Thursday, May 24, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays' Smyly capitalizes on outburst in win over Yankees (w/ video)

NEW YORK — LHP Drew Smyly could be forgiven if he wasn't quite sure how to act Sunday after his Rays mates scored five runs in the first inning.

In the first 22 innings Smyly had pitched this season, he had held a lead for only one. And here he was walking to the mound at Yankee Stadium up 5-0 after the Rays sent nine men to the plate and rapped six consecutive two-out hits, five for extra bases.

"That was huge," Smyly said. "It was fun to pitch with a lead. It makes my job a bit easier. Just throw strikes, attack these guys. It worked out for us."

Smyly still had to do his part, and he did well despite having issues gripping what he said were slippery baseballs in the 8-1 victory. He worked seven solid innings, scattering six hits in allowing one run, ending his 14-inning scoreless streak.

And he continued his unexpected, and he says unintended, strikeout pace, following back-to-back 11-K outings by fanning six more to lead the majors with 33.

"Drew Smyly just kind of picked up right where he left off against Boston his last start," manager Kevin Cash said. "Just commanded the strike zone, got a lot of chase, a lot of swing and miss. A really good performance."

BIRTHDAY BASH: Cash said he took enough abuse for giving CF Kevin Kiermaier Friday off on his birthday — despite pleading ignorance — that he was sure to have Steven Souza Jr. in the lineup as he turned 27 Sunday and will pay closer attention.

"From now on in the advance reports, I'll make sure I have the birth dates of all of our players," he said.

Souza said the plan had been to celebrate when he got home Sunday night with his wife, Mikaela, but he was glad to start the festivities with a pair of homers.

"It's great," he said. "As a kid (in Seattle) you grow up watching the Yankees and Mariners and the rivalries, so just being here and winning and the two home runs is obviously exciting."

ARCHED UP: Off to an 0-4, 7.32 start, RHP Chris Archer pitches tonight against the Orioles confident after some good between-starts work that he needs to make only a small adjustment to get back on track and eliminate the questions about what is wrong.

"It's such a simple thing that I need to do better — I need to be in the strike zone more from Pitch 1," he said. "So we didn't overanalyze."

Cash said that he expects better, that Archer looks fine on the mound and that it would be a boost if the hitters could get Archer a lead.

"Everything's good," Cash said. "It'll be a good start for him, a big start. … He has talked about lack of pitch execution; he's been focused these last four days on getting that better. The thought is it'll translate" tonight.

NEW GUY: New bullpen addition RH Jhan Marinez worked the ninth Sunday, showing the high velocity fastball and wipeout slider that made him worthy of promotion from Triple-A Durham. Marinez, 27, hadn't pitched in a big-league game since Sept. 29, 2012, with the White Sox, spending most of last season and starting this one at Durham. "I'd been waiting for this chance," he said.

STARRY-EYED: The All-Star ballot was released, with the Rays choosing Hank Conger as their candidate at catcher, Logan Morrison at first base and Corey Dickerson at DH. The others were obvious: 3B Evan Longoria, SS Brad Miller, 2B Logan Forsythe and OFs Desmond Jennings, Kevin Kiermaier and Souza.

MISCELLANY: Cash said it's a tough call, but he will continue to consider replacing Conger with Curt Casali for defensive purposes in close games. … Longoria, Miller and Pearce, at second base, all made nifty plays Sunday. … Cash said in retrospect the most impressive thing about debuting LHP Blake Snell on Saturday was his "zero fear" in not shying away from contact.

Comments
Rays journal: Could Sergio Romo be looking at pitching 3 straight games?

Rays journal: Could Sergio Romo be looking at pitching 3 straight games?

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays' pitching rotation for the weekend series against the Orioles could have a familiar look: Romo, Romo, Romo.Manager Kevin Cash said using veteran right-handed reliever Sergio Romo as the "opener" in all three upcoming g...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Rookie’s error in 9th helps doom Rays against Red Sox

Rookie’s error in 9th helps doom Rays against Red Sox

ST. PETERSBURG — Willy Adames was so excited to be in the big leagues, even if was for just a three-day cameo callup. So thrilled to make a smashing debut with a homer on Tuesday. So proud to have his parents and sister fly in from the Dom...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Wednesday’s Rays-Red Sox game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Wednesday’s Rays-Red Sox game

In a way, the timing of RHP Jake Faria's oblique injury seemed manageable in that RHP Nathan Eovaldi is close to coming off the disabled list and can step in. But on the other hand, the Rays finally could have four regular starters. Imagine that.Ther...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Rays’ Jake Faria may be out until August, Vidal Nuno called up

Rays’ Jake Faria may be out until August, Vidal Nuno called up

UPDATE, 5:32: Faria is looking at at extended absence, potentially into August. Cash said an estimate of 6-8 weeks was on the optimistic side. "From what we found out he got it pretty good," Cash said.  "So it could be a little bit longer than t...
Published: 05/23/18
For starters: Rays vs. Red Sox, with Archer facing Price

For starters: Rays vs. Red Sox, with Archer facing Price

UPDATE, 5:18: Ramos' bruised left thumb is feeling better and though he's not in the lineup Cash said he is available for emergency duty. … OF Carlos Gomez was set to run the bases today as the next test of his strained groin. … Cash said...
Published: 05/23/18
Rays morning after: Faria frustrated after latest letdown

Rays morning after: Faria frustrated after latest letdown

Whatever pain RHP Jake Faria was feeling as a result of the oblique muscle on the left side he strained throwing a fourth-inning slider to Boston's Hanley Ramirez couldn't compare to the hurt in his heart.Forced to leave Tuesday's game and likely hea...
Published: 05/23/18
Willy Adames homers, but Rays fall to Red Sox and suffer injuries

Willy Adames homers, but Rays fall to Red Sox and suffer injuries

ST. PETERSBURG — Top prospect Willy Adames is only going to get to stay with the Rays for a few days, so good for him for making the most of it with a home run in his first big-league game, and off Red Sox ace Chris Sale no less.But the good fe...
Published: 05/22/18
Updated: 05/23/18
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays loss to Red Sox

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays loss to Red Sox

Marc Topkin's takeaways from Rays 4-2 loss to Red Sox on Tuesday:* The Rays record against a Red Sox team they consider a measuring stick doesn't look very good at 3-8. But, as manager Kevin Cash and several players pointed out, there is some consola...
Published: 05/22/18
Rays journal: Critics don’t faze Sergio Romo or team

Rays journal: Critics don’t faze Sergio Romo or team

ST. PETERSBURG — Criticisms of the Rays' latest innovative pitching strategy have piled up since Angels INF Zack Cosart said after Sunday's game that starting RHP Sergio Romo to get the first three-six outs was "bad for baseball.''One of the lo...
Published: 05/22/18
For starters: Rays vs. Red Sox, with Faria on the mound

For starters: Rays vs. Red Sox, with Faria on the mound

UPDATE, 6:04: Cash said the Rays don't know yet if Wendle will be  back Thursday or Friday, though with the Sox starting RHP Rick Porcello on Thursday that would make sense. …  Cash said OF Carlos Gomez (groin strain) will run the bas...
Published: 05/22/18