Monday, November 20, 2017
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays wait out rain to win second straight over Twins

RECOMMENDED READING


MINNEAPOLIS — Steven Souza Jr. had the biggest hit for the Rays in Saturday's rain-interrupted 7-4 win over the Twins.

He got it by shortening up his swing.

"Obviously I haven't gotten some calls my way, and I'm chasing pitches out of the zone," he said. "So I'm just trying to figure out a way to make adjustments with two strikes. I figured I would choke up right there and try and just put the ball in play. And a good thing happened."

A very good thing, actually, the three-run homer on Ervin Santana's 2-and-2 pitch taking the Rays from trailing 3-1 to leading 4-3, and they added from there.

By the end of the long day, which included a 70-minute rain delay in the middle of the sixth, they had won a second straight, after losing five in a row and 11 of 13, to improve to 24-30.

All the runs came on home runs, with a two-run blast by Logan Morrison and solo shots by Hank Conger and Evan Longoria.

EVAN ALMIGHTY: Longoria homered for a team-high 12th time and in a third straight game, something he hadn't done since August 2013. During an eight-game hitting streak, he is 13-for-31 (.419) with four homers and 11 RBIs.

"He's locked in, and when a good hitter as good as he is gets locked in you're going to see that type of production," manager Kevin Cash said. "Believe me, we'll right it while he's hot because he's carrying a huge load. And it's very welcome."

As a side benefit, Cash said, "Longo is sticking himself right in the All-Star mix the way he's playing. Good for him, good for us."

TO THE MATT: RHP Matt Andriese didn't have top command of his pitches, which forced him to throw too many pitches, 92 over five innings.

The biggest, by far, came in the fourth, right after the Rays had gone ahead, when he had the bases loaded with one out and got Eduardo Nunez to bounce into a double play.

"That was a huge play," Andriese said. "I wouldn't say I was scuffling but I was trying to feel my way through that inning. I knew we needed a ground ball in that situation, and I made a pitch when I needed to. So that was clutch."

IN RELIEF: With Andriese limited to five innings due to the rain delay, LHP Enny Romero gave the Rays two strong innings, then rookie Tyler Sturdevant worked the eighth and into the ninth but couldn't get the last out, putting two on. Cash summoned RHP Alex Colome, who insisted he was available after throwing 34 pitches Friday in a five-out save, and he allowed an RBI single to Joe Mauer before striking out Brian Dozier to end it.

JONNY BE GOOD: LHP Jonny Venters, trying to come back from a third Tommy John surgery, threw a 24-pitch scoreless, hitless inning (two walks) for the advanced Class A Stone Crabs in his first regular-season game at any level since 2012.

MISCELLANY: C Hank Conger allowed three more stolen bases, having thrown out two of 20. … OF Brandon Guyer, in a 1-for-22 skid, got the day off, so Cash slid most of the hitters up a spot, with Longoria hitting second for the 14th time in his career and first since May 2014.

Comments
RHP Brent Honeywell among 6 set to be added to Rays 40-man roster

RHP Brent Honeywell among 6 set to be added to Rays 40-man roster

Top pitching prospect RHP Brent Honeywell and at least five others are set to be added to the Rays 40-man roster by tonight's 8 p.m. deadline, keeping them from being eligible for the Rule 5 draft.Honeywell, 22, had a solid season mostly at Triple-A ...
Updated: 14 minutes ago
Topkin: As Rays start dealing, how far will they go?

Topkin: As Rays start dealing, how far will they go?

After collecting intelligence at last week’s GM meetings, the Rays soon will launch their offseason mission of trading at least a couple of veterans to reduce payroll.The question is how far they will go — how many players they deal, and how big of n...
Published: 11/18/17
Rocco Baldelli’s promotion on Rays coaching staff now makes him major league field coordinator

Rocco Baldelli’s promotion on Rays coaching staff now makes him major league field coordinator

The Rays completed the reorganization of their coaching staff by giving Rocco Baldelli the title of major league field coordinator.In being promoted from first-base coach, Baldelli will implement ideas and information from the staff, while assisting ...
Published: 11/17/17
Rays hope to cash in on Alex Cobb leaving

Rays hope to cash in on Alex Cobb leaving

LAKE BUENA VISTA — The Rays were banking on pitcher Alex Cobb declining their one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer based on the lure of a longer-term and more lucrative deal elsewhere as a free agent.With that decision official Thursday, now the ...
Published: 11/16/17
Commissioner Rob Manfred likes Ybor City stadium site, but must see more support to keep baseball in Tampa Bay

Commissioner Rob Manfred likes Ybor City stadium site, but must see more support to keep baseball in Tampa Bay

LAKE BUENA VISTA — MLB commissioner Rob Manfred didn’t want to talk Thursday about what might happen if the current effort to build the Rays a new stadium at the Ybor City site falls through."I’m more focused on working with the community to figure o...
Published: 11/16/17
A message to Rays fans from Alex Cobb

A message to Rays fans from Alex Cobb

Here is a message from RHP Alex Cobb after he officially left the Rays Thursday in declining their one-year, $17.4-milllion qualifying offer to seek a bigger and longer pact elsewhere:"Getting to this point in my career is truly bittersweet."Twelve y...
Published: 11/16/17
UPDATE: Rays to gain draft pick for loss of free agent pitcher Alex Cobb

UPDATE: Rays to gain draft pick for loss of free agent pitcher Alex Cobb

UPDATE, 5:01: Cobb did not accept the offer by the deadline, as expected.DEVELOPING: Sometime before today's 5 p.m. deadline, the Rays will get official word that their $17.4-million slight gamble on Alex Cobb paid off.The Rays made the free-agent ri...
Published: 11/16/17
As he prepares to leave the Rays, how will you remember Alex Cobb?

As he prepares to leave the Rays, how will you remember Alex Cobb?

Presuming Alex Cobb declines the Rays’ one-year, $17.4-million qualifying offer by 5 p.m. today, he has pitched his last game for Tampa Bay.Cobb has received preliminary interest from "lots of teams" already, agent Dan Horwits said. The Cubs and Twin...
Published: 11/16/17
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred says progress must continue on new stadium to keep Rays

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred says progress must continue on new stadium to keep Rays

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred made clear Thursday that identification of a site for a new Rays stadium is merely the first step for area leaders to show they want to keep the team long-term and that there needs to "consistent forward movement" on the ...
Published: 11/16/17
Sternberg: Tampa Bay Rays' share of new ballpark could be $150 million

Sternberg: Tampa Bay Rays' share of new ballpark could be $150 million

LAKE BUENA VISTA — Tampa Bay Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg said Wednesday that the team is "genuinely excited" about the proposed Ybor City site for a new stadium and more than "cautiously optimistic" the project can be completed. But ...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/16/17