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Thursday, Oct 02, 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.

Maddon talks about his future as Rays prepare for final game

Published:   |   Updated: September 28, 2014 at 01:06 PM
By Roger Mooney

CLEVELAND – The Tampa Bay Rays end a disappointing season this afternoon against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field, which was the site of one of the biggest wins in Rays history — last year’s Wild Card game.

Alex Cobb, who pitched the Rays to a victory that night, will pitch the season finale this afternoon.

Earlier today, Rays manger Joe Maddon talked about his future with the team. He will enter the final year of his contract next season and said he hopes to return. He also said he hopes to manage for 10 more seasons.

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DeJesus returns to Rays after hand fracture

Published:
By Roger Mooney

ST. PETERSBURG – OF David DeJesus returns to the team today after missing 64 games with a left hand fracture. He will DH this afternoon as the Rays and Red Sox finish this four-game series with a Labor Day matinee.

CF Desmond Jennings will miss his fourth game with a bruised right knee. Manager Joe Maddon said he expects Jennings to play during the upcoming series with the Blue Jays, which begins Tuesday. Of course, Maddon said Saturday he expected Jennings to return to the lineup Sunday.

The Rays are looking for a split in the series after being shutout 3-0 on Sunday.

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Longoria back at 3B as Rays try to right ship

Published:   |   Updated: August 28, 2014 at 06:33 AM
By Roger Mooney

BALTIMORE – The Rays will try to get it done tonight with Drew Smyly on the mound in the third game of this four-game series with the Orioles.

The Rays dropped the first two games when both starting pitchers failed to get past four innings and the offense came up short in every big situation.

Evan Longoria returns to third base after being relegated to DH the past two nights because of a sore right forearm. Rays manager Joe Maddon said Longoria’s arm isn’t 100 percent, but it’s well enough to get him back on the field.

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Jake Odorizzi starting tonight for Rays in Baltimore

Published:
By Roger Mooney

BALTIMORE – Rays manager Joe Maddon spoke with SS Yunel Escobar this afternoon to let Escobar know how the waiver process worked and to alleviate any fear Escobar had of being traded to the A’s.

The A’s claimed Escobar off waives yesterday and had until 1 p.m. Tuesday to work a trade with the Rays. Maddon said Escobar will not be traded.

Maddon said he could tell Escobar was worried about being traded, and Maddon felt he needed to calm his emotional shortstop.

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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

Published:
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

Published:
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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