Rays' Longoria has hits in career-best seven straight at-bats

Evan Longoria, jogging past Russell Martin to score on Logan Forsythe’s double in the first inning, goes 3-for-3 with a walk.
Evan Longoria, jogging past Russell Martin to score on Logan Forsythe’s double in the first inning, goes 3-for-3 with a walk.
Published April 27, 2015

ST. PETERSBURG — Rays 3B Evan Longoria followed up Saturday's 4-for-4 night with another perfect stat line Sunday.

Longoria singled in his first three at-bats, extending his career high to seven consecutive hits. That's one shy of the club record, shared by Ty Wigginton (July 2007) and Aubrey Huff (September 2004).

"Sometimes, when you get into a little bit of a groove, the game seems to slow itself down a little bit," Longoria said. "A week ago, even 90 mph fastballs seemed like they were 100 mph. For whatever reason, you start seeing the ball better. I feel like you have a little bit more time to react."

Longoria said that because he's seeing the ball better, he's holding off on close pitches. In his only plate appearance without a hit Sunday, he walked. By reaching base in eight consecutive plate appearances, he's one shy of B.J. (now Melvin) Upton's club record set in September 2011.

Longoria's only miscue came in the fifth, when he blasted a shot off the leftfield wall but was thrown out trying to stretch a single.

"I've got the Little League mentality going right now," Longoria said. "I'm just running until I get tagged."

GUYER LEADS OFF: LF Brandon Guyer also had a career day, with his seventh career home run. His four RBIs were the most he has ever had, and he became the club's first leadoff hitter with that many since Ben Zobrist on April 13, 2014.

"This whole season I thought I haven't been seeing the ball that great," said Guyer, who was 2-for-4. "Just tried to get my pitch to hit and not miss it, which I have been doing that all year. I was just glad I was able to capitalize and help the team out early."

Manager Kevin Cash said he has been impressed with Guyer's performance, and he will likely continue to lead off against lefties.

YANKEES REMATCH: RHP Nathan Karns will get a second crack at the Yankees' lineup today. In his previous start against New York, he gave up two home runs — including a 471-foot blast from Alex Rodriguez that was the longest home run in the majors this season.

But Karns kept the Rays close in those five innings and will try to build on that in today's start.

"I have to be efficient with my pitches," Karns said. "They took me deep in a lot of counts. That's where I kind of got in trouble."

MEDICAL MATTERS: OF Desmond Jennings didn't start Sunday, a day after leaving the game with soreness in his left knee — the same one that kept him out of the final 28 games of last season. Jennings is listed as day to day.

"I don't think we anticipate anything," Cash said. "We'll keep evaluating and see when he's ready to go."

RHP Alex Colome (pneumonia) lasted six innings and threw 63 pitches (45 strikes) in a rehab start for Triple-A Durham. He allowed four hits and one earned run with six strikeouts and no walks. Colome could join the Rays' pitching staff later this week.

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INF Nick Franklin (left oblique strain) said he will likely begin a rehab assignment this week in Port Charlotte.

OUTDOORS AT LAST: In a scheduling quirk, today's matchup in New York marks the Rays' first outdoor game of the season. The Rays have spent the previous 19 games indoors at Tropicana Field, Marlins Park in Miami and the Rogers Centre in Toronto.

"Looking forward to wearing some sunglasses during batting practice," Cash said.

MISCELLANY: 1B Allan Dykstra cleared waivers and has been outrighted off the 40-man roster. He's scheduled to rejoin Durham today.