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Sunday, Nov 18, 2018
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Rays notes: Guzman adds speed off the bench

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays found the speed guy they have been lacking this season.

Freddy Guzman, an outfielder who last appeared in a major-league game Oct. 3, 2009, at Tropicana Field while a member of the New York Yankees, was added to the roster before Tuesday's game against the Texas Rangers.

Guzman, 32, has played in 47 big-league games, including 19 when he entered as a pinch-runner.

The Rays do not have anyone who can come off the bench in the later innings and steal a base like Fernando Perez did during the 2008 postseason and Rich Thompson did last season. Guzman should provide that option.

"Freddy can really run," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "That's the thing we've been talking about, getting that kind of a guy here."

The Rays entered Tuesday's game with only 69 stolen bases in 104 attempts this season. They stole 134 in 178 attempts last year, when the roster included CF B.J. Upton (31) and INF Elliot Johnson (18).

Guzman has 587 stolen bases over his 11-year minor-league career. He stole 73 bases in 99 games for Ciudad del Carmen of the Mexican League this year.

Guzman signed a minor-league contract with the Rays on Aug. 30 and was working out at the team's complex in Port Charlotte. Since he was in the organization by Aug. 31, Guzman will be eligible for the postseason roster. The Rays did not announce the corresponding 40-man move.

Crain activated tonight?

Manager Joe Maddon said there is a 50/50 chance RHP Jesse Crain could be activated for tonight's game.

Maddon said Crain (right shoulder strain) reported the normal day-after-pitching soreness Tuesday, one day after throwing to hitters for the first time since he injured his shoulder in June while pitching for the White Sox.

“Everything appears to be in good shape moving forward,” Maddon said.

Peralta feeling 'wine'

Maddon gave RHP Joel Peralta a bottle of French wine before Monday's game with the words “Good happens” written on the bottle. The gift was in response to Sunday's game, when Peralta allowed four eighth-inning runs in a 6-4 loss in Minnesota.

“He showed me that he's got confidence in me. Still wants me out there,” Peralta said. “Makes me feel good.”

Peralta said he wanted to pitch as soon as possible to erase the feeling of losing Sunday's game.

“Until you go out there and do good, it won't go away,” Peralta said. “It was a really important game. That's what really (stinks). You know you get used to going out there and do well. I'm not having a great season, but still, whatever you do, that game is over. I really don't have a lot of bad games since I've been here. But the ones that really stick with you are the ones you gave away. Those are the ones that really hurt.”

Six pack

Monday's win was the 82nd of the year for the Rays and extended their streak of consecutive winnings seasons to six. That ties the Cardinals for the second-longest current streak in baseball. The Yankees lead with 20.

“Roll back the tape to when we first arrived here (in 2006) and how promising that appeared to be at that moment. Who really would have thunk it at that particular time?” Maddon said. “I think it puts us up there among the better franchises in baseball over the recent past. Don't underestimate the significance of six consecutive winning seasons. I think it's spectacular.”


The Rays will play an exhibition game on March 29 in Montgomery against the Double-A Biscuits. The team also renewed its partnership with Montgomery through 2018. ... Maddon is pushing RF Wil Myers for the Rookie of the Year award and SS Yunel Escobar for a Gold Glove.

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