Found June 20, 2012 on Fox Sports Florida:
Tune into Sun Sports at 6:30 p.m. to watch the Tampa Bay Rays take on the Washington Nationals. The NL East-leading Washington Nationals haven't won in a week, and that was also the last time they gave the ball to Stephen Strasburg. Wins have become commonplace for the star right-hander. Strasburg looks to extend the longest winning streak of his career and help the Nationals end a four-game slide Wednesday night against the Tampa Bay Rays. Washington (38-27) has lost four in a row since Strasburg (8-1, 2.45 ERA) yielded two runs and five hits with eight strikeouts in six innings of a 6-2 victory at Toronto last Wednesday. That was the Nationals' sixth straight win but the rotation has a 5.06 ERA in four contests since, including a 5-4 defeat to the Rays (38-29) Tuesday in the opener of this three-game set. Strasburg will try to end that slide and keep Washington from matching its season-high five-game losing streak from April 26-May 1. The right-hander is 5-0 with a 2.79 ERA in his last five starts, striking out 44 and walking eight in 29 innings. Included in that stretch is a pair of home victories during which he has allowed one earned run in 12 innings while fanning 17. The only thing that has slowed Strasburg recently has been a "slight cut" after a nail-trimming mishap forced him to exit last Wednesday's victory early. "It was nothing major," said Strasburg, who is expected to be limited to 165 innings this season. "I definitely don't think it affected the way the ball was coming out or anything. I wanted to go out there again." Washington's offense also has played a role in the team's skid. The Nationals have hit .204 - .154 with runners in scoring position - and scored 10 runs over the past four games. The team's other young phenom, 19-year-old Bryce Harper has cooled significantly. The right fielder is 2 for 14 with six strikeouts in the last three games after hitting .440 with two homers and five RBIs in the previous seven. The Rays have won a season-best five straight on the road, averaging 6.8 runs in those games. First baseman Carlos Pena had his third consecutive two-hit game Tuesday and homered for the first time this month. He's batting .333 (13 for 39) with five home runs and eight RBIs in 11 career games against the Nationals. With Jeremy Hellickson going on the disabled list with right shoulder fatigue, Chris Archer is expected to make his major league debut for Tampa Bay. Archer, 23, was acquired by the Rays as part of an eight-player deal that sent starter Matt Garza to the Chicago Cubs in January 2011. The right-hander was 4-8 with a 4.81 ERA with 90 strikeouts over 76 2-3 innings in 14 starts for Triple-A Durham this season. Rays reliever Joel Peralta was ejected from the opener of this series in the eighth inning after umpires found a "significant amount of pine tar" on his glove, according to crew chief Tim Tschida. "That's a glove that I use for batting practice every day," Peralta said. "I'm every day playing catch with it, it's hot here - that's all I'm going to say about it." Rays manager Joe Maddon called Nationals counterpart Davey Johnson "cowardly" since Peralta pitched for the Nationals in 2010, and may have used that familiarity to single him out. "Insider trading, man. It's bush," Maddon said. "It's bogus. That's way too easy, right there."

Gio Gonzalez says Jesus Flores sucks at golf

(Jesus Flores and Gio Gonzalez, with fans. Wait, wasn't Stephen Strasburg Papa Smurf? Photo via @LoraGravatt) How to spend an off day in Washington, DC if you're Gio Gonzalez? Head to TopGolf in Alexandria. And if you're Gio Gonzalez, bring your battery mate Jesus Flores along with you to make you feel better about your own golf game: Befriend the Nats Enquirer...

Rays prepare to go faux retro for home game

Back in late June 1979, the Donna Summers "Hot Stuff" was burning up the Top 40 charts, top-rated sitcom "Threes Company" was in summer reruns, "Rocky II" was the new box-office knockout and the expansion Tampa Bay Rays were making waves with their eye-catching blue and yellow uniforms, even if they werent winning many ballgames. Well OK, that last...

Joel Peralta's Pine Tar Ejection Angers Joe Maddon, Who Calls Nationals' Move 'Bogus,' 'Insider Trading' (Video)

Joe Maddon is never shy about backing his players, or about sticking up for baseball's unwritten rules. So when Nationals manager Davey Johnson asked umpires to check Joel Peralta's glove for pine tar in the eighth inning of Tuesday's game, it drew the ire of the Rays skipper. Peralta was tossed by crew chief Tim Tschida after he was discovered to have a "significant...

Joel Peralta ejected for pine tar on his glove, and Joe Maddon is ticked (Video)

Your browser does not support iframes. Rays reliever Joel Peralta was ejected in the top of the 8th inning of the team’s game against the Nationals on Tuesday night after umpires found significant amounts of pine tar in his glove. The umpire inspection was requested by the Nationals, which knew of Peralta’s habits from his team with the team in 2010. Even though Peralta was...

Rays' Peralta gets tossed for having pine tar on glove

Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Joel Peralta faces a suspension after being caught with pine tar in his glove and getting kicked out of Tuesday's game. Peralta didn't have much of an explanation for the pine tar, of which umpiring crew chief Tim Tschida said there was "a significant amount" in the glove. "That's my BP glove, I'm out there every day...

Rays try to take Nats series with Moore on hill

Tune into Sun Sports at 6:30 p.m. to watch the Tampa Bay Rays take on the Washington Nationals. The pitcher's mound at Nationals Park has been a hotbed of excitement in the first two games between the Tampa Bay Rays and Washington Nationals. It looks like the same could be true in the series finale. The Rays' Matt Moore tries to win a fourth straight start and build on...

Joe Maddon questions Davey Johnson’s manhood after Rays reliever is ejected for pine tar

In the top of the 8th inning of the Tampa Bay game against the Washington Nationals on Tuesday Rays reliever Joel Peralta was ejected after umpires found significant amounts of pine tar in his glove. The inspection was requested by the Nationals, which were aware of Peralta’s penchant for the sticky substance from his tenure with the team in 2010. Rays manager wasn’t pleased...

Davey Johnson’s comments confirm he is indeed; a red-assed individual

Not sure if you heard about the whole hullabaloo last night during the Rays-Nationals game in Washington. We had the game on live, and Joel Peralta had just strolled out to pitch the 8th inning in a game the Rays were up 5-4. That’s when things got hairy. Davey Johnson had prior knowledge of Peralta doctoring his gloves with a foreign substance and had the home-plate umpire go...

Joe Maddon Says: Don’t Play for the Nats (Video)

On Tuesday, Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Joel Peralta was ejected from the game against the Washington Nationals after pine tar was found on his glove. The finding came after Nationals manager Davey Johnson requested that the umpires search Peralta. The controversy surrounds the fact the Peralta played for the Nationals in 2010, and Johnson probably received some “inside information”...

Rays' Peralta suspended eight games

Tampa Bay Rays reliever Joel Peralta was suspended for eight games Thursday by Major League Baseball after he was found to have pine tar on his glove.

Doctoring Baseballs Still Counts as Cheating, But Fans Wrestle Over Comparison to Steroids (Video)

When Joel Peralta was ejected from Tuesday night's game for having pine tar in his glove, he was cheating. Plain and simple. However, we doubt that if Peralta was headed to Hall of Fame, his eligibility would be called into question due to the incident. If he had tested positive for steroids, however, the conversation would have gone very differently. NESN Nation's Dan Duquette...

What’s on my mind: Tampa Bay Rays’ in-depth analysis

I have to say that the Tampa Bay Rays continue to amaze me by having one of the best teams in baseball. Not because they have the best players, but because they get the most out of their players, who are also very good players, and they do it with the sixth lowest payroll in baseball ($63,627,200 million). Not only that, off the field they seem to have incredible chemistry. Their...

Nationals and Rays Hope To Show Off Their Pitching

The Washington Nationals (38-26) look to rebound after being swept by the New York Yankees this past weekend against another American League East powerhouse, the Tampa Bay Rays (37-29). Entering the contest, the Nationals sit atop the National League East, while the Rays are in third place in the AL East even though the Nats have just one more win than the Rays. The AL East’s...
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
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.