Saturday, June 23, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays journal: Steven Souza Jr. preserves shutout with perfect throw

ST. PETERSBURG — The closest the Angels came to scoring off RHP Matt Andriese in Thursday's 4-0 Rays victory occurred in the first inning, when DH Mike Trout tried to score from second on a single to right. But the throw from RF Steven Souza Jr. was on the money, and Trout was out.

"That was huge," Andriese said.

Said Souza, "Anytime the ball's put in play and he's on second base, you got to make a pretty good throw to get him. I had to make my best throw and put it there, and fortunately it worked out."

Angels manager Mike Scioscia saw Souza playing a tad shallow against SS Andrelton Simmons, who hit the ball directly at him.

"To get Mike, he's got to put that throw on the money, and he did," Scioscia said.

Rasmus on a roll

After a home run Wednesday night, Colby Rasmus — appearing as the DH for the second time in his Rays career — continued to move out of the hitting slump that slowed him over the past two weeks. Rasmus drove in all four Rays runs Thursday, hitting a two-run single and a two-run double on his way to a 2-for-4 performance.

Rasmus, 3-for-20 heading into Thursday's game, started his Rays career 8-for-29 but had struggled since. He said his lower numbers in previous games were simply a product of solid pitching.

"You've just got to stay on what you're doing, it's tough," he said. "I look at those games as getting pitched pretty tough. My swings have been feeling pretty good, but they've just been making no mistakes to me. I've been around long enough and there's a good enough report on me and where not to throw the ball, so they stay away from those spots, and when they do that it makes it tough."

Hunter in, Diaz out

The bullpen reshuffling continued when the Rays activated RHP Tommy Hunter (right calf strain) from the disabled list and placed RHP Jumbo Diaz on the 10-day DL with right arm fatigue.

Diaz said he has felt this several times as a result of having four elbow operations during his career. He said right now he can't recover in time to pitch on back-to-back days. He feels confident that the strength will return with a brief rest.

"We're not overly concerned, but it just seemed with how much we're asking from our bullpen that if he pitches and can't go for two days, that's not ideal for a guy who pitches from the pen," manager Kevin Cash said. "Hopefully with some rest, we'll see him back here soon."

Hunter was ready to return after missing 30 games. The bullpen, which has struggled, can use Hunter's veteran presence and versatility.

More medical matters

RHP Brad Boxberger (right flexor strain) is scheduled to pitch live batting practice Monday and Thursday in Port Charlotte. C Wilson Ramos (knee surgery) is expected to catch with SS Matt Duffy (Achilles) and 2B Brad Miller (left abdominal strain) scheduled to hit. … Ramos, Duffy and Miller are expected to play in extended spring games while they are in Port Charlotte.

Number of the day

7 Seasons out of the past 10 that the Rays were .500 or better 50 games into the season

Miscellany

. RF Steven Souza Jr. has reached base in six of his past seven plate appearances, including a season-high four times Thursday. He had a .542 on-base percentage on the homestand despite starting 1-for-11.

. RHP Matt Andriese's eight innings Thursday matched RHP Chris Archer for the longest this year by a Rays starter.

. The four-game series drew 40,697, with three crowds under 10,000.

Times staff writer Daniel O'Boyle contributed to this report.

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

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

After hanging on for a 2-1 last night over the MLB-best Yankees, the Rays are looking to make it two in a row today.And their lineup will have a different look, with INF Joey Wendle making his first career appearance,  majors or minors, in the o...
Updated: 1 hour ago
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...
Updated: 2 hours ago
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
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