Found July 06, 2013 on Fox Sports Florida:
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. James Loney is often a man of few words. He has become one of the Tampa Bay Rays most dependable infield gloves, and since an offensive outbreak in late April that has carried through most of the season, his hitting skill has become an asset for his team as well. Just do not expect deep self-reflection about his personal achievements, such as when he was asked about extending his career-high hitting streak to 16 games Friday. Yeah, I think about it every day, said Loney, his sarcasm obvious, after the Rays 8-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox at Tropicana Field. The sustained success might not cross his mind, but Loneys impact has been felt since he began this streak June 19 in a victory against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. He passed his previous career-high hitting streak of 15 games, set from March 31-April 16, 2008, when he played for the Los Angeles Dodgers. On Friday, Loney smacked a single to right field off right-hander Dylan Axelrod in the first inning to extend the streak, part of his 2-for-4 showing with one RBI that raised his batting average to a team-high .320. The moment was another example of what the first baseman gives the Rays: A versatile hitter who is capable of working all areas of the field to produce, to give Tampa Bay another threat. Theres a lot of bounce in his step, even though he has played a lot, Rays manager Joe Maddon said. You see it. Hes using the whole field. For the most part, balls are being sprayed all over the place, and thats when hes really good. Lately, Loney has been consistently good. The 16-game hitting streak is tied for the longest by a Rays player this season, matching Evan Longorias run from May 6-22. Perhaps most impressively, the streak started after a season-long, six-game dry spell. Before starting this run, Loney went 0 for 20. His average has risen from .296 to its current mark, and as long as he continues to do what works for him, there is reason to think more productive nights will happen time and time again. Ive felt fine all year, Loney said. Im just getting some hits, I guess. Its a fun thing. Its one of those things people pay attention to. Its a fun time. How long can the fun last? It is hard to see Loney slowing soon, especially against vulnerable pitching ahead as the Rays work toward the All-Star break against teams with records below .500. He has had seven multiple-hit games in the streak, including three contests with three hits each. Sometimes, few words are necessary to describe comfort, to describe a roll that adds depth to his value. Yes, the equation can be simple: See the ball, track it and feel comfortable swinging away. He sees the ball and hits the ball, and he finds his spots, Rays catcher Jose Molina said. Hes being aggressive, and hes just putting a good swing on it. That has been easy to see in the past two weeks. He offers action more than explanation. In his case, few words do the job. You can follow Andrew Astleford on Twitter @aastleford or email him at aastleford@gmail.com.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Ben Zobrist picked to rep Rays in 2013 All-Star Game

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. Tampa Bay Rays infielder Ben Zobrist was named Saturday as a American League team reserve for the All-Star Game, to be played July 16 at Citi Field. This is Zobrists second selection to the All-Star Game, his first coming in 2009. I was shocked, Zobrist said in a statement released before the Rays game against the Chicago White Sox at Tropicana Field. I...

Ben Zobrist surprised, honored by All-Star reserve selection

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. Ben Zobrist received a fine surprise from his bosses Saturday at Tropicana Field, one that left him shocked and grateful. The Tampa Bay Rays infielderoutfielder arrived for another day of work without a thought that he could be named to the All-Star Game. Here is how oblivious he appeared to the possibility: He had forgotten that rosters were to be announced...

Tampa Bay Rays Wear ‘Throwback’ Hats Honoring Decade When Team Didn’t Exist (Photo)

The Rays clubhouse is a mere 15 years old — that means it is young enough to understand the “Throwback Thursday” fad that has dominated social media. Well, it may not be Thursday, but the Tampa Bay boys are going retro. The Rays are throwing it back with the team’s ’70s-style caps in Saturday’s game against the White Sox. Or, well, what they would have looked like if...

Rays' Alex Cobb will throw first bullpen today since being hit in the head

The Tampa Bay Rays got some good news regarding pitcher Alex Cobb.  He has been cleared to throw his first bullpen session since suffering a concussion as a result of a frightening line drive off his head.  The incident happened on June 15th, and was as scary as they come.  Cobb was taken off on a stretcher, but he did not suffer any fractures and has made a speedy recovery....

Jeremy Hellickson wins 4th straight as Rays smash ChiSox

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Jeremy Hellickson won his fourth consecutive start, Jose Molina had a two-run homer during a five-run second inning, and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Chicago White Sox 8-3 on Friday night. Hellickson (8-3) gave up one run, six hits and struck out nine in seven innings, helping the Rays win for the sixth time in seven games. The right-hander was coming...

Rays 8, White Sox 3

Jeremy Hellickson and the Tampa Bay offense had another productive night. Hellickson won his fourth consecutive start, Jose Molina had a two-run homer during a five-run second inning, and the Rays beat the Chicago White Sox 8-3 on Friday night. ''I felt the same when things were going bad,'' Hellickson said. ''It's just a matter of keeping the ball down...

Rays embrace theoretical retro look against White Sox

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. Ever wonder what the Tampa Bay Rays would have looked like in 1979? Saturday night was a chance to find out. A game between the Rays and Chicago White Sox was Turn Back the Clock Night at Tropicana Field, where both teams paid tribute to the 1970s. The Rays, of course, played their first season as the Devil Rays in 1998, 19 years after the date their throwback...

Moore (12-3) pitches Ray past Chisox

Despite being snubbed when All-Star rosters were announced, Matt Moore pitched like one again. Moore won his fourth consecutive start to help the Rays beat All-Star selection Chris Sale and the Chicago White Sox 3-0 on Saturday night. ''No,'' said Moore when asked if being left off the AL squad bothered him. ''Those decisions, we're all subject to people...

Yunel Escobar Comes Up Big for Rays in 7-5 Victory

Yunel Escobar came up big on multiple occasions for the Tampa Bay Rays, leading his team to a 7-5 victory in extra innings over the Houston Astros on Independence Day. Tampa Bay started off the game with an early 1-0 lead in the first, coming on a groundout by Evan Longoria that would allow Desmond Jennings to score from third. Houston would respond with back-to-back runs in the...

Alex Cobb Throws First Bullpen Session Since Being Hit in Head by 102-mph Line Drive (Photo)

Rays pitcher Alex Cobb is on his way to a full recovery. Just under a month ago, Cobb was struck in the head by a line drive off the bat of Eric Hosmer in a game against the Kansas City Royals. On Friday, the pitcher was back on the mound for the first time since. Cobb left the game on June 15 with only a mild concussion after the 102-mph line drive hit him near his ear. See Cobb...

Matt Moore Wins 4th Straight, Rays Shut-out White Sox

Tampa Bay Rays left-hander Matt Moore pitched into the seventh inning and won his fourth consecutive start to lead the Rays 28 3-0 when over Chris Sale and the Chicago White Sox. Moore was not selected to the American League All-Star game despite having a 12-3 record. Tampa Bay’s lone selection was infielder-outfielder Ben Zobrist. Moore (12-3), who could still become an All...

Yunel Escobar breaks tie, pushes Rays past Astros

HOUSTON (AP) -- Yunel Escobar drove in three runs, including a tiebreaking double in the 11th inning Thursday that sent the Tampa Bay Rays over the Houston Astros 7-5. Escobar and Desmond Jennings each doubled twice and singled, helping the Rays win for the fifth time in six games. Brett Wallace homered twice for the Astros. Jose Lobaton walked to start the 11th and moved to second...

Rays 7, Astros 5(11)

Yunel Escobar drove in three runs, including a tiebreaking double in the 11th inning Thursday that sent the Tampa Bay Rays over the Houston Astros 7-5. Escobar and Desmond Jennings each doubled twice and singled, helping the Rays win for the fifth time in six games. Brett Wallace homered twice for the Astros. Jose Lobaton walked to start the 11th and moved to second on a passed...

Rays Host White Sox to Begin Homestand

The Tampa Bay Rays (46-40) welcome in the Chicago White Sox to Tropicana Field this weekend for a three-game series. Tampa Bay just missed the sweep but was able to take care of business in Texas against the Houston Astros. Tampa Bay was able to win three of four games in Houston against the American [...]
MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.