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Thursday, Aug 21, 2014

Rays Report

A baseball blog by Roger Mooney

Roger Mooney covers the Tampa Bay Rays for The Tampa Tribune and TBO.com. He has covered the Rays since their first season in 1998, including 11 years for the Bradenton Herald.

Rays aim for .500, to pick up ground in race

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By Roger Mooney

ST. PETERSBURG – The Rays begin an important six-game homestand tonight that features two of the five teams they are chasing for an AL Wild Card spot – the Yankees and Tigers.

Up first are the AL East rivals Yankees.

Desmond Jennings returns to the Rays lineup after missing the last two games with a sore left shoulder sustained while running into the wall Tuesday night in Arlington.

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Cubs welcome ‘Devil’ Rays for rare Wrigley appearance

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By Roger Mooney

CHICAGO — There will be a lot of blue in the Wrigley Field stands today and it won’t be all Cubs blue. There is a strong showing of Rays fans as their team makes its first trip to the Friendly Confines since the 2003 season.

They were known as the Devil Rays then, and it was a Devil Rays flag that greeted fans outside Wrigley Field this morning. The flag was replaced by a Cubs flag once Cubs officials saw the error on Twitter.

The Rays hope to continue the momentum generated Wednesday in their 7-3 victory at Oakland that avoided a three-game sweep. They are 1-2 during this 10-game, three-city trip.

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Hellickson aims to help Rays end slide

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By Roger Mooney

OAKLAND — The Rays will try to snap a three-game losing streak and avoid a sweep to the A’s this afternoon during the finale of this series at O.Co Coliseum.

Jeremy Hellickson makes his fourth start of the season. He will be opposed by Sonny Gray, the American League pitcher of the month in both April and July.

“We really got to bear down today and walk away with this game somehow,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said.

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Price slated to start matinee as deadline nears

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By Roger Mooney

ST. PETERSBURG — David Price starts this afternoon against the Milwaukee Brewers in a “camp day” matinee. Will it be his last start with the Tampa Bay Rays? We’ll know by 4 p.m. Thursday, the deadline for the non-waiver trading period.

Speculation was if Price were to get scratched from today’s start, then the Rays were deep into trade negotiations. If he pitches, he’s staying.

That is not necessarily the case, but it certainly is not a bad sign.

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Win would make Rays part of history

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By Roger Mooney

ST. PETERSBURG – The Rays are looking to become only the sixth team in the last 25 years to have a 10-game losing streak and a 10-game winning streak in the same season this afternoon. All it will take is another win.

The Rays, winners of nine straight, will send Chris Archer to the mound as they try to sweep the Red Sox and creep closer to a playoff spot.

They begin the day 3.5 games out of the final Wild Card spot and 6.5 games behind the first place Orioles in the AL East.

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Cobb aiming to help Rays sweep road trip

Published:   |   Updated: July 23, 2014 at 04:06 PM
By Roger Mooney

— The Rays will try to sweep this five-game road trip tonight against the Cardinals at Busch Stadium.

The Rays started the trip with three wins against the Twins and a victory Tuesday night against the Cardinals, when local product Jake Odorizzi out-pitched all-star Adam Wainwright.

A win and the Rays will go undefeated during a road trip of at least two cities for the first time in team history.

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Rays seek to sweep Twins, send Archer to mound

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By Roger Mooney

MINNEAPOLIS – The Rays will try to keep their momentum going as they go for the sweep this afternoon against the Twins at Target Field.

The Rays (46-53) have won four straight and 13 of their last 17. They begin the day 8 ½ games out of first place in the AL East and seven games back of the Mariners, who hold the second Wild Card spot.

Chris Archer, who has not allowed a run in two career starts against the Twins, is looking for his sixth win of the season. He will be opposed by right-hander Kevin Correia.

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Cobb, Rays kick off second half against Twins

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By Roger Mooney

MINNEAPOLIS – The Rays return to action tonight at Target Field after the four-day All-Star Break to open a three-game series with the Twins.

The Rays remain one percentage point ahead of the last-place Red Sox in the AL East and sit 9 ½ games behind the first-place Orioles.

Alex Cobb (4-6, 4.14) starts tonight for the Rays against Kyle Gibson (8-7, 3.92).

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Hellickson sent down to AA to get work in

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By Roger Mooney

ST. PETERSBURG – The final day before the All-Star Break began with news that RHP Jeremy Hellickson has been optioned to Double A Montgomery for the purpose of giving him work during the break.

Hellickson will start Monday for the Biscuits then start Sunday in Port Charlotte for Class A Charlotte. He said he will rejoin the Rays when they return from the first road trip of the second half.

This makes sense because Hellickson has made just one start since returning from the disabled list after missing more than the first three months of the season after having elbow surgery in late January. The last thing he needs is to not pitch.

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Myers has cast removed

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By Roger Mooney

ST. PETERSBURG -- RF Wil Myers had his cast removed from his tight wrist and has been cleared to begin baseball activities.

Myers said his wrist, which he fractured May 31 in Boston, is sore from the inactivity. He said he does not know the time table for his return.

The Rays begin a three-game series tonight against the visiting Blue Jays that will take them into the All -Star Break.

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