Andriese lacks command in loss to Astros

Rays right-hander allows three runs over five frames in 10-inning defeat

Andriese lacks command in loss to Astros

ST. PETERSBURG -- With a banged-up bullpen lacking a left-handed option, the Rays talked about the importance of having starters work deeper into games before Sunday's series finale vs. the Astros.

Spotted a four-run advantage in the first inning against the Astros, Matt Andriese seemed poised early on to provide that needed assistance. But after five innings -- and 88 pitches -- the right-hander's afternoon was done in what ended in a 6-4 Rays loss in 10 innings at Tropicana Field.

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Jeff Odom is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rays unable to hold early lead vs. Astros

Rays unable to hold early lead vs. Astros

ST. PETERSBURG -- Veteran Astros catcher Brian McCann opened Houston's three-game series Friday against the Rays by scoring what turned out to be the winning run. On Sunday, he came through again -- this time with the bat.

McCann's single to shallow right field scored Carlos Beltran from third base in the 10th inning to lift the Astros to a 6-4 come-from-behind victory over Tampa Bay at Tropicana Field.

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Jeff Odom is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Rays on Sunday.

Scott Butherus is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Astros on Sunday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Archer prepared to face Jones, Orioles

Archer prepared to face Jones, Orioles

Over the course of his six-year big league career, Rays ace Chris Archer has grown close to Orioles star Adam Jones.

Aside from their yearly battles as divisional foes in the American League East, Archer and Jones have worked together off the field with the Boys & Girls Club of America. They were teammates in the 2015 All-Star Game and in March during Team USA's run to its first World Baseball Classic title in four tries, where Archer got an opportunity to see up-close just how unique of a leader Jones can be in the clubhouse.

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Jeff Odom is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rays place Hunter on DL, promote righty Hu

Veteran's calf strain opens door for pitcher, who becomes club's first Taiwan-born player

Rays place Hunter on DL, promote righty Hu

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays' bullpen took yet another injury blow on Sunday when veteran right-hander Tommy Hunter was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a right calf strain.

But Hunter's misfortune in becoming the 11th Tampa Bay player -- and fifth reliever -- on the DL after being forced out of Saturday's 6-3 victory over Houston turned into a whirlwind moment for 23-year-old righty Chih-Wei Hu, who earned his first promotion to the Majors from Triple-A Durham.

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Jeff Odom is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Four-run 6th gives Rays 4th win in last 5

Four-run 6th gives Rays 4th win in last 5

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays rallied for four runs in the sixth inning to snap the Astros' three-game winning streak in a 6-3 victory at Tropicana Field on Saturday. Tampa Bay has won four of its last five games.

After avoiding trouble all night, the Rays finally got to Astros starter Charlie Morton in the sixth. Steven Souza Jr. led off the inning with a double to center. Logan Morrison walked and Derek Norris singled to center to load the bases with no outs and end Morton's night. Astros reliever Will Harris entered and allowed back-to-back RBI singles to Shane Peterson and Tim Beckham that put the Rays ahead.

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J. Scott Butherus is a contributor to MLB.com that covered the Astros on Friday.

Corey Long is a contributor to MLB.com that covered the Rays on Friday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Souza jumps trying to reach base on strikeout

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Souza jumps trying to reach base on strikeout

Strikeouts are never exactly elegant for the hitter. However, Steven Souza Jr. took the subsequent awkwardness to the next level during the Rays' 6-3 win over the Astros on Saturday.

Souza entered his at-bat in the seventh inning in the middle of a 2-for-4 day, fresh off a single and a double in his previous two plate appearances. Reliever James Hoyt got the better of Souza on this occasion though, causing him to wave over a pitch in the dirt. The ball got away from catcher Evan Gattis though, so Souza made a, shall we say, "mixed" attempt to make it first base.

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Cash wants longer outings from lefty Snell

Southpaw throws five-plus innings in win on Saturday vs. Astros

Cash wants longer outings from lefty Snell

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Rays manager Kevin Cash has been generally pleased with what he's seen from Blake Snell this season, but he wants to see the young left-hander go deeper into starts.

Snell went five-plus innings in the Rays' 6-3 win, allowing three runs on three hits while walking five and striking out four. His longest start of his four this season is 6 2/3 innings, coming on April 6. In his last three outings, though, he's thrown a combined 14 2/3 innings, with the longest being his outing on Saturday vs. the Astros.

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Adames fuels Durham's doubleheader sweep

Adames fuels Durham's doubleheader sweep

Clint Frazier has had Yankees fans abuzz since New York traded for him last July, but he hadn't gotten off to the hottest start to the 2017 season at the plate. As of Saturday, that looks like it might be changing.

One of the team's two uber-prospects along with shortstop Gleyber Torres, Frazier went 2-for-3 with a solo home run for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, accounting for the only offense in the RailRiders' 1-0 win over the Indianapolis Indians.

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David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cash to get creative without southpaw in 'pen

Cedeno placed on disabled list Friday; Farquhar to be primary arm vs. lefties

Cash to get creative without southpaw in 'pen

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays will be without a left hander in the bullpen for the first time since April 24, 2015, after they placed Xavier Cedeno on the 10-day DL with forearm tightness, retroactive to April 18.

Rays manager Kevin Cash said he will have to be creative to get through the dilemma.

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Corey Long is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kiermaier makes unreal grab despite illness

Outfielder feels sick during game vs. Houston, leaves after fifth

Kiermaier makes unreal grab despite illness

ST. PETERSBURG -- The legend of Kevin Kiermaier continues.

Two nights after a rare defensive hiccup against Detroit, in which he misplayed a seemingly routine line drive to center field that allowed the Tigers to score three runs late, the Rays' two-time American League Gold Glove Award-winner made up for it in a big way in Friday night's 6-3 loss against the Astros at Tropicana Field.

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Jeff Odom is a contributor to MLB.com based in St. Petersburg. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

HRs, sweet catch not enough for Cobb, Rays

HRs, sweet catch not enough for Cobb, Rays

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays brought the big bats to open their three-game series against the Astros on Friday night, but in the end, Houston made the little things matter the most.

George Springer knocked in the go-ahead run on a bases-loaded fielder's choice in the seventh inning as the Astros rallied from a two-run deficit. Houston's bullpen shut down Tampa Bay's offense from there in a 6-3, come-from-behind victory at Tropicana Field.

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Jeff Odom is a contributor to MLB.com based in St. Petersburg who covered the Rays Friday.

J. Scott Butherus is a contributor to MLB.com based in St. Petersburg who covered the Astros Friday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cedeno placed on DL with forearm tightness

Cedeno placed on DL with forearm tightness

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays placed left-handed reliever Xavier Cedeno on the 10-day disabled list with forearm tightness following their 6-3 defeat against the Astros on Friday night.

Tampa Bay recalled righty Ryan Garton from Triple-A Durham to fill Cedeno's spot. With Cedeno out, the Rays are now without any left-handed options in their bullpen for the time being.

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Jeff Odom is a contributor to MLB.com based in St. Petersburg. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Dickerson leads off with massive home run

Dickerson leads off with massive home run

ST. PETERSBURG -- Corey Dickerson's leadoff homer to give the Rays a first-inning advantage in Friday night's 6-3 loss against the Astros wasn't just loud -- it carried far.

Really far.

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Jeff Odom is a contributor to MLB.com based in St. Petersburg. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Smith, Odorizzi improving with hamstrings

Outfielder worked out before Friday's game; Righty long-tossed

Smith, Odorizzi improving with hamstrings

ST. PETERSBURG -- Rays outfielder Mallex Smith continued his progression from a right hamstring strain, participating in a full on-field workout before Friday's game against the Astros.

Following a re-evaluation, the next step for the 23-year-old speedster will be a Minor League rehab assignment, manager Kevin Cash said. Smith, who is batting .273 with three stolen bases in eight games, was removed from Tampa Bay's loss at the Yankees on April 13 after tweaking the hamstring while on the basepaths and placed on the 10-day disabled list.

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Jeff Odom is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ramirez pitches Rays to sweep of Tigers

Ramirez pitches Rays to sweep of Tigers

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Right-hander Erasmo Ramirez, who had only started one game in his last 70 appearances, was called upon Thursday afternoon to pull the Rays out of a tough situation. He delivered.

Ramirez's spot start turned into a gem. He allowed just two hits in five efficient innings while taking advantage of some early support from his offense and late support from his bullpen in the Rays' 8-1 victory against the Tigers at Tropicana Field, completing the Rays' first sweep of the Tigers since 2010.

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Joey Johnston and J. Scott Butherus are contributors to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Souza on the march in young season

Outfielder near top of AL in several hitting categories

Souza on the march in young season

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- He thinks too much. He overanalyzes everything. That's the observation of Rays right fielder Steven Souza Jr. -- on himself.

"I've put a lot of pressure on myself through the years,'' Souza said. "I thank God right now for the ability to just play free."

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Joey Johnston is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Erasmo's rubber arm invaluable for Rays

Erasmo's rubber arm invaluable for Rays

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Rays right-hander Erasmo Ramirez was mostly a long reliever in 2016, a role he continued through much of this month. But on Thursday afternoon, he was a spot starter, called upon to step in for the injured Jake Odorizzi and an overtaxed bullpen.

Mission accomplished.

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Joey Johnston is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sanchez connects on first home run

Sanchez connects on first home run

Make it three straight scoreless starts for Class A Advanced Buies Creek's Franklin Perez.

The Astros' No. 6 prospect extended his season-opening scoreless innings streak to 14 1/3 on Thursday, tossing five dominant frames against a loaded Carolina offense. He gave up two hits, struck out seven and induced six ground-ball outs as Buies Creek routed the Mudcats, 14-1.

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

A Tiger catches toe, and Rays walk off

A Tiger catches toe, and Rays walk off

ST. PETERSBURG -- The scene at the end of Wednesday night's Rays-Tigers contest told two tales.

On one part of Tropicana Field's infield, the Rays celebrated a walk-off 8-7 win. Closer to second base, the Tigers gathered around fallen shortstop Jose Iglesias, who got roughed up on the final play.

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Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rays walk off for wild win vs. Tigers

Rays walk off for wild win vs. Tigers

ST. PETERSBURG -- Tampa Bay scored twice in the bottom of the ninth to take an 8-7 win over Detroit, capping a topsy-turvy battle Wednesday night at Tropicana Field.

Both runs scored on the final play of the game when Logan Morrison appeared to hit into a bases-loaded double play, but Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias tripped on second base and threw wild to first, allowing Kevin Kiermaier and Peter Bourjos to score the tying and winning runs to give the Rays the walk-off.

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Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.

J. Scott Butherus is a contributor to MLB.com based in St. Petersburg.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Slimmer Dickerson shows spring back in step

Slimmer Dickerson shows spring back in step

ST. PETERSBURG -- Corey Dickerson showed up at Spring Training 25 pounds lighter. Though it's early in the season, the Rays outfielder/DH looks like a different player on the basepaths and when playing the field.

Dickerson, who weighed 224 pounds after three trips to the disabled list while playing for the Rockies in 2015, remembered seeing a video of himself rounding the bases after hitting a home run last season. What he saw wasn't pleasing.

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Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Andriese, Beckham come up big vs. Tigers

Andriese, Beckham come up big vs. Tigers

ST. PETERSBURG -- Matt Andriese overcame a first-inning mistake en route to a quality start, and Tim Beckham led the offense with his second home run in three games as the Rays snapped a three-game losing streak with a 5-1 win over Detroit on Tuesday night at Tropicana Field.

"Nice to be back home, I guess," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "We needed a win today. Matt Andriese set the tone. He gave up the early home run, but it didn't faze him and didn't rattle him. He threw some really good breaking balls. He got a lot of changeups under the zone for swing-and-miss. He continued to make pitches."

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Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.

J. Scott Butherus is a contributor to MLB.com based in St. Petersburg.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tennis star serves up first pitch at Rays' game

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Tennis star serves up first pitch at Rays' game

Celebrities of all stripes get invited to throw out the first pitch at a Major League game, from musicians to politicians to athletes in other sports. Most of the time, they leave their day jobs behind when they step onto the diamond. Coco Vandeweghe, however, isn't most celebrities.

She's a tennis star -- currently the 24th-ranked player in the world -- so when she was asked to throw out the first pitch ahead of the Rays' win over the Tigers on Wednesday, she decided she'd serve it instead.

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Beckham makes his case to stick at shortstop

Beckham makes his case to stick at shortstop

ST. PETERSBURG -- Good Major League teams have competition and depth at different positions.

Tim Beckham is stating his case for making the decision a hard one for the Rays once shortstop Matt Duffy returns from rehab assignment sometime in the coming weeks.

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Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Boldt has career night, drives in six

Boldt has career night, drives in six

Any lingering concerns regarding Lewis Brinson's health were quashed by his performance on Tuesday night. Playing in just his fifth game since returning from a dislocated pinky finger, the Brewers' No. 1 prospect recorded four hits, including his second home run, and five RBIs to pace Triple-A Colorado Springs in a 14-4 win over Memphis.

Brinson, ranked 16th on MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list, flied out in his first at-bat before giving the Sky Sox the lead with a run-scoring double in the bottom of the second inning. He connected on a three-run home run to left field off of Redbirds right-hander Chris Ellis (Cardinals' No. 28 prospect) in the following frame and then tacked on a pair of singles in the seventh and eighth innings to finish 4-for-6 at the plate.

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Duffy, Rasmus toiling away at rehab work

Duffy, Rasmus toiling away at rehab work

ST. PETERSBURG -- Matt Duffy and Colby Rasmus were busy prior to Tuesday night's game, each at varying stages of their rehabs, and each seemingly making progress.

The pair's return will bolster the Rays' outlook at shortstop and left field, respectively.

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Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Miscue proves costly as Rays drop finale

Miscue proves costly as Rays drop finale

BOSTON -- To preserve knuckleballer Steven Wright's win on Patriots' Day, the Red Sox's relief crew needed to be just about spotless.

And it turns out it was.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Craig Forde is a contributor to MLB.com based in Boston and covered the Rays on Monday.

Smith begins rehab work with light running

Smith begins rehab work with light running

BOSTON -- As thousands of runners were lining up some 26 miles from Fenway Park for the start of the 121st Boston Marathon on Monday, the Rays' Mallex Smith was doing a little running of his own inside the ballpark.

Placed on the 10-day disabled list last Friday with a right hamstring strain suffered during a rundown on Thursday vs. the Yankees, the speedy outfielder began taking the first steps toward a return.

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Craig Forde is a contributor to MLB.com based in Boston and covered the Rays on Monday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.