Found August 07, 2012 on
Fox Sports Florida:
Tampa Bay Rays
Toronto Blue Jays
The Tampa Bay Rays' offense has stalled. The return of third baseman Evan Longoria should help change that.
Longoria will be activated for the first time since late April in Tuesday night's series opener in St. Petersburg, where James Shields looks to build off his best start of the season with another strong outing against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Near the bottom of the league with 434 runs, Tampa Bay (56-52) has gone 21 consecutive innings without scoring after back-to-back home losses to Baltimore over the weekend.
"I'm at the point now where I'd really like them to do less as opposed to more," manager Joe Maddon told the Rays' official website following Sunday's 1-0, 10-inning loss. "... I'd rather us go the other way, back off with the work, go play, come with a fresh mind and body, and I think we'll have a better result."
The Rays have scored four total runs while losing four of five in St. Petersburg, but having Longoria back for the first time since he partially tore his left hamstring April 30 could provide a much-needed lift for a team challenging for an AL wild-card spot.
Longoria, who was batting .329 with four homers and 19 RBIs before being hurt, went 2 for 3 with a walk for Triple-A Durham on Sunday in his eighth rehab appearance.
While the Rays' offense remains an issue, the pitching staff continues to impress with a 1.64 ERA over the last 16 games. Tampa Bay's relievers have a 0.54 ERA during that stretch.
That group got a break in Shields' last start, an 8-0 three-hitter in Oakland last Tuesday. Shields (9-7, 4.24 ERA), who was 1-3 with a 6.15 ERA in his previous seven outings, was pitching hours after learning he'd be staying put at the trade deadline.
"It really hadn't bothered me but it's good to be a Ray," the right-hander said after striking out a season high-tying 11 for his seventh career shutout. "This is my home. I'm glad to be here."
The Blue Jays (53-55) would likely have preferred to see Shields move elsewhere considering he's 3-0 with a 1.10 ERA in his last four starts in the series.
After Shields pitched three-run ball of 7 1-3 innings May 23, the Rays won their 15th consecutive home series versus Toronto with a 5-4, 11-inning victory.
Left-hander J.A. Happ (0-0, 5.14) will try to help the Blue Jays solve their woes in St. Petersburg as he takes Brett Cecil's spot in the rotation for his Toronto starting debut after four relief appearances.
Happ's start was moved up two days when right-hander Carlos Villanueva left the team for personal reasons.
"We acquired (Happ) to (start)," manager John Farrell told the Blue Jays' official website. "He remained patient while we had to go through and sort some things out. And his opportunity's here now."
Recent Triple-A call-ups Adeiny Hechavarria and Anthony Gose had their opportunity in wins at Oakland on Saturday and Sunday, but it appears third baseman Brett Lawrie (rib cage tightness) and center fielder Colby Rasmus (strained groin) will return Tuesday.
While Jose Bautista (sprained wrist) and Adam Lind (back) remain sidelined, the Blue Jays scored nine times in those victories after plating 12 total runs during a season-high six-game skid.
"We have a deep organization," Rajai Davis said. "We got some hitters that are definitely very good."
Edwin Encarnacion, the team leader with a career-high 29 homers, is 9 for 30 with two home runs and five RBIs as the Blue Jays have lost six of eight to Tampa Bay this season. He's 1 for 9 against Shields since 2011.
Second baseman Ben Zobrist should be back in Tampa Bay's lineup after leaving Sunday's game with upper-back spasms.
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. It was a familiar sight Tuesday afternoon at Tropicana Field: a crush of reporters, radio mics and TV cameras zeroing in on the man of the moment, Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria.
The scene has been all too scarce this season for the Rays. But after missing 85 games with a left hamstring tear, Longoria was finally moved off the disabled list and...
Rays third baseman Evan Longoria made his eighth minor league rehab start on Sunday, and he could return to the Rays as soon as Tuesday, MLB.com reported. Longoria has been out since April 30 with a partially torn left hamstring, and he has struggled in his rehab assignment with the Triple-A Durham Bulls. He is just 4-for-27 with six walks and 2 RBIs. All his appearances have...
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Three-time All Star Evan Longoria is set to return to Tampa Bay's lineup after being sidelined more three months with a partially torn left hamstring.
The Rays said the third baseman will be activated from the disabled list before Tuesday's game against Toronto. He was batting .329 with four homers and 19 RBIs in 23 games before being injured...
With October rapidly approaching, any team hoping to make a run for the playoffs has to start now. Fortunately for the Tampa Bay Rays, one of the team's key players will be back to help the Rays push for the postseason. Third baseman Evan Longoria will be returning to the lineup Tuesday after sitting out more than three months with an injury to his left hamstring. The Rays are...
Evan Longoria rejoined the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday, playing for the first time since partially tearing his left hamstring April 30. The news for the Rays was good in what he did -- driving in a run with a sacrifice fly and singling as the designated hitter -- and in how he felt after the 4-1 win over the Toronto Blue Jays. "There was nothing about today that was negative...
If you’ve been holding onto Tampa Bay Rays third baseman, Evan Longoria, then you received some good news earlier this evening.
According to an AP report via Yahoo Sports, Longoria is ready to be reactivated from the disabled list tomorrow, prior to a game against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Longoria suffered a partially torn hamstring back on April 30th. The injury has kept him off...
Rays third baseman Evan Longoria made his eighth minor league rehab start on Sunday and the team announced he'll rejoin the 25-man roster Tuesday for the start of a series with the Blue Jays. Longoria has been out since April 30 with a partially torn left hamstring, and he has struggled in his rehab assignment with the Triple-A Durham Bulls. He is just 4-for-27 with six walks...
The last day of the 2011 MLB regular season was one of the more extraordinary days in the history of the game. There were multiple games played which resulted in the culmination of truly great late season surges and collapses and one of the teams involved in last season's spectacle is very much in the same position as they found themselves at this time last season. Actually,...
After sitting out the past 85 games this season, the Tampa Bay Rays will finally get their best hitter back prior to beginning a series against the Toronto Blue Jays beginning on Tuesday. Tampa Bay has done well to remain in the playoff race, and they are now hopeful that a healthy Longoria will be better than adding a player through the MLB Trade Deadline.
3B Evan Longoria is making his return to the roster of the Tampa Bay Rays this evening, but, you have to ask if his addition will make a difference. There is no doubt that the Rays need an additional bat in the lineup based on post All-Star Game performances, but is Longoria really going to be the player which creates the tipping point for the Rays season?
While the Tampa Bay Rays managed to stay relevant during Evan Longoria's absence, they look all the more like contenders with him in the lineup.
The Rays try for an eighth win in nine meetings with the Toronto Blue Jays as these AL East rivals continue a three-game set Wednesday night at Tropicana Field.
After failing to score in each of its previous two games, Tampa Bay (57...
The Tampa Bay Rays' offense has stalled. The possible return of third baseman Evan Longoria could help change that.
Longoria could make his first appearance since late April in Tuesday night's series opener in St. Petersburg, where James Shields looks to build off his best start of the season with another strong outing against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Near the bottom of the...
James Shields threw eight strong innings, Evan Longoria drove in a run in his return from an injury, and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-1 on Tuesday night.
Shields (10-7) allowed one run and two hits. The right-hander was coming off a three-hit shutout last Tuesday at Oakland.
Longoria rejoined the Rays after missing 85 games because of a partially torn left hamstring...
Desperate housewives and team owners rejoice – Evan Longoria is back and he has the mysterious, bedroom-eyed Giancarlo Stanton with him. Woo-hoo! Tommy Hutton be my Marlins docent and read me Giancarlo’s stat line. No, a little to the right. Ah, yeah, that’s the stuff. Bad wheels sidelined both these 2nd round picks and I imagine a lot of teams that drafted these...