Thursday, April 26, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay Rays news and notes: Ben Zobrist stars in wig-out; remembering that 70-win season

Rays at Red Sox

When/where: 7:10 tonight, Fenway Park, Boston

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

Probable pitchers

Rays:

RH Alex Cobb (9-9, 4.27)

Red Sox:

LH Jon Lester (9-13, 4.96)

On Cobb: He's pitching on eight days' rest as Rays seek to limit his career-high innings. Pitched well vs. the Sox last week in a loss, beat them May 25 at Fenway.

On Lester: He was roughed up in his one start vs. Rays this year (7 earned runs in 4 innings). He is 10-7, 4.29 in 21 starts overall, 6-6, 4.66 at Fenway.

Key matchups

Rays vs. Lester

E. Longoria 11-for-42, 2 HR

C. Peña 12-for-45, 6 HR

B.J. Upton 13-for-58, 3 HR

Red Sox vs. Cobb

J. Ellsbury 1-for-3

D. Pedroia 0-for-5

S. Podsednik 1-for-4

AL East

Team W L Pct. GB

New York 89 65 .578—

Baltimore88 67 .568 11/2

Tampa Bay 84 70 .545 5

Boston 69 86 .445 201/2

Toronto 68 86 .44221 *Late game not included

AL race for wild cards

Team W L Pct. GB

Baltimore 88 67 .568—

Oakland 87 67 .565—

Los Angeles 85 69 .552 2

Tampa Bay 84 70 .545 3

Det./CWS 82 72 .532 5**

** Tied for AL Central lead; GB is games behind second wild card

Looking back

The Red Sox honored their 2004 title team Tuesday. That was a memorable season for the Rays, too, as they reached 70 wins for the first time and then-manager Lou Piniella led a toast.

Wigged-out winner

SS Ben Zobrist was considered the standout of the wig-out. He stopped at Wig Villa in St. Petersburg for "a basic '80s rocker mullet," then McB's clothing store for a shirt but saw something that changed his plans. "A fish-net camouflage tank-top with No. 18," he said. "It was meant to be."

Comments
After 9-5 win, Rays head back to Boston a different team: Here’s why

After 9-5 win, Rays head back to Boston a different team: Here’s why

BALTIMORE — When the Rays last saw Boston, they were trudging out of Fenway Park after a sweep by the Red Sox that left them with a 1-8 record that marked a very low point in their young season.They'll be back at Fenway Friday night, and riding...
Updated: 28 minutes ago
So many kind words on Rays’ Jonny Venters, Matt Duffy close

So many kind words on Rays’ Jonny Venters, Matt Duffy close

BALTIMORE — LHP Jonny Venters ran through some pretty good emotions Wednesday night when after battling through a series of elbow injuries, he made it back into a major-league game for the first since 2012 — with a four-pitch out and a ga...
Updated: 1 hour ago
For starters: Rays at Orioles, looking to make it a six-pack of W’s

For starters: Rays at Orioles, looking to make it a six-pack of W’s

UPDATE, 6:05: LHP Jonny Venters said he was touched and a bit overwhelmed by all the people the reached out to congratulate him on his return to the majors for the first time since 2012. … Cash said Matt Duffy (right hamstring strain) is set to...
Updated: 6 hours ago
A look at the baseball world’s reaction to Venters comeback with Rays

A look at the baseball world’s reaction to Venters comeback with Rays

We tried to explain on Wednesday just how big a deal it was that the Rays were bringing LHP Jonny Venters back to the majors for the first time since his Braves days in 2012. And that it was not only a credit to how hard he worked and how long he per...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Rays morning after: Cobb still searching

Rays morning after: Cobb still searching

The 12 years he spent in the Rays organization, and the seven seasons he was around the big-league team, mean the world to Alex Cobb.But Wednesday he wasn't in the mood for memories.After a third straight outing for his new Orioles team ended badly, ...
Published: 04/26/18
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays’ 8-4 win over Orioles

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays’ 8-4 win over Orioles

Marc Topkin's takeaways from the Rays 8-4 win over the Orioles on Wednesday:* RHP Alex Cobb is going to be Alex Cobb again. But it seemed clear from watching him against his old Rays mates he's not quite ready yet, the result of signing in late March...
Published: 04/26/18
Don’t call it a comeback: Jonny Venters return to majors with Rays much more than that

Don’t call it a comeback: Jonny Venters return to majors with Rays much more than that

BALTIMORE — First, think of what you were doing on Oct. 5, 2012, and how much has happened in your own world since then.That will give you a time frame.Next, consider the challenge of rehabbing from two Tommy John surgeries and a third procedur...
Published: 04/25/18
Updated: 04/26/18
Rays Journal: An 8-4 win over ex-mate Cobb in a record way, Venters context, Duffy update

Rays Journal: An 8-4 win over ex-mate Cobb in a record way, Venters context, Duffy update

BALTIMORE – The Rays knew there would be mixed feelings for all parties with longtime former teammate Alex Cobb pitching against them in Orioles orange.Then they made sure he didn't enjoy it.The Rays knocked Cobb out in a messy fifth Wednesday,...
Published: 04/25/18
Updated: 04/26/18
Rays bring Jonny Venters back to majors

Rays bring Jonny Venters back to majors

UPDATE, 5:34: Venters, understandably, was humbled and happy to make it back. "It's hard to put into words how I'm feeling," he said. "It's been an emotional day."Venters was in uniform in the Durham clubhouse during rain delay when he got called in ...
Published: 04/25/18
For starters: Rays at Orioles, weather permitting (again)

For starters: Rays at Orioles, weather permitting (again)

The Rays and Orioles are going to try again to play tonight, though the tarp was on the field this afternoon and a light rain falling with heavier precipitation expected later.The Rays, who called up veteran reliever Jonny Venters this afternoon, are...
Published: 04/25/18