugout.

"Oh man, you can see the emotion on their faces," he said. "It's hard to get a hit in the big leagues. You see it off the bat. You see where it's going, and it's taken away from you in the blink of an eye. It's a little tough to handle."

Cutting it close

RHP Alex Colome tied Minnesota's Brandon Kintzler for the AL lead with his 24th save when he picked up the final four outs and survived a bases-loaded jam in the ninth. It was Colome's second straight scoreless outing after allowing runs in five straight. Colome relied mostly on his cutter, a pitch he has thrown nearly 60 percent of the time this season at the expense of his fastball. "They look like the same," he said. "I use both, but I like to use more cutter than fastball because everybody hits fastball."

Facing pop

RHP Chris Archer and former Rays LHP David Price pitch against each other today for the second time since Price was traded in 2014. The first meeting, billed as "the teacher vs. the student," didn't go so well for Archer. He tied a career high with nine runs allowed in a 10-8 loss on Sept. 26, 2015 — his 27th birthday — when Price was with the Blue Jays.

"I'm obviously focused on the lineup, but to be able to face off against the teacher is always fun," Archer said.

Archer always credits Price and James Shields for his development. "It's like Shields was the grandpa, Price was the dad and I'm one of the sons in the tree," he said. "Cobb definitely is, too. Matt Moore is a part of that group."

He continued: "Price is getting kind of old. He might move into the grandpa role soon. He's what, 31, 32? (He's 31.) When Shields (retires) in a couple of years, Price is going to be grandpa for real."

Miscellany

. C Jesus Sucre became the first Rays catcher to drive in the only run of a 1-0 victory since Ryan Hanigan homered Sept. 12, 2014 to beat Toronto.

. The Rays will reach the All-Star Break with a winning record for the eighth time in the past 10 seasons.

Comments
Rays team up to beat Yankees again 4-0

Rays team up to beat Yankees again 4-0

ST. PETERSBURG — With all that's been said, tweeted, ranted and written on these pages and elsewhere about the Rays' odd, unorthodox, weird and some days downright wacky pitching plan, this might be the craziest thing yet:It's working.Like, rea...
Published: 06/23/18
Rays Tales: Why ‘trades’ and ‘prospects’ are always in same conversation

Rays Tales: Why ‘trades’ and ‘prospects’ are always in same conversation

Besides the continual evolution of their intriguing pitching plan, the primary topics of conversation for the Rays over the next several weeks will be trades and prospects. And not mutually exclusively.Some sooner than others, the Rays are going to c...
Published: 06/23/18
Rays journal: New confidence carries over for Willy Adames

Rays journal: New confidence carries over for Willy Adames

ST. PETERSBURG — The key to SS Willy Adames rapping two of the biggest hits in the Rays' 4-0 win Saturday actually took place the night before.An RBI single that snapped an 0-for-12 and a second hit two winnings later in Friday's game restored ...
Published: 06/23/18
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Saturday’s Rays-Yankees game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Saturday’s Rays-Yankees game

INF Daniel Robertson has only played two games after a short DL stint, but it seems like he has already made a half dozen great plays. Willy Adames and Jake Bauers get the attention, but Robertson has the skills to steal the show any night.It is obvi...
Published: 06/23/18
For starters: Rays vs. Yankees, looking for two straight

For starters: Rays vs. Yankees, looking for two straight

UPDATE, 2:38: Clarifying what was a communication error with the team PR staff, Rays manager Kevin Cash said LHP Blake Snell was slated for an extra day's rest all along and will face the Nationals on Monday not the Yankees on Sunday. The Rays will u...
Published: 06/23/18
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 ...
Published: 06/22/18
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...
Published: 06/22/18
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...
Published: 06/22/18
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...
Published: 06/22/18
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