ST. PETERSBURG -- Defense has been a sore subject for the Rays for most of the season, but since the beginning of the second half, the Rays have been better with the leather.
In the five games the Rays have played since the All-Star Game, they have committed two errors while successfully executing 12 double plays.
Extra drills and workouts have been conducted since the start of the second half, and the work appears to be paying off.
"Part of it is when you go out there and talk about things once in a while," Rays manager Joe Maddon said, explaining that he wanted his team to be able to go out and take some fielding aside from the normal drills that take place during batting practice when "balls aren't flying around like they are during batting practice."
"Throw from some more awkward positions based on all the different places we field balls based on our shifting," Maddon said. "So again, just be more realistic, be more game kind of situations. It's been working out well. Yesterday we had the pitchers out working with them on some plays with the pitchers and the middle infielders."
Entering Wednesday night's game, the Rays had committed 73 errors, which is the second highest total in the Major Leagues behind the Orioles (79). Particularly disturbing was the fact the Rays reached 73 errors in their 90th game, which matched their error total for the entire 2011 season.