Saturday, February 17, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays' Longoria erupts after questionable call

BOSTON — The Rays are making it pretty tough on themselves with their lack of offense.

But they believe a series of bad breaks and bad calls by the umpires have made things worse. Evan Longoria uncharacteristically showed frustration after the latest Monday, after being called out at first despite seemingly beating the throw from Boston SS Stephen Drew. He first threw up his arms in reaction to umpire Angel Hernandez's call, then threw down his helmet, which bounced several times on the dirt.

"I'm a little disappointed in myself at the way I reacted. It was just kind of in the heat of the moment," Longoria said. "You guys (reporters) can make the determination on what the outcome of the play was. We're playing our (rear ends) off, and we're not getting any breaks. And it's unfortunate."

Had Longoria been called safe — albeit after a tremendous play by Drew — the Rays would have tied the score at 2 and had two on. Longoria may have been fortunate to not have been ejected. Manager Joe Maddon left the dugout quickly to talk with Hernandez.

"I just wanted to point out to him that I thought (Longoria) was safe," Maddon said. "That's it. He thought (Longoria) was out."

Hernandez called Longoria out again in a key situation in the ninth on an appeal of a check swing.

In the season's first week in a game against the Orioles, the Rays disputed a call of Longoria passing Ben Zobrist on the bases, and umpire Marty Foster admitted he incorrectly called a game-ending third strike on Zobrist last week against the Rangers.

ONE THING, THEN ANOTHER: When Mike Napoli's ninth-inning drive first hit off the Green Monster, Rays LF Matt Joyce thought he'd have a chance to throw out Dustin Pedroia at the plate.

But two things went wrong: Joyce had trouble getting the ball out of his glove. Then he missed the cutoff man with an arching throw that was way too late as Pedroia scored the winning run.

"I tried to take the best angle to it," Joyce said. "It was just one of those things where you kind of rush and can't get (the ball) out of your glove as fast as you want, and when that tends to happen, you try to force the issue and the throw goes a little high. It's tough, man. It's tough to have that happen in that circumstance, especially with the way things have been going. It (stinks). But we have another game (tonight), and you have to have a short-term memory."

Maddon said he also thought the Rays would have a play: "Matty didn't get it clean coming off the wall; that's what I thought I saw. And beyond that, there's no way he's going to throw him out on a fly from that spot."

HELLickson GOOD: If there was a positive development in the game, it was the strong seven-inning outing by RHP Jeremy Hellickson, who adjusted to the 11:05 a.m. start and allowed only three hits and struck out nine, one off his career high. "I had better command than I had last game, especially," he said. "The curveball felt good."

MISCELLANY: The Rays struck out 13 times after fanning 12 times Sunday. … DH Luke Scott felt better after being hit by a stomach bug Sunday and did a light workout, but he has yet to run the bases, a prerequisite to advancing rehab of a right calf strain. … The Rays, beaten three straight in Boston, were swept at Fenway Park for the first time since 2009. … Longoria's homer was their first in six road games. It also extended his streak of reaching base to all 12 games this season and 26 overall. … The Rays all wore No. 42 as part of the majors-wide Jackie Robinson Day celebration and will do so again tonight in Baltimore.

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