ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. The prevailing sentiment in the Tampa Bay Rays clubhouse Thursday afternoon could be summed up in two words: Thank Evan.
The Rays couldnt have been more grateful that team leader Evan Longoria was finally back in the fold after missing 85 games with a torn hamstring.
You could see the difference he made in the upbeat clubhouse, on the loose and lively bench and in a lineup that suddenly packed the kind of punch its been missing.
No, he wasnt single-handedly responsible for the Rays three-game sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays this week, their first since early June against the Marlins. But his mere presence as designated hitter including a three hits Thursday in a 7-1 victory before an energized crowd of 23,462 has his team heading in the right direction as it hits the road for a crucial 10-game road swing.
Longoria, coupled with a fine performance from rookie left-hander Matt Moore, helped the Rays win their sixth game in the last eight and complete their s...