Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Rays' Evan Longoria takes advantage of rare Zack Greinke mistake

ST. PETERSBURG — 3B Evan Longoria picked the perfect time to end his struggles against Royals ace Zack Greinke.

Longoria entered Sunday's game 0-for-10 with two strikeouts in his career against the American League Cy Young Award winner. But it was Longoria who picked up two of the Rays' four hits, including the pivotal homer in the fourth inning of a 1-0 win.

Longoria said he didn't really make any adjustments. He just found himself in favorable situations. He credited his first-inning single with being in a hitter's count (2-and-1) and getting a fastball to hit. As for the homer?

"I think he probably just made the only mistake he made all game, a slider out over the plate," Longoria said. "He pitched a heck of a game and didn't make too many other mistakes to the other guys. Sometimes it's just that one pitch you've got to capitalize on to win games like that."

Longoria, who extended his hitting streak to nine games (with a .457 average in that stretch), made an impression on Greinke, too.

"Pretty much, Longoria swung really good (Sunday)," Greinke said. "Even his popup, he was right on, he just missed it. This is the most he's impressed me since he's been in the big leagues. The whole series he looked good."

IN CLOSING: RHP Rafael Soriano, pitching in his third straight game, recorded his sixth save in six chances and displayed the fearlessness, and fastball velocity, the Rays anticipated when they acquired him in the offseason.

With two outs, Soriano went right after Rick Ankiel, throwing three straight fastballs (two swing-and-misses) that registered at 94, 95 and 96 mph on the stadium scoreboard.

"He had a little bit extra on that last one; you could see he smelled (the victory)," manager Joe Maddon said. "There was no backing off. … It was absolutely beautiful."

Soriano, who had a limited workload all spring, said it'd take a month for his velocity to get where he wanted it, and his arm is more in shape now. "I was going to throw everything that I got," he said. "And it worked perfect."

BRIGNAC'S BEANING: 2B Reid Brignac had a scary moment in the fifth inning when a Greinke pitch bounced off his foot and hit him in the head, knocking his helmet off and him to the ground. He sat for a few minutes and was attended to by the Rays medical staff but stayed in the game. Maddon said Brignac is fine.

WHEEL OF FORTUNE: RHP Dan Wheeler picked up his fifth consecutive scoreless outing, striking out Billy Butler to end the eighth. Wheeler has five strikeouts in his past 22/3 innings, which Maddon attributed to throwing good breaking balls low and away to right-handed hitters.

"He's been really sharp," Maddon said.

MEDICAL MATTERS: LHP J.P. Howell will throw another bullpen session today, incorporating curveballs into the 40-pitch workout, with the emphasis on how he feels over the final five.

"If the last five looks good, we can go up (in pitches) again," Howell said. "They want to see if my body can power through that."

Howell said he'll throw bullpen sessions Thursday and Sunday, with the hope that he'll be ready to start a rehab assignment soon after, with late May still the targeted return date.

OF Matt Joyce (elbow strain) said he's still a week away from being able to throw again and is still hoping for a late May return.

MISCELLANY: 2B Sean Rodriguez made his first outfield appearance for the Rays and went 2-for-3, his second multihit game of the season. … LF Carl Crawford was scheduled to get the day off but entered in the ninth as a defensive replacement.

Tampa Bay Rays' Evan Longoria takes advantage of rare Zack Greinke mistake 05/02/10 [Last modified: Sunday, May 2, 2010 10:30pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays late-night bullpen shuffle: Alvarado, Pruitt down; Kolarek up

    Blogs

    The Rays shuffled their bullpen again after Tuesday's game, sending down struggling LHP Jose Alvarado along with RHP Austin Pruitt to Triple-A Durham, and turning next to LHP Adam Kolarek, who will make his major-league debut at age 28,

  2. Rays journal: Alex Cobb brilliant, Alex Colome worrying in 10-inning victory (w/video)

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH — RHP Alex Cobb couldn't have been much better for the Rays on Tuesday, taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning while working eight solid. And Alex Colome couldn't have been much worse, blowing a two-run ninth-inning lead.

    Rays starter Alex Cobb carries a no-hitter into the seventh and pitches eight shutout innings in his best outing of the season.
  3. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Pirates game

    The Heater

    RHP Alex Cobb continues to look better and better, which could make the decision whether to trade him tougher. Cobb had a no-hitter through six and threw his biggest pitch with a 1-0 lead in the seventh, getting Josh Bell to roll into a double play.

  4. For good of the Rays, Tim Beckham should embrace move to second

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH — The acquisition of slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria said a lot of things, most notably that the Rays are serious about making in-season moves to bolster their chances to make the playoffs, with a reliever, or two, next on the shopping list.

    PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 27:  Tim Beckham #1 of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrates with teammates after scoring during the eighth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on June 27, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) 700011399
  5. Rays at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. Wednesday, Pittsburgh

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Pirates

    7:05, PNC Park, Pittsburgh

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Blake Snell #4 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)