Found June 12, 2012 on Fox Sports Florida:
The Tampa Bay Rays' recent offensive surge has helped them bust out of a slump that lasted over a week. It's been quite the opposite for the New York Mets lately. Tampa Bay seeks its fifth consecutive victory while looking to send New York to its seventh defeat in eight games when the teams begin their first series at Tropicana Field since 2001 on Tuesday night. The Rays (35-25) have outscored opponents 29-10 during their four-game winning streak, defeating Miami 4-2 on Sunday to complete a three-game sweep. Elliot Johnson hit a two-run homer and Matt Joyce added a solo shot for Tampa Bay, which averaged 2.6 runs while dropping six of eight May 28-June 6. Johnson went 5 for 8 with five RBIs in the last two games, and Joyce has homered in two of his last three to give him a team-leading 11. "It's a little bit of a roller coaster. That's the way hitting goes, that's the way baseball goes," Joyce told the team's official website. "There's ups and downs. And it was just a case of we had to keep swinging it. The offense is going to come around, and hopefully we keep it going." The Rays' last loss was Wednesday's 4-1 defeat to the New York Yankees, when Alex Cobb allowed four runs in seven-plus innings. Cobb (2-2, 4.13 ERA) only gave up two hits in the first seven frames before yielding three consecutive hits to start the eighth. "I felt pretty comfortable," Cobb said. "From the first inning on, I was able to locate my fastball pretty well and fairly early on I was able to throw my changeup in and out of the zone. "... "I'm able to throw any pitch in any count with conviction, and feel confident with that pitch." If he can back up those words it might mean trouble for the Mets, who totaled seven runs while being swept by the Yankees over the weekend. New York (32-29) has dropped six of seven after Sunday's 5-4 loss on Russell Martin's walk-off homer. "It feels rough," said Scott Hairston, who went 2 for 4. "Every team goes through their ups and downs, and we just had our downtime." Chris Young (0-0, 3.60) will be making his second start since returning from capsule surgery on his right shoulder last April. He allowed three runs in five innings of last Tuesday's 7-6 loss in 12 innings at Washington. The 6-foot-10 right-hander's wife then gave birth to the couple's third child hours later, and Young took a few days of paternity leave. "I was just hoping that I wouldn't get overly excited to where I throw the ball all over the place," Young told the Mets' official website of his first start in more than 13 months. "I wanted to stay calm and hit my spots and work ahead in the count, and for the most part, I did that." Young hasn't faced Tampa Bay since a 10-8 loss Aug. 2, 2005, while pitching for Texas. The Rays took two of three from the Mets from June 19-21, 2009, in the teams' last series, and they've won five of the last seven meetings overall.

Rays' Davis embraces bullpen role -- at least for now

Right-hander Wade Davis still considers himself a starter, and the Tampa Bay Rays believe that's his future. But for right now, Davis is thriving in his first full season as a reliever, boasting a 2.20 ERA while getting used in some high-leverage moments. A key reason for the success is how quickly Davis accepted the new role since spring training, when he lost out on the fifth...

Will Rhymes becomes message courier when dugout phone malfunctions (Video)

Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon used reserve infielder Will Rhymes as a courier to relay a message to the bullpen when the phone in the Rays dugout malfunctioned during the seventh inning of Sunday's game in Marlin Park against the Miami Marlins. Your browser does not support iframes. Rays starter James Shields had a 4-1 lead and Maddon wanted to call to the bullpen to...

Q&A With Rays 25th Round Pick Jordan Harrison

The Rays selected University of Louisiana-Lafayette left-handed pitcher Jordan Harrison in the 25th round last week. Inside, the southpaw, who had previously been drafted by the Mets in the 30th round in 2009, discusses how being drafted a second time was different from the first, his pitching arsenal and approach to attacking hitters, why he chose to transfer to Louisiana-Lafayette and much more.

Rays turn to Price to shut down Mets

Another dazzling performance could land R.A. Dickey in the New York Mets' record books. Getting at least a win should make him the first pitcher in the majors to reach double digits. Dickey looks to continue his outright dominance by extending his improbable scoreless streak Wednesday night when the Mets face David Price and the Tampa Bay Rays. Dickey (9-1, 2.44 ERA) hasn...

Wade Davis, The NFL And Homophobia

Most of you sports enthusiasts remember a show called “Playmakers” that debuted on ESPN a few years ago. The show was an instant success as a predecessor to “The Game.” It starred Omar Gooding as a star running back, and it had centralized themes that varied from rampant steroid abuse to homosexuality in the NFL. [...]

Pre-game: Mets (33-29) at Tampa Bay Rays (35-26)

Hello and welcome to another wonderful day of Mets baseball. This evening the Amazins take on the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg, Florida for the second game of a three game series. Last night, the Mets exploded for their highest run total of the season and got a solid start from Chris Young to beat the Rays 11-2. It’s very doubtful that things will be so easy for New York this...

Tampa’s Will Rhymes has to run to bullpen to deliver message after dugout phone malfunction (Video)

Your browser does not support iframes. If I were to tell you that a ballpark experienced a dugout phone malfunction over the weekend and you had to guess which venue it was, you might say Fenway Park or Wrigley Field. One of your last guesses would probably be Marlins Park, since it happens to be the newest ballpark in the country. Nevertheless, that’s exactly what happened to...

Bullpen’s Folly: Last Night’s Win Against The Rays Was A Rare Delight

Stephen Guilbert from Mack’s Mets penned an interesting post that pointed out a rare occurence in last night’s 11-2 win against the Tampa Bay Rays. Last night, the Mets accomplished a feat that has proved difficult for them in 2012–they played a full nine-inning game in which the bullpen did not surrender an earned run and the defense did not commit an error. It has only...

Valdespin knocks in four as Mets sink Rays 11-2

More often than not, baseball doesn’t make a ton of sense. That was especially true tonight as the Mets scored the most runs they have all season against the Tampa Bay Rays, a team that prides itself on preventing runs. Although the Mets managed just a modest three runs in the first six innings tonight, they erupted for six scores in the seventh inning en route to an 11-2 pasting...

Pre Game: New York Mets (32-29) at Tampa Bay Rays (35-25)

The House That Kazmir Built The Mets play their first regular season game in Tampa in over 10 years tonight as they invade Tropicana Field to begin a three-game set with the Rays. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. and the game can be seen on SNY or heard, as always on WFAN 660 AM. Join the conversation on Twitter by following @dailystache or yours truly, @DevOnSports. The...

Opposites attract? Dickey and Price meet in battle of aces for Mets-Rays

Dickey looking to become first 10-game winner Power pitcher versus revitalized knuckleballer. Lefty versus rightly. Youngster in his prime versus veteran finding a second wind. The list goes on an on. David Price was supposed to be here. Selected first in the draft in 2007, he has become the ace everyone thought he could be. He started the All-Star Game in 2010 and finished second...

Rays Rocked In 11-2 Mets Blowout

The Amazins’ bounce-back and take advantage of their chances in a 11-2 victory of the Rays. Summary We needed this, we really did. This had bounce-back win written all over it, and with the way the ball was hit tonight, it was probably tattooed on the ball. A certain Chris Young equaled exactly half of his work from last year, by making his second start, on route to his first...

Game Preview: Mets @ Rays 7:10 PM EDT

The New York Mets (33-29) will take on the Tampa Bay Rays (35-26) tonight at Tropicana Stadium in, Tampa Bay. First pitch will be at 7:10 PM EDT. Tonight’s Lineups: #Mets Wednesday lineup at TB: Torres-8, Murphy-4, Wright-5, Hairston-9, Bay-7, Rottino-DH, Davis-3, Nickeas-2, Quintanilla-6, Dickey-1 — New York Mets (@Mets) June 13, 2012 Tampa Bay Rays 1) Desmond Jennings LF 2...
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