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Thursday, Sep 18, 2014
Rays

Rays notes: Longoria reaches team records for doubles, RBIs

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— Tampa Bay Rays 3B Evan Longoria moved to the top of two more team records Sunday when he caught and passed Carl Crawford for the franchise mark in doubles and tied Crawford for the franchise lead in RBIs during the 5-3 win against the Twins.

“I was wondering why the balls were thrown in the dugout,” manager Joe Maddon said.

Longoria has 216 doubles and is tied with Crawford with 592 RBIs.

“I’m proud to be there and amongst good company,” Longoria said. “Carl was a great ambassador for the Rays and is one of the guys that this franchise will always remember. I’m pretty much here for the rest of my career, so at some point I expected to be there. (Sunday) being the day, proud day.”

Archer finds a way

RHP Chris Archer earned his sixth win of the season and improved to 3-0 against the Twins on Sunday after he allowed three runs (one earned) in the victory.

Archer said he did not have his best slider but was able to pitch out of jams in the fifth inning and limit the damage to two runs in the sixth after he allowed the first two batters to reach in both innings.

“I think (Sunday) was like an average day as far as I go,” Archer said. “I didn’t have my wipeout slider consistently, but I threw some change-ups to counteract my slider not being quite where I wanted it to be. And at times I needed to make pitches, I did with my fastball.

“There are games where you go seven and give up no runs, go deeper than that and not give up runs. I felt pretty good because there were situations where I needed to make pitches, and for the most part I did.”

Archer was particularly pleased with his work in the fifth when he faced Brian Dozier with runners on second and third and one out.

“I didn’t try to throw the nastiest fastballs and the nastiest sliders. I stayed within my realm, stayed within myself and the outcome was positive,” he said. “So it’s good going into my next start or going into the future, there’s going to be similar situations.”

Loney getting toasty

James Loney singled home the first two runs of the game and had another single in the third inning that helped the Rays take a 3-1 lead. He had seven hits in 12 at-bats during the series and improved his career average to .343 against the Twins.

“Right now he’s looking real good,” Maddon said.

Balfour unsteady again

RHP Grant Balfour was tipped off that he was tipping pitches, so he spent time during the All-Star break working on his delivery.

“I took care of it,” he said before the game. “Everything is fine.”

Balfour, who pitched a scoreless inning Friday, retired the first batter he faced during the ninth inning Sunday, walked the next two and was replaced by rookie RHP Kirby Yates.

“That’s a spot Grant should be able to handle,” Maddon said. “The first pitch was not really good, but he gets a fly ball out and I’m OK. But then a four-pitch walk and the walk to Sammy (Fuld), walk-walk. When you’re missing right there, just felt we had to do that.”

Noteworthy

RHP Jeremy Hellickson pitched five innings Sunday for Class A Charlotte at Clearwater. He allowed seven hits, four runs (two earned), walked one and struck out two. He could rejoin the rotation as early as Friday when the Rays begin a three-game series with the visiting Red Sox. ... Desmond Jennings has seven doubles in his past 11 road games. ... Ben Zobrist started in left field, right field and at second base during the series. ... The Rays went 4-2 against the Twins this season. ... Fuld has hit safely in 13 of his 15 games this month. He’s batting .432 with a .536 on-base percentage in July.

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