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Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014
Rays

Rays notes: Myers showing he belongs

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BOSTON Start with the hair. RF Wil Myers said he has not cut nor combed his hair since the beginning of the season.

And with the way the rookie is playing, he's not about to, either.

"It's got the look of being combed with the leg of a chair, there's no question about that," manager Joe Maddon said. "I've done that as a grown-up, also, so there's nothing wrong with that."

Myers entered Monday's game against the Red Sox as the major leagues' leading hitter since the All-Star break with a .467 average. He extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a first-inning single Monday.

"I feel pretty good right now," Myers said before the game. "Just seeing the ball, just getting some good pitches to hit, not chasing balls away. Just really concentrating on staying on my approach."

Myers also entered the game batting .367 with five home runs and 17 RBIs in 14 games played in American League East parks. Three of those home runs came at Yankee Stadium.

Four of those home runs and 11 of those RBIs came during this road trip, which began after the All-Star break.

"That helps a little bit just to relax," Myers said of the four-day break. "It doesn't feel like my debut anymore. It feels like I'm really playing baseball, so I think that helps a little bit, but it's more staying in my approach, not trying to get out of it."

When asked if he was surprised with Myers' production through the first 33 games of his big-league career, Maddon said he didn't know what to expect.

"My expectations, I think I was more concerned about what he was going to look like on defense and base running, I swear to god, because we had heard so much about all the hitting part of it, and how great that was going to be, and I was concerned more about these other things and these other things have been really good," Maddon said. "He probably exceeded expectations from me on defense and on the bases. But offensively, I had heard he's going to be pretty good."

Cobb update

RHP Alex Cobb is scheduled to throw a simulated game this afternoon in Port Charlotte. If all goes well, he will throw a bullpen Thursday and pitch in a minor league game Saturday.

Cobb is expected to throw today with a protective covering on the blister on his right index finger. It is that blister that has delayed his comeback from a concussion suffered June 15 when he was struck on the right side of his head by a line drive.

"We want to make sure he gets through this whole thing and then we'll revaluate after that," Maddon said.

Here comes Arizona

The Rays return to interleague play tonight when they begin a two-game series with visiting Arizona.

Born the same year as the Rays, the Diamondbacks are looking to return to the World Series by imitating the Rays.

UTL Kelly Johnson, who played for the Diamondbacks in 2010 and 2011, recalled watching video of the Rays executing the first-and-third bunt play. Johnson said he thinks Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson has a lot of respect for Maddon and the way the Rays play.

"I think it's safe to say they tried to take a little bit of a page out of the book here as well as some other places to piece together what they want to be over there," Johnson said.

Heart and hustle

OF Sam Fuld will receive the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association's Heart and Hustle Award before tonight's game with the Diamondbacks at Tropicana Field.

Fuld, who received the award in part for his work with young athletes with Type 1 Diabetes, is one of 30 finalists for the MLBPAA national award.

The past winners are David Eckstein (2005), Craig Biggio (2006, 2007), Grady Sizemore (2008), Albert Pujols (2009), Roy Halladay (2010), Torii Hunter (2011), and Mike Trout (2012).

"Glancing at the previous winners from us and other teams from the last couple years I'm in really good company, so that alone, I think, means a lot to me," Fuld said. "And given what the award represents, I take a lot of pride in it."

Noteworthy

The Rays are a major league-best 9-1 in interleague play and bring an eight-game winning streak into tonight's game. They are 5-0 at home. The Rays are averaging a major league-high 6.1 runs per game in interleague play. . Approximately 7,000 $2 tickets for kids remain for Wednesday's game. Fans can buy up to three kids tickets with the purchase of one full price ticket at raysbaseball.com. . Parking is also free Wednesday on team-operated lots for vehicles with at least four passengers.

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