CLEVELAND — With Yandy Diaz the latest player sidelined by injury, the Rays need some others to step up.
Manager Kevin Cash would like to see shortstop Willy Adames be one of those guys, and Thursday’s three-hit, sharp-defense game was a good sign.
"Willy had a great game,'' Cash said after the 7-2 win. "A lot of energy. Knocked the cover off the ball a couple times. Made some really good plays, clean plays.
"I told him, it's kind of his time to go. We're banged up, we're missing some key guys here. Go ahead if you want and carry us for a little while.''
Adames, whose sophomore season has been markedly inconsistent, felt pretty good about his performance, which included his third homer in a 20-at-bat span, and left him with a .316 average in May and a .934 OPS. Overall, Adames is hitting .245 with a .710 OPS.
"I was happy I had that game,'' he said. "I needed a game like that just to get my feeling back, get my timing right. I'm just happy we got the win.''
Adames was a triple shy of a cycle, though he said he didn’t know it until teammate Andrew Velazquez told him after what turned out to be his last at-bat, a fly to right in the seventh.
"I was just trying to get a hit,'' he said. "I didn’t realize it.''
Adames’ play in the field has been a bit inconsistent as well, but after seeing him play well Thursday, Cash had an idea about maintaining that level:
Get a poster of Indians star shortstop Francisco Lindor to bring along to other games.
"Cashy told me I was playing that good because Lindor was here,'' Adames said. "He said he was going to ask Lindor to give him a poster so he can put it up at home so I can play defense that way over there, too.''