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Baserunning miscues haunt Rays in loss to O's

Tampa Bay caught on three plays at the plate; Cobb lasts four innings

Baserunning miscues haunt Rays in loss to O's play video for Baserunning miscues haunt Rays in loss to O's

BALTIMORE -- A lot went wrong for the Rays on Tuesday night, and all those wrongs never added up to a right in a 4-2 loss to the Orioles at Camden Yards.

The Rays have lost two in a row, and Tuesday night's loss felt like getting swept in a doubleheader considering that the Rays' protest of Saturday's game went against them earlier in the day.

"I didn't really build my hopes up too high on it," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "It would have been kind of nice to split today."

The Orioles took a 3-2 lead in the sixth when Jonathan Schoop singled off Grant Balfour to score Chris Davis.

Balfour then started the seventh and walked the leadoff batter, Steve Pearce. Adam Jones followed with a single to chase Balfour in favor of Joel Peralta, who promptly surrendered an RBI double to put the Orioles up, 4-2.

The Rays took a 1-0 lead in the first on Evan Longoria's RBI single to right off Orioles starter Wei-Yin Chen. But the tone for the game was set for the Rays early, and it wasn't the kind of tone they wanted to set. Twice in the first two innings the Rays had runs erased when runners got thrown out at the plate.

In the first, Logan Forsythe grounded out and Desmond Jennings tried to score from third, but the first baseman, Pearce, threw a strike to Caleb Joseph, and the Orioles' catcher tagged out Jennings for the second out of the inning.

Jones then threw out Ryan Hanigan at home for the third out of the second inning after Jennings singled through the middle.

Alex Cobb started for the Rays and tossed three scoreless innings before he allowed a two-out, two-run single to Joseph in the fourth that put the Orioles up, 2-1.

"Once you get two outs you have to be able to close the door," Cobb said. "But once again, they executed."

The fourth inning proved to be Cobb's curtain call as he needed 33 pitches to get out of the inning.

"We just did the same thing -- opportunity, opportunity, opportunity, nothing happens," Maddon said. "And they get two outs and a little ball in front of the center fielder and they're on top. It's the same refrain."

Longoria's RBI double in the fifth tied the score at 2, leaving Cobb with a no-decision.

The Rays' snakebit ways continued in the sixth when they loaded the bases with one out. But instead of taking the lead, they managed to make their third out of the game at home when James Loney was forced at the plate for the second out of the inning. Ben Zobrist then flew out to deep left to end the threat.

"Inability to score runs, runners in scoring position," Maddon said. "Runners were out there, great at-bats to get them out there. Guys get out there. We just have had a hard time finishing that play off. Bases loaded has not been a good play for us either. Explanation? I don't have one. It's just called baseball. That's the way it is this year. Probably next year we'll be the best in all of baseball."

Tuesday night, the Rays and Orioles appeared to be two teams headed in opposite directions.

"I think you can make that point that we're not playing to the top of our game," Cobb said. "When teams are having seasons like the Orioles are having, those situations go in their favor. We can look at it both ways.

"I kind of felt facing this Orioles team and seeing the way things are going for them, almost the way I felt when I was facing the Red Sox last year. Just the quality of the at-bats one-through-nine, and making situations into their favor and not sitting back and letting things happen. They're going out and making things happen. Maybe we aren't on top of our game right now, but they're definitely the aggressors right now."

In essence, a gap?

"Yeah, there might be a little gap right there," Cobb said. "And there's a gap in the standings also."

The Rays are now 12 games behind the first-place Orioles in the standings with 30 games to play, and they aren't making any progress in the American League Wild Card race, either.

"It's been really awkward," Maddon said. "We don't have much time to make it better, but we still have to try and make it better."
Orioles manager Buck Showalter spoke from one living at the other end of the spectrum.

"That was a grind out win," Showalter said. "It was a slow-paced [game] and you've really got to maintain your concentration, because you know there's going to be a fine margin for error there."

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Out call at home stands after crew chief review

Second replay takes place in third inning to check the count

Out call at home stands after crew chief review play video for Out call at home stands after crew chief review

BALTIMORE -- Instant replay came into play in the first inning of Tuesday night's Rays-Orioles game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards when a crew chief review did not go in the Rays' favor.

With no outs and Rays runners on second and third, Logan Forsythe grounded to third baseman Chris Davis, who threw to first baseman Steve Pearce for the first out. Pearce then threw home when Desmond Jennings tried to score from third.

Home-plate umpire Pat Hoberg called Jennings out, but Rays manager Joe Maddon asked for a crew chief review because he felt catcher Caleb Joseph was blocking home plate.

The review lasted three minutes and 16 seconds before the decision was made that the call on the field stands and that there had been no violation.

A second crew chief review took place in the third inning to determine whether Nick Markakis had drawn a walk or simply a third ball.

After one minute and 47 seconds, the umpires determined that the call stood and Markakis just had a full count. The outfielder struck out looking on the next pitch.

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{"event":["prospect" ] }

O'Conner among Rays prospects set for AFL

O'Conner among Rays prospects set for AFL

BALTIMORE -- The Arizona Fall League announced the rosters for the 2014 season, and the Rays will have seven players and a coach in the mix.

Players from the Rays' organization will play for the Peoria Javelinas, a roster that will also include players from the Cardinals, Braves, Indians, and Royals.

R.C. Lichtenstein, who is a pitching coach in the Rays' organization, will serve as one of the team's two pitching coaches.

Players from the Rays include right-handers Zach Cooper, Matt Lollis, Colton Reavis, and Jaime Schultz; catcher Justin O'Conner; infielder Patrick Leonard; and outfielder Kes Carter. Ranked No. 14 in the organization by MLB.com, O'Conner is the highest rated Rays prospect heading to the AFL.

{"event":["prospect" ] }
{"content":["injury" ] }

Longo rests sore forearm as DH

Longo rests sore forearm as DH play video for Longo rests sore forearm as DH

BALTIMORE -- Evan Longoria served as the designated hitter for a second consecutive day Tuesday night because his right forearm has been "a little sore."

"I don't think it's any cause for concern," Longoria said. "It's something I've been playing through five days before that. And just kind of trying to give it a rest and a chance to calm it down. It doesn't bother me when I hit. That's a good thing. Should be back in there [at third base] tomorrow."

Longoria, who went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs in Tuesday's 4-2 loss, said he did not begin to feel pain on one particular play.

"It just kind of crept up on me," Longoria said. "Pretty sore throwing the ball. Something I won't go on the DL for, won't miss any time for.

"I didn't feel anything and I conveyed that to [the Rays]. Just, I came in one day and I just felt like I did too many forearm exercises. It kind of just stayed there. I was hoping if I backed down my throwing a little bit and just threw during the game that it would go away. But it stayed there. So we kind of look for those days to have DH days. And thankfully these are two days that actually work out for me to DH and still get the guys in the lineup that we need to get in there."

Longoria has not had an MRI and does not anticipate having one.

"Just keep treating it," Longoria said. "I really don't see it being a problem. ... But I've always wanted to play the field. I probably could have played today if it was necessary. But in talking to the trainers and talking to Joe, if we have the opportunity to DH me one more day to get it calmed down, I think it's the best case."

{"content":["injury" ] }

Coming off gem, Smyly hopes to get Rays rolling

Tamps Bay turns to red-hot Smyly coming off first career shutout

Coming off gem, Smyly hopes to get Rays rolling play video for Coming off gem, Smyly hopes to get Rays rolling

Not long before the Orioles opened a four-game series with the Rays -- the third of which comes on Wednesday -- Baltimore manager Buck Showalter reflected on one of the blockbuster moves that went down in the American League East this season and how it positions Tampa Bay for the future.

The Rays sent out David Price, a former Cy Young winner and a staple of the team since its World Series run in 2008, and brought in 25-year-old Drew Smyly.

"I'll be interested to see who pitches better the next five years," Showalter wondered.

Since he arrived in Tampa Bay, Smyly has had the best stretch of his career. The pitcher has posted a 1.55 ERA in four starts, and on Friday he hurled a two-hitter for the first complete game of his career.

"It definitely helps with your confidence," Smyly said. "You've already done it once, why can't you do it again? It's just about executing pitches, making good pitches. There's a lot of good hitters out there."

The O's have taken the first two games from the Rays to start an 11-game homestand at Oriole Park at Camden Yards and stretch their lead over the Yankees in the AL East back to seven games. On Wednesday, they turn to Kevin Gausman.

Gausman's last few outings have been rough. Fatigue and perhaps some mental exhaustion have caught up with the rookie pitcher, who has posted a 4.31 ERA in seven starts since the All-Star break.

"This is a time of year that mentally and emotionally he hasn't pitched in," Showalter said. "It's somewhat of a factor, but not near the factor it would be if his innings were up. But he feels good. We've given him some extra bumps here and there. He's in pretty good shape. He feels good. It's a great thing to get behind him career-wise. I'd love to see him pitch through October. It's what I'd really like to see."

Orioles: O's keep options open with Jimenez
Ubaldo Jimenez hasn't started a game since Aug. 16 and has only pitched in relief once since then, but the Orioles haven't ruled out a potential return to the starting rotation for Jimenez.

As of now, Baltimore doesn't have a start scheduled for Jimenez, and they want him to be available to pitch out of the bullpen while staying stretched out for potential future starts.

"If we see that we are covered [in the bullpen] we are going to continue to make him available to us as a starter, too," Showalter said. "The need could be there shortly."

Rays: Longoria expects to return to third
For the last two days, a player other than Evan Longoria has occupied the All-Star's usual spot at third base. Longoria has been spending time as Tampa Bay's designated hitter to rest his sore right forearm.

"I don't think it's any cause for concern," Longoria said on Tuesday. "It's something I've been playing through five days before that. And just kind of trying to give it a rest and a chance to calm it down. It doesn't bother me when I hit. That's a good thing. Should be back in there [at third base]."

Longoria, who drove in two runs in Tuesday's 4-2 loss, isn't considering the notion of a stint on the disabled list and doesn't even have an MRI scheduled, nor does he plan on having one. If he needs an extra day, the Rays can continue using him as a DH until he returns to full health.

Worth noting
• Tampa Bay has lost only one of its last 10 road series.

• Surprising O's slugger Steve Pearce extended his hitting streak to a career-high nine games with an infield single during the fifth inning of Tuesday's 4-2 win.

{"content":["injury" ,"transactions" ] }

Rays activate Hanigan, option Casali

Rays activate Hanigan, option Casali play video for Rays activate Hanigan, option Casali

BALTIMORE -- The Rays activated catcher Ryan Hanigan (left oblique strain) from the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday and optioned catcher Curt Casali to Class A Advanced Charlotte.

"It's great to be back," Hanigan said. "It's been a long, frustrating deal here. But I feel good. Body feels strong and rested and healthy now. The oblique's doing much better now. No pain."

Hanigan, who was placed on the DL on July 17 retroactive to July 9, has missed the last 38 games due to injury. He was shut down after his first rehab game with Charlotte on Aug. 2, but played three more games with the Stone Crabs over the weekend, going 3-for-10 at the plate.

"I didn't get a ton of at-bats," Hanigan said. "... But from my perspective, I've been out too long and I can help the team defensively as well. My bat didn't feel terrible. It might be a little bit of an adjustment period. Hopefully not."

Hanigan is hitting .212 with four home runs and 27 RBIs on the season, but he is hitless in his last 15 at-bats with the Rays. Entering Tuesday night's action, he had played in 113 consecutive errorless games at catcher, the longest streak of his career. His last error came on May 19, 2013, at Philadelphia.

Casali played in 23 games and hit .169 with two RBIs in 59 at-bats. But he managed to make an impression on Rays manager Joe Maddon.

"I just thought he played a pretty complete game," Maddon said. "And the thing I liked about him, if you gave him a game plan he could really carry it out. He was really bright. From a lot of different levels we liked having him here and he did well by us."

Casali will spend the rest of the week at Charlotte before returning as a September callup on Sept. 1.

{"content":["injury" ,"transactions" ] }
{"content":["injury" ,"transactions" ] }

MLB denies protest by Rays over replay challenge

MLB denies protest by Rays over replay challenge play video for MLB denies protest by Rays over replay challenge

Major League Baseball announced Tuesday that the Tampa Bay Rays' protest regarding last Saturday's game against the Toronto Blue Jays has been formally denied. Toronto won that game, 5-4, in 10 innings on Saturday, but the Rays formally protested the game regarding a call made earlier.

Tampa Bay's Will Myers reached base on a single in the fourth inning on Saturday, and he was called safe by first-base umpire Bill Welke on a pickoff throw. After that throw, Toronto manager John Gibbons asked for a challenge right as the batter -- Yunel Escobar -- had stepped into the batter's box.

Myers was called out on the replay review, and Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon protested the game because he believed that the umpires should not have allowed the challenge at that point.

"It's over," Maddon said. "We have gone through the process. They've ruled upon it. Now it's time to move on."


Odorizzi off his game against powerful Orioles

Right-hander gives up four homers over four-plus innings in tough loss

Odorizzi off his game against powerful Orioles play video for Odorizzi off his game against powerful Orioles

BALTIMORE -- Something wasn't right with Jake Odorizzi on Monday night.

"He didn't have his typical swing-and-miss stuff tonight," said Rays manager Joe Maddon about his starting pitcher. "That's the best way I can describe it. ... Jake's been hit a little bit, but not like that in a while."

First-place Baltimore flexed its collective muscle by pounding Odorizzi and the Rays in a 9-1 win at Camden Yards.

The Rays fell to 11 games behind the Orioles in the American League East after gaining two games over the weekend. The Orioles snapped a three-game losing streak by banging out five home runs and 14 hits, a performance that came on the heels of the Orioles weekend in Chicago when they scored a total of four runs on 13 hits in three games.

"That's baseball, man," Maddon said. "And we've got a guy there that's been really good at missing bats. So it just didn't want to work tonight.

"They beat us up, give them credit, they beat us up. ... They were squaring it up. They weren't fouling it off. They weren't missing it. It was being hit hard. ... Those balls were big fly balls."

Twice the Orioles hit back-to-back home runs off Odorizzi, who surrendered the most home runs by a Rays starter since James Shields on June 2, 2011, at Seattle. He also earned the dubious distinction of becoming the first Rays pitcher to allow back-to-back home runs twice in the same game.

Baltimore's first onslaught came in the third when Nick Markakis hit a two-run homer to right off Odorizzi and Steve Pearce followed with a solo shot to put the Orioles up 3-1.

Delmon Young hit a three-run homer to deep left in the fifth and the next batter, J.J. Hardy, added a solo shot to chase Odorizzi.

"It's good [to bounce back like they did] because it seemed like y'all went in panic mode when we got swept in Chicago," Young said. "We weren't scoring many runs, but it happens and then we're back in our division at home facing a guy we've seen before, a team we play, we know their tendencies and everything. And we've got better facilities here than Wrigley."

Odorizzi, who had been 4-0 with a 2.45 ERA over his previous five road starts, allowed eight runs on 11 hits in four-plus innings to take his 11th loss of the season.

The right-hander allowed that his fastball had a different action than normal.

"It was running back over the plate ... which is something different for me and I didn't even notice it," Odorizzi said.

Finally, fellow starter Alex Cobb and pitching coach Jim Hickey called the problem to Odorizzi's attention after the third inning. He thought he'd gotten back on track with a scoreless fourth before the bottom fell out in the fifth.

"I guess I was doing something a little bit different that was making it run instead of stay true and ride the type of fastball that I can get people out with up in the zone," Odorizzi said. "But tonight it was just a little different. And we'll address if between now and the next start.

"...I left a few balls up and they made the most of it when I made mistakes. ... Frustrating that I let the guys down. We need these games right now. That was the biggest disappointment for my night. I didn't give us a chance to win."

Kirby Yates took over for Odorizzi and the treatment looked all too familiar when Chris Davis greeted him with a home run to right-center field, giving the Orioles three consecutive home runs and a 9-1 lead.

Meanwhile, Orioles starter Chris Tillman pitched effectively throughout his seven innings, allowing an unearned run on three hits while striking out two to earn his 11th win of the season.

"He's turned into a pretty good pitcher," Maddon said. "Locating his fastball well. Got a lot of ground balls. He's not necessarily the big strikeout guy. But he cut the ball away from the righties and threw the good curveball when he wanted to for a strike. ... He pitched really well."

Maddon told reporters prior to the game that his team would continue to try and win the division. Those chances now look remote given the Orioles' lead combined with the fact the Rays have just 31 games remaining.

"Until the math tells me just to give up, I'm not going to," Maddon said. "We just came off a really hard-fought series in Toronto -- we didn't lose a game -- now you come in here and you get blown up one night. You just throw it in the trash can and move on."


Maddon speaks with Escobar amid trade rumors

Maddon speaks with Escobar amid trade rumors play video for Maddon speaks with Escobar amid trade rumors

BALTIMORE -- Rumors of Yunel Escobar's departure via a trade seem to be premature, at least according to Rays manager Joe Maddon.

According to multiple reports over the weekend, the Athletics claimed Escobar, which would have meant the two teams had until Tuesday afternoon to come to an agreement about making a trade or not.

Due to those reports, Maddon spoke to Escobar on Monday to discuss the situation, ostensibly to ease the mind of the Rays' starting shortstop.

"I called him in," Maddon said. "I knew he was upset. It was obvious.

"...I told him [Rays executive vice president of baseball operations] Andrew [Friedman] and I spoke about it and I was able to tell him that we're very, very pleased with what he's doing. We can see him continuing to get better with us. To not be worried about anything happening."

Maddon was pressed further when a reporter followed by asking, "Nothing's going to happen?"

Maddon replied: "That's what I got from Andrew."

Once Major League Baseball's July 31 Trade Deadline passes, players must clear waivers in order to get traded. So clubs routinely place their players on waivers as a matter of procedure so they can make their roster liquid. If a player clears waivers he can be traded. If another team claims the player, the teams can work out a deal. Being put on waivers at this time of year is no indication about how a club feels about a player. It's simply good business. However, that information is supposed to be confidential.

"What happened was, first of all that never should have been reported, that's privileged information regarding the waiver situation," Maddon said. "It happens to everybody out there. That's the funny part. Everybody goes through this process, but nobody ever reports them on it.

"I did talk to [Escobar] today to [ease] his mind. And this is a baseball process. It happens to a lot of big leaguers. The difference is I'm dealing with a guy here who works a lot on emotion. So I had to make sure that Yuni understood our position on it. And try to get him to go out there and play with a clear mind."

Escobar's contract pays him $5 million this season and he is signed to a two-year, $13 million deal for 2015 and 2016 that also includes a club option for 2017.

"Yesterday during the game, I got a few calls from different people. I wasn't expecting that," Escobar said through an interpreter. "It was a big hit for me to learn what was going on. But I feel a lot better after talking to Joe. I'm good now.

"I'm happy to be here. This is where I want to be in this organization. It's been like a new beginning and I don't want to go anywhere."


Longoria's knock spurs Rays to 10-inning victory

Archer allows one run in rubber match a day after Jays walk off in 10

Longoria's knock spurs Rays to 10-inning victory play video for Longoria's knock spurs Rays to 10-inning victory

TORONTO -- The Rays aren't where they want to be in the standings, but manager Joe Maddon is proud of his club's resiliency.

A day after losing a back-and-forth 10-inning affair, Tampa Bay returned the favor.

Evan Longoria hit a tie-breaking RBI single in the 10th inning to propel the Rays to a 2-1 win over the Blue Jays in front of 38,869 at Rogers Centre on Sunday afternoon.

"After the loss [Saturday], our guys came back once again and played a balanced game after a tough loss. Beautiful people," Maddon said. "If you are managing this team, you would be a fool to not support this group of guys based on how they go about their business every day."

It wasn't easy, and at times it wasn't pretty, but the Rays found a way to take two of three from the Blue Jays and win a series on the road for the 10th time in their last 11 tries. The Saturday game they lost is under protest, and if it were to be upheld, Tampa Bay would actually have a chance for a sweep.

After coming up short with runners on second and third and one out in the ninth, Tampa Bay delivered an inning later against right-hander Sergio Santos (0-3). Toronto right fielder Nolan Reimold misplayed a ball hit by Logan Forsythe, and the error allowed runners to reach second and third for Longoria. The third baseman smacked a base hit to left to score Ben Zobrist and give the Rays a 2-1 lead. Forsythe also came home on the play, but he was thrown out at the plate by Melky Cabrera.

Brad Boxberger worked the 10th to earn his his second save and preserve the one-run lead, but the inning went anything but smoothly.

The Blue Jays had runners on the corners with none out but Boxberger got Jose Reyes and Melky Cabrera to each pop out on first-pitch offerings before retiring Reimold on strikes to end the contest.

"It's kind of easy to just give up in that situation and say, 'They're going to at least score one run, we'll play for the tie,'" Longoria said. "Boxberger did a great job making this pitches right there. It's good to come out on top of that one. Hopefully that's some good momentum going into Baltimore."

Rays starter Chris Archer did his job, and he was cruising until the Blue Jays got to him in the seventh.

The right-hander surrendered back-to-back one-out singles, which put runners on the corners for Juan Francisco, who hit a sacrifice fly to the warning track in right field to even the game at 1.

Archer's struggles in the inning weren't over, as he walked Munenori Kawasaki on five pitches to load the bases for Reyes. But Archer showed his composure and struck out Reyes on a slider to leave the bases loaded.

"That's one of those situations where you practice in the bullpen, practice in the offseason, you run through some scenarios that you might be in, and I was totally confident in the execution of it because I had already practiced it in my bullpen and mentally beforehand," said Archer, who has allowed two earned runs or fewer in all four of his career starts at Rogers Centre.

Other than having to battle out of a fifth-inning jam, too, Archer was in control. The 23-year-old threw seven innings of one-run ball, allowed six hits, walked one and punched out six. In seven second-half starts, Archer has a 2.25 ERA and 46 strikeouts over 44 innings.

"If you're facing this Blue Jays' lineup and you only give up one run, it's something to be happy about," Archer said. "So I'm walking away happy and confident and looking at all the bright things about that game."

Archer pitched with a lead for the majority of the contest after the Rays struck first in the opening frame.

Zobrist hit a one-out double and advanced to third on a wild pitch by Toronto starter Drew Hutchison with Matt Joyce at the dish. Joyce walked on seven pitches to put runners on the corners for Longoria, who grounded into a forceout, which scored Zobrist and gave Tampa Bay a 1-0 lead.

Hutchison went six strong innings, allowing one run on six hits, while walking two and striking out seven. It was a strong bounce-back effort for the 24-year-old, who allowed 13 earned runs over a pair of losses his last two times out.

Toronto right fielder Jose Bautista was ejected in the sixth inning by home-plate umpire Bill Welke after arguing over a called third strike.

Blue Jays manager John Gibbons was not pleased with his star's ejection. It would have been Bautista up with two outs in the 10th instead of Reimold had he not been tossed from the contest.

"Bottom line, we need him in the game," Gibbons said. "Say your piece, get ... out of there. We're trying to get in the playoffs, we need you on the field. In a way, he's a marked man in this game."

Tampa Bay closer Jake McGee (4-1) worked two innings, the third time he has done so this season, and he retired all six batters he faced in the eighth and ninth.

The Rays will continue their seven-game road trip against the Orioles on Monday night.

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Crew chief review goes against Rays in 10th inning

Maddon wins challenge in fifth, preventing an inning-ending double play

Crew chief review goes against Rays in 10th inning play video for Crew chief review goes against Rays in 10th inning

TORONTO -- Two plays were up for review in Tampa Bay's 2-1, extra-inning win over Toronto, one of which helped the Rays and one which prevented them from taking a two-run lead in the 10th inning.

Logan Forsythe attempted to score on Evan Longoria's RBI single, but he was thrown out at the plate by left fielder Melky Cabrera. Catcher Dioner Navarro fielded the ball cleanly, but Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon believed he blocked the plate and gave Forsythe no sliding lane, which is illegal under rule 7.13.

The rule states: "The catcher may not block the pathway of a runner attempting to score unless he has possession of the ball. If the catcher blocks the runner before he has the ball, the umpire may call the runner safe."

After a crew chief review, it was determined that Navarro did not violate the rule and the play was confirmed.

"Things have to be a little bit more concrete," Maddon said. "I'm all for that rule going away. I thought Navarro made a great play. Not a good play, a great play. I give the catcher credit there. Under the rules we have been told, [Forsythe] should have been awarded the play, I thought.

"It's such a vague concept. ... I don't know that you can actually define that to the point where it's crystal clear. I think it's nearly impossible. Thus, I think it's a bad rule."

Maddon had to have been happy, however, about a call that did go his club's way earlier in the game.

The Rays successfully challenged what would have been an inning-ending double play in the fifth, which kept the frame alive for Longoria.

With one out and runners on first and second, Matt Joyce hit a grounder to Blue Jays second baseman Munenori Kawasaki, who threw to shortstop Jose Reyes for the forceout at second. Reyes had to rush his throw to first in an attempt to turn two, and he one-hopped the ball over to Adam Lind, who fielded it cleanly.

Joyce was called out by first-base umpire James Hoye on the bang-bang play, which prompted Rays manager Joe Maddon to immediately come out of the dugout to issue a challenge. The call was overturned after a brief 45-second review.

Longoria came up with runners on the corners, but Toronto starter Drew Hutchison struck him out on three straight fastballs to end the inning.

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Rays drop protested walk-off contest to Jays

Maddon objects to controversial challenge in fourth inning

Rays drop protested walk-off contest to Jays play video for Rays drop protested walk-off contest to Jays

TORONTO -- The Rays had a two-game winning streak snapped in a contest that manager Joe Maddon ultimately doesn't think is final.

That's because the skipper protested the game in the fourth inning, long before the Blue Jays outlasted Tampa Bay and won a back-and-forth contest in extra innings. After the Rays tied the game in the ninth, left-hander Jeff Beliveau surrendered a walk-off, two-out single to Jose Reyes in the 10th inning of a 5-4 loss to Toronto in front of 37,451 at Rogers Centre on Saturday afternoon.

"The one thing that really stands out to me is the effort of our club," Maddon said. "I love it, I really love it. The fight in the dog is pretty darn good right now. I'm pleased."

Colby Rasmus began the frame with a bunt single, and he later stole second base to get into scoring position for Reyes. Beliveau replaced Joel Peralta to force Reyes to hit from the right side, and the switch-hitter responded by smacking the first pitch he saw to left field to send the Blue Jays to their seventh walk-off win of the season. Matt Joyce threw home on the play, but Rasmus slid in safely as the ball took a bounce and went past catcher Curt Casali.

"I was just playing baseball, letting my instincts work and just playing the game," Rasmus said of the two-strike bunt.

The Rays coughed up a one-run lead in the seventh inning, but they didn't quit. Down to its last three outs, Tampa Bay clawed back against Blue Jays closer Casey Janssen.

Wil Myers drew a leadoff walk to begin the frame before back-to-back base hits by pinch-hitters Kevin Kiermaier and James Loney tied the game at 4. Peralta worked a clean ninth to force extra innings.

But the Rays potentially could have had more. Kiermaier was wiped off the bases on Loney's hit when he rounded third base and couldn't get back to the bag on time. The rookie, who was looking to score from first, had his mind made up and saw third-base coach Tom Foley waving him home.

Foley, however, second-guessed his decision when he saw how quickly left fielder Melky Cabrera got to the ball. Kiermaier had his head down to make sure he touched third, and when he looked up, he was already past the bag and going full speed. It was difficult to get back in time, especially with the throw Cabrera made, he said.

"I thought [Foley] was going to send me the whole way to score right there -- and I thought I could have," Kiermaier said. "I kind of wish I just ran through it, just tried."

Although that baserunning gaffe was costly, as was a misplay by Brandon Guyer in left field with two outs in the third that led to an RBI double from Reyes -- a play Maddon felt should have been ruled an error -- the Rays skipper was more concerned with the fourth-inning umpiring decision.

Maddon declared his team was playing the game under protest after he felt the Blue Jays violated rule II.D of Major League Baseball's replay review regulations. Toronto manager John Gibbons challenged a safe call on a pickoff attempt at first base, which was eventually overturned and took Myers off the bases, but he did so once Buehrle was already on the mound and the rubber and Tampa Bay shortstop Yunel Escobar in the batter's box. The official rules state the challenge was made too late -- and never should have been allowed, period -- because the next play had already started.

For Maddon, the rule is clear, and he said home-plate umpire John Tumpane agreed with him. But crew chief Bob Davidson didn't see it that way.

"I think it's a legitimate protest," Maddon said. "Hitter in the box, pitcher on the mound, on the rubber, that locks the mechanism. It was inappropriate for Bob to do what he did, permit that to happen. I trust that they are going to interpret the rule properly and get us back to that point in the game."

The Rays went down late after Rays starter Jeremy Hellickson was lifted with one out in the seventh, following a Ben Zobrist leaping catch at the wall in right field to rob Adam Lind of extra bases. Brad Boxberger entered and allowed a ground-rule double to the first batter he faced -- Edwin Encarnacion -- before Dioner Navarro followed by clearing the wall in right for a two-run homer, his 10th of the season, to put Toronto ahead, 4-3.

Hellickson was in line for the win, but he had to settle for a no-decision in another strong outing for the right-hander. The 27-year-old allowed two runs on three hits over 6 1/3 innings, walked one and struck out a season-high eight batters. Hellickson sports a 2.61 ERA over seven starts this season.

Hellickson felt his curveball was a big reason behind the performance.

"It's nice to have a putaway pitch," Hellickson said. "The one I have been throwing early has been pretty consistent, but the two-strike one was a lot better today."

Down, 2-1, the Rays, strung together some timely hits off Blue Jays starter Mark Buehrle to go ahead in the seventh before handing the lead right back.

Jose Molina cashed in a run on a base hit to center field to tie things up before Sean Rodriguez followed with an RBI double to left to put the Rays in front, 3-2.

Rodriguez's double chased Buehrle from the contest. The lefty went 6 1/3 innings, allowed three runs on eight hits, walked one and struck out two.

Zobrist recorded the 500th RBI of his career with a well-executed bunt single down the third-base line in the third inning to open up the scoring.

The Rays, who have dropped five of their last seven, had a string of 19 consecutive road contests of allowing three runs of fewer snapped, which was two games shy of tying the Major League record.

{"content":["replay" ] }

Rays protest game after Blue Jays win challenge

Gibbons may have initiated successful review with pitcher on rubber, batter in box

Rays protest game after Blue Jays win challenge play video for Rays protest game after Blue Jays win challenge

TORONTO -- The Rays lost Saturday's contest against the Blue Jays, 5-4, on a walk-off single in extra innings, but manager Joe Maddon believes the game will be played again -- at least the majority of it.

Tampa Bay's skipper informed crew chief Bob Davidson during the fourth inning that his team was playing the game under protest because he felt a rule was not properly enforced.

The play in question came after Toronto challenged a pickoff attempt at first base. With one out and Wil Myers on first, left-hander Mark Buehrle threw over to the bag, but a sliding Myers was ruled safe by first-base umpire Bill Welke.

Blue Jays manager John Gibbons challenged the play, which was then overturned. But Gibbons didn't appear to ask for a review until Buehrle was back on the rubber and Rays shortstop Yunel Escobar was in the batter's box, which is too late, according to official Major League Baseball replay review regulations.

"We were told in the beginning, when the batter is in the box and the pitcher is on the rubber, you can no longer challenge," Maddon said. "I would be really surprised if the protest was not upheld."

Section II.D of the official replay rules states: "A manager must exercise his challenge (by verbal communication to the appropriate Umpire), or the Crew Chief must initiate a Replay Review (if applicable pursuant to Section II.C above) before the commencement of the next play or pitch. Such challenge or request will be considered timely only if the Umpire acknowledges that communication within the time period specified above.

"For purposes of these Regulations, the next 'play' shall commence when the pitcher is on the rubber preparing to start his delivery and the batter has entered the batter's box (unless the defensive team initiates an appeal play in which case any call made during the play prior to the appeal still may be subject to Replay Review)."

Maddon said home-plate umpire John Tumpane agreed with him and was not going to let Gibbons challenge the play.

"The home-plate umpire had it right, he had it right," Maddon said. "And then Bob intervened. [Tumpane] said it, he did not want to permit Gibbons from coming out, because he saw batter in the box, pitcher on the rubber. ... He was right, Bob was wrong."

Maddon called it a legitimate "cut-and-dry" protest, but Davidson disagreed.

Davidson acknowledged that Maddon's point of view would be valid if Buehrle was on the rubber and Escobar in the box before the challenge was made, but felt Gibbons called for a review just prior to those two events happening.

"I was at third base and I've got everything in front of me," Davidson said to a pool reporter following the game. "I see Buehrle, he's on the rubber, and as I'm seeing Escobar getting ready -- from my judgment -- to get into the box, now I see Gibbons giving the thumbs up that he's coming out. So I thought, in my judgment, that it was in time to file a challenge on the play."

Davidson said he will file a computer-based report regarding what he saw and did during the disputed play, and he will then phone it in.

Joe Torre, the executive vice president of baseball operations, will have the final say.

"The decision rests with the operations department of Major League Baseball," Welke said. "Once we submit all the information we have both via the report and on the phone, it will be handled internally."

If Torre's interpretation of what happened is the same as Maddon's, the game would resume with one out in the fourth, Myers on first and Escobar at the plate. It also would mark the second time this week that a protested game was upheld. The Giants successfully protested a game against the Cubs on Tuesday that was called after five innings due to a difficulty getting the tarp on the field during an unexpected downpour in Chicago.

That marked the first time since 1986, in a contest between the Cardinals and Pirates, that a protested game was upheld.

{"content":["replay" ] }

Myers eased back into lineup as designated hitter

Myers eased back into lineup as designated hitter play video for Myers eased back into lineup as designated hitter

TORONTO -- Since returning from the disabled list after missing 70 games with a fractured right wrist, Wil Myers has had to get used to life as a designated hitter.

Saturday's tilt against the Blue Jays marked the fourth consecutive contest that Myers was penciled in as Tampa Bay's DH. The 23-year-old has yet to play the field since rejoining the Rays on Wednesday, but manager Joe Maddon says that is not indicative of any long-term plans with the outfielder.

Part of the reasoning behind that is strategic -- at least it was when Maddon drew up the lineup for Saturday's game with right-hander Jeremy Hellickson on the mound.

"Hellickson is a fly-ball pitcher, and [Myers] hasn't been out there as much," Maddon said. "He's going to be out there, but I thought with Hellickson pitching and a lot of fly balls, the other guys have been out there more often."

Myers has primarily played right field since making his Major League debut last June, and Maddon said he can expect to start seeing some action out there in the days ahead.

As for his bat, Myers struck out looking in six of his first eight at-bats since coming off the DL before homering in the eighth inning of Friday's 8-0 win. It was Myers' first hit since May and his sixth home run of the season.

Despite the swing-and-miss tendencies he has shown lately, Maddon believes the 2013 American League Rookie of the Year Award winner looks strong at the plate.

"Right now, it's a matter of his confidence," Maddon said. "Physically, he looks really good, the bat is quick. Just be aggressive in the zone and get to the pitches that he likes, and not foul them off -- that's the next step."

Myers had a feeling he was going to square something up before he took Toronto right-hander Todd Redmond deep to cap off the Rays' blowout victory on Friday.

"I felt something when I was on deck, something I hadn't felt," Myers said following the game. "I can't tell you what it was, I don't know what it was. But I was able to put a good swing on a good pitch."

{"content":["top_pitching_performances" ] }

Smyly tosses two-hitter for first career shutout

Longoria falls a triple short of cycle in left-hander's 'artistic' outing

Smyly tosses two-hitter for first career shutout play video for Smyly tosses two-hitter for first career shutout

TORONTO -- Drew Smyly isn't David Price, but his impression has been pretty spot on since the two lefties swapped uniforms.

Smyly hurled the first shutout of his career, facing one batter over the minimum, while Evan Longoria did the heavy lifting with his bat in a 8-0 blowout win over the Blue Jays to kick off a three-game set at Rogers Centre on Friday night.

"That was, for my money, the best pitching performance I've seen from a Ray in this ballpark," manager Joe Maddon said following Smyly's two-hit masterpiece.

Smyly allowed a leadoff single in the bottom of the first, which was quickly erased when he got the following batter, Melky Cabrera, to hit into a double play. The only other batter who reached base was Steve Tolleson, with a two-out single in the third inning before Smyly retired 19 consecutive to end the game. He walked none, struck out four, and needed 105 pitches to dispose of the Blue Jays in front of 28,506.

Not one Blue Jays player made it into scoring position against Smyly, who guided the Rays to their American League-leading 17th shutout of the season. Tampa Bay, which blanked the Tigers in a 1-0 victory Thursday, recorded back-to-back shutouts for the first time since September 2013.

Smyly turned in his third consecutive quality start -- going seven-plus innings in each effort -- and lowered his ERA to 1.55 over four outings since the Rays acquired him at the non-waiver Trade Deadline as part of a three-team deal that saw Price land in Detroit.

Over those four starts, Smyly has struck out 23 while walking six in 29 innings. Price, meanwhile, has 32 strikeouts, six walks and a 2.35 ERA in four starts with Detroit. Price's lone loss as a member of the Tigers came Thursday in his return to Tropicana Field.

Maddon described Smyly's effort against Toronto as artistic.

"The fact that he went out there with a game plan, and him and [catcher] Curt Casali recreated that game plan," Maddon said, when asked to explain what made the outing artistic. "When theory and reality come together, that's a beautiful thing to watch. I would say the essence of theory and reality coming together equals art."

Smyly said it was the first complete game he has thrown since he pitched for the University of Arkansas.

The 25-year-old thanked his changeup -- and defense -- for helping him achieve the feat.

"It's not something starters get that often," said Smyly, who improved to 8-10 on the year with a 3.42 ERA. "You have to do your job and be on point from inning one to inning nine to usually throw a complete game. It's tough; not many do it. It's a good mark to reach and a big accomplishment for me."

Longoria fell a triple shy of the cycle, going 3-for-4 with a walk and three RBIs to help Tampa Bay win its second consecutive contest.

The third baseman opened up the scoring in the second inning when he pounced on a first-pitch fastball from Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman to lead off the frame, depositing the ball into the left-field seats for his 16th homer. He added a single in the third and a two-run double during a four-run sixth inning, which blew the contest open.

Kevin Kiermaier (3-for-5) had a big day at the dish too, and thanks to some aggressive baserunning, he stretched a pair of would-be singles into doubles.

The first time came in the third with two outs, when he hit one up the middle to drive in Tampa Bay's second run of the game and caught Toronto center fielder Colby Rasmus off guard.

"You can be aggressive with two outs. That played a factor," Kiermaier said. "I just don't think a whole lot of outfielders are expecting anyone to do that. That's really tough to make a throw right there."

The Rays, who outhit Toronto, 14-2, added one more in the fifth before chasing Stroman from the contest the following inning. Three consecutive singles to begin the frame, including an RBI base hit from Desmond Jennings, ended Stroman's night. The rookie lasted five-plus innings, allowing six runs (five earned) on a career-high 10 hits. He walked three and struck out six, falling to 7-5 on the year.

"He battled tonight," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said of Stroman. "They had some good at-bats on him, they got some big hits. I thought overall, we played a lousy game, but Smyly took it to us pretty good."

Wil Myers made it 8-0 by hitting a solo homer off right-hander Todd Redmond in the eighth inning.

James Loney was the only player in the Rays lineup who was held hitless.

The Rays allowed three runs or fewer on the road for the 19th consecutive contest -- the second-longest streak in Major League history -- and are two games shy of tying the Major League record set by the Chicago Cubs in 1908.

{"content":["top_pitching_performances" ] }
{"content":["injury" ] }

Hanigan, DeJesus close to returning to Majors

Hanigan, DeJesus close to returning to Majors play video for Hanigan, DeJesus close to returning to Majors

TORONTO -- The Rays could soon return a pair of players from the disabled list in time for the stretch run of the year.

Catcher Ryan Hanigan (left oblique) began a rehab assignment with Class A Advanced Charlotte on Friday, while outfielder David DeJesus (left hand) also suited up with the Stone Crabs for the second time in three days.

Hanigan, who has been out since July 8, suffered a setback when he initially began a rehab assignment in early August and had to be shut down. But with his oblique feeling better, he's set to work his way back from the injury that has cost him more than a month of action.

The 34-year-old backstop, whom Tampa Bay acquired in a three-team deal in the offseason, shouldn't need more than a handful of games before returning to the lineup.

"He's getting really close," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "As long as there's no setback, three of four days maybe. We have to get him playing fully in a game situation before we can really make that decision. But if everything goes well, it shouldn't be that long."

DeJesus, meanwhile, is set to play his second rehab game with the Stone Crabs. He experienced soreness in his fractured left hand during a recent game with Tampa Bay's Gulf Coast League affiliate, but he also appears set to rejoin the Rays soon.

Maddon said the Rays will likely take it a little slower with DeJesus, which would allow him to receive about a week's worth of at-bats in the Minors before getting activated. The 34-year-old, who hasn't played since June 18, is likely to return once rosters expand on Sept. 1, allowing the Rays to bring him back without having to make a corresponding move.

"He might be closer to the actual roster expansion," Maddon said. "He has been out a long time, and his situation is a little bit different being an outfielder and a designated hitter."

{"content":["injury" ] }
{"content":["injury" ] }
{"content":["top_pitching_performances" ] }

Cobb wins duel with Price as Rays blank Tigers

Tampa Bay righty fires seven scoreless, while Guyer hits RBI triple

Cobb wins duel with Price as Rays blank Tigers play video for Cobb wins duel with Price as Rays blank Tigers

ST. PETERSBURG -- David Price returned to Tropicana Field on Thursday and pitched like David Price. Fortunately for the Rays, Alex Cobb pitched like Alex Cobb in a 1-0 win over the Tigers.

"Really lived up to the billing, or the advertising prior to the game," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "It just happened we won. "... I talk about it all the time. In order to beat a good pitcher, you have to outpitch him. In a very small and perverse way, we did."

The Rays (62-65) broke a four-game losing streak while dodging a three-game sweep in this series and recording their American League-leading 16th shutout of the season. After the game, the team headed to Toronto for a three-game weekend series before going to Baltimore to play a four-game set.

For the first time in Price's Major League career, he stood on the mound at Tropicana Field wearing the uniform of an opposing team. And his former teammates managed to scratch out a run against him in the first inning when Ben Zobrist reached on a throwing error by Eugenio Suarez and scored on Brandon Guyer's one-out triple.

"That at-bat, I got to two strikes," Guyer said. "When I get to two strikes, I try to just spread out and watch the ball travel. And, if I get beat in, I get beat in. I just wanted to let the ball get there. If I don't have that approach, I probably roll over on that cutter, but I let it get deep and took it the other way."

In true Price fashion, he limited the damage.

First, Price struck out Evan Longoria swinging before striking out Wil Myers looking to end the threat.

"I was really looking add-on [runs] right there," Maddon said. "Runner on third, one out, four-five coming up, just because you know how tough David can be. And he definitely indicated that after we scored that run."

Price did not allow a baserunner after Guyer's triple, retiring the final 23 batters he faced.

"It's weird, I've never seen a win like that," Guyer said. "But when you've got a pitcher like Cobb pitching like he did, sometimes one run's all that matters. He pitched a great game. I'm glad I could get a big hit when the team needed it. But like I said, without Cobb doing what he did, it wouldn't have mattered. So hat's off to him."

Cobb posted six scoreless innings before showing everyone that Price wasn't the only escape artist in the building on Thursday. His rabbit-out-of the-hat moment came when Torii Hunter doubled to open the seventh and went to third on Miguel Cabrera's groundout. After intentionally walking Victor Martinez, Cobb struck out J.D. Martinez swinging before retiring Nick Castellanos on a flyout to center field to end the threat.

Cobb allowed no runs on two hits and two walks, while striking out six in seven innings to earn his ninth win of the season at the expense of his good friend, Price.

"Throughout the course of the game, I've got one run that I've got to protect as much as I can and that's all my focus," Cobb said. "Once you take a step back, you're removed from the game, you watch [Price] go back out there for the eighth and you just kind of laugh a little bit at the situation that's actually taking place.

"That's who David is. He's one of the best and the performance you saw on the field is awesome, but he'll always be remembered in this clubhouse for being the best teammate who has ever worn a Rays uniform for us."

Brad Boxberger started the eighth for the Rays and surrendered a one-out double to Suarez before Kevin Kiermaier made the play of the game.

On Tuesday night, the right-fielder made a costly miss while making a diving attempt in the 11th inning of a loss to the Tigers. That didn't stop him from going for it again on Thursday, when Rajai Davis hit a drive to shallow right. Just when the ball appeared like it would land and drive home the tying run, Kiermaier made the diving catch.

"I saw it in the air and I got a good read on it," Kiermaier said. "Nothing changed, really, this one just went in the glove, thankfully. You know, I'm willing to put my body on the line to help this team out and that's what I did right there."

Boxberger then struck out Ian Kinsler for the third out. Jake McGee pitched a scoreless ninth to pick up his 14th save of the season.

Price took his ninth loss of the season despite pitching a complete game, earning a nice ovation when he left the field. He allowed that his performance was as good of a game as he's pitched in his career.

"It's the least amount of hits I've ever given up," Price said. "We commanded the strike zone today for the most part, we were ahead and when we weren't ahead, we made pitches."

Maddon called Thursday's game "a game that we needed to win and we did." With 35 games remaining in the regular season, Maddon was asked what his team needed to do to remain in the hunt for a playoff spot.

"Two things," Maddon said. "Offensively, become a little more consistent scoring runs. And bullpen-wise, thicken it up. We can't rely on a couple of guys all the time. Get everybody in the mix. It has to work. And offensively, we have to be able to hit through some of our mistakes."

On Thursday, one hit proved sufficient.

{"content":["top_pitching_performances" ] }

Gamescape: Price as good as it gets in defeat

Tigers southpaw fires one-hit complete game in return to The Trop

Gamescape: Price as good as it gets in defeat play video for Gamescape: Price as good as it gets in defeat

ST. PETERSBURG -- What happened Thursday afternoon at Tropicana Field might have been a best-case scenario for the Rays and their fans: David Price, their former ace, pitched an incredible game, but Tampa Bay still won.

Turned out, it was also a little bit of baseball history.

The Rays beat Price and the Tigers, 1-0, despite recording only one hit. Price, traded from Tampa Bay to Detroit three weeks ago, struck out nine and didn't walk any of his former teammates in the eight-inning, complete-game effort with only one unearned run, permitted in the first inning.

"That's something you don't see every day," Rays third baseman Evan Longoria said. "He did everything that he could've done."

No kidding. How rare was that?

Very rare. It was the first time since at least 1914 that a pitcher has lost a complete-game, one-hit, no-walk start without allowing an earned run.

According to baseball-reference.com, Price is the first pitcher in the Majors to lose a complete-game one-hitter or better with no earned runs since Andy Hawkins lost a no-hitter for the Yankees on July 1, 1990. The only other pitcher to do it in the last 40 years was Texas knuckleballer Charlie Hough on June 16, 1986.

It was the first time Price has ever lost a game despite not allowing an earned run. The last Tiger to do so was Justin Verlander on April 27, 2010. And Detroit lost while allowing one hit or less for the first time since records are available.

So, yeah, it's been a while.

So, Price lost his best start ever?

He thinks so. Asked afterward if it was as well as he's ever pitched in a loss, Price called it "as good as I've pitched in a game that went my way." He didn't find himself in a single three-ball count. He threw 100 pitches in eight innings. It was his 11th complete game and the lowest hit total of his career.

Price is the first Tigers pitcher to lose a complete-game one-hitter since records have been available and the first pitcher in the Majors to do so since St. Louis' Anthony Reyes on June 22, 2006.

How'd he lose, then?

Ben Zobrist reached on a throwing error by Tigers shortstop Eugenio Suarez, then Brandon Guyer took advantage of Price's only mistake of the day and lined it to the gap in right-center field for an RBI triple.

"It's weird. I've never seen a win like that," Guyer said. "Sometimes one run's all that matters."

After that, Price retired 23 of his former teammates in a row. But Rays starter Alex Cobb pitched seven outstanding innings -- he's allowed two runs or fewer in eight straight starts, a franchise record and the second-longest streak in the Majors this season behind Mariners ace Felix Hernandez (17) -- and the one-two bullpen punch of Brad Boxberger and Jake McGee took care of the eighth and ninth innings.

Got anything else?

This was the first 1-0 game ever played between these two teams. It was the second-lowest hit total in a game played between these two clubs -- and you might remember the other one: Matt Garza's no-hitter on July 26, 2010.

The Rays are just the eighth team to ever win a game with only one hit and two or fewer baserunners, and they're only the fourth team to do it without hitting a home run.

Wait. Haven't the Rays lost a game like this before?

Glad you asked! In fact, the Rays lost to the A's, 3-2, on May 21 despite allowing only one hit. They are the first team to win and lose such a game in the same season since the 1915 St. Louis Terriers of the Federal League.

"We've already lost a game like that," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "So touche to baseball."


For Price, only one thing wrong with return to St. Pete

Tigers starter allows lone hit in homecoming, but it's the difference for Rays

For Price, only one thing wrong with return to St. Pete play video for For Price, only one thing wrong with return to St. Pete

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Tampa Bay Rays threw a going-away-party for David Price at Tropicana Field on Thursday afternoon and the guest of honor blew out 23 candles in a row.

But it was one lit by former teammate Brandon Guyer in the first inning that flickered brightly and ruined Price's celebrated homecoming wearing a Detroit Tigers baseball suit.

The Rays managed only Guyer's booming first-inning triple that scored Ben Zobrist after he reached on shortstop Eugenio Suarez's throwing error to right-center. That was it.

The Rays wobbled off the field with a marvelous 1-0 victory even though their former ace retired the next 23 batters after Guyer's hit and has never pitched better.

It was only on July 31 when Tampa Bay made the difficult decision to trade the popular 28-year-old Price to Detroit.

It was also on that day when Rays fans began to look forward to this week when the Tigers would play at Tropicana Field and Price would pitch against the team for whom he won 82 games and the 2012 American League Cy Young Award.

Yes, he said, emotions were stirring when he ran to the mound to start the bottom of the first inning with the crowd of 19,189 welcoming him back with a standing ovation.

"I had to step off the mound when they kept chanting," he remembered. "That was a good feeling. I spent a long time here and the fans always had our backs through the ups and downs. I spent a long time (2008-2014) here.

"I'm glad to get this behind me. This is something I never thought I'd really have to do -- pitch against these guys in this ballpark, or pitch against them at any time. Now, it's over with and I've pitched in every American League park as an opposing pitcher."

Alex Cobb, one of Price's closest friends on the Rays, shut down the Tigers on two hits during seven innings. Brad Boxberger and Jake McGee pitched the last two innings.

Cobb has won seven straight decisions with a 1.99 earned run average during the span.

"All the stuff leading up to this game was awesome," he said. "Definitely, David deserved everything he got from the crowd, all the hype."

A script writer undoubtedly would have had Price winning his return, but even though it didn't turn out that way the afternoon did belong to him.

And in a sense, maybe the script was perfect. The team he grew up with eked out the win, but Price never before has allowed just one hit in a complete game. Not once did Rays' batters reach three-ball counts.

"There had to be a surreal moment between the combatants, David and Alex," said Tampa Bay skipper Joe Maddon. "I think it was even crazier for David, although he handled it wonderfully like you thought he would. Pitching a one-hitter is not so bad.

"It was just a crazy game, an interesting game. It will be talked about, I'm sure, ad nauseam the rest of today, into tonight and probably into tomorrow."

And days after.

Price, who spent much of his day off Monday playing golf at nearby Belleair Country Club, said he visualized what it would be like to pitch against his former teammates.

"There definitely were more emotions, but I handled them well," he said, staring across the Tigers' clubhouse as the players prepared for their early evening trip to Minneapolis. "Honestly, I never want to give up runs, but giving up that run in the first inning locked me in a little bit. I wish I hadn't given up that run, but that's baseball."

Such an excruciating loss is often difficult to put behind, but Detroit manager Brad Ausmus said this one will be easier because Cobb also pitched so well.

"David was outstanding, but Cobb was outstanding, too," said Ausmus. "You could probably make the argument that David was even a little better despite the fact that he got the loss.

"He was very impressive, very efficient. If we tie the game in the ninth, clearly he would've gone back out and who knows? If he kept the pitch count down in the ninth, he probably would have gone out for the 10th if we were still playing."

The Rays were walking their 1-0 tightrope in the eighth when .233 hitter Suarez doubled off Boxberger with one out.

Kevin Kiermaier, who'd replaced Zobrist in the right field to start the inning, saved the 1-0 lead when he made a spectacular diving catch on Rajai Davis' sinking fly ball. Boxberger struck out Ian Kinsler to end the threat.

"I was just happy to see the ball go in my glove right there, especially in a big situation late in the game," said Kiermaier, a rookie. "I saw it in the air and got a good read on it. I'm willing to put my body on the line to help this team out and that's what I did right there. Nothing serious happened [when he hit the artificial turf]; I don't even think I'll be sore tomorrow."

And in the ninth, with one down, two-time MVP Miguel Cabrera singled, but McGee retired the dangerous Victor Martinez -- he hit a grand slam on Wednesday night -- and J.D. Martinez to end the swift 2-hour, 34-minute matinee.

Cobb was sitting in the dugout when Price went out to pitch the bottom of the eighth, an inning in which he blew out Nos. 21, 22 and 23 in order.

"You watch him go out there for the eighth and you just kind of laugh a little bit at the situation that's actually taking place.

"That's who David is. He's one of the best and the performance you saw was awesome."

Pausing, Cobb added: "But he'll always be remembered in this clubhouse for being the best teammate who has ever worn a Rays uniform for us."

{"content":["injury" ] }

Moore progressing, enjoying time with mates

Rays' lefty eyeing return in May 2015 as he rehabs from Tommy John surgery

Moore progressing, enjoying time with mates play video for Moore progressing, enjoying time with mates

ST. PETERSBURG -- Matt Moore is out for the season while recovering from Tommy John surgery, but the left-hander remains a familiar face around the Rays' clubhouse and he's making progress with his rehab.

"I have sock throws starting this coming Monday," said Moore, talking about the drill where a sock is placed over his left arm with a baseball inside of it. "I'll do those six times, two weeks worth, Monday, Wednesday, Friday times two. After that, I'll be at 20 weeks. That will be five months [since his surgery] and I'll start my throwing program."

Once Moore begins his throwing program, he'll continue to build up strength in his elbow as well as the rest of his body for his eventual return. When asked when that return will be, Moore noted that May is circled on the 2015 calendar.

"We're at the four-and-a-half months right now, so that would be a decent target to shoot for," Moore said. "That would be pretty much 13 months on the dot."

He added in almost afterthought: "If it was June, honestly, I think it would be best for all parties. Our squad in general and myself, just to make sure that we're not trying to get to May [and rushing things]."

Though Moore misses baseball and is eager to return, he has gained some perspective about baseball and life in general things since having the surgery in April.

"There are a couple of positive things, not necessarily in baseball," Moore said. "Like getting to see my grandma a few last times this summer was pretty big for me. She was 77, she was battling cancer for a year or two. Had I not been hurt, I wouldn't have seen her the last two times when she was alive as I did. So I look at those things.

"I look at my elbow, it's not my heart, it's not my brain. The rehabilitation process is very promising. So there's nothing to really be down on. Try to look at some of the better things that are going around us. The fact that [Drew] Smyly's here, the new guy. [Jake] Odorizzi's pitching his butt off. We have Helly [Jeremy Hellickson] back this year and have him pitch the way he has. Those are positive things. There are some things here to keep my mind off just my elbow."

{"content":["injury" ] }

Rays Wives gearing up for Mystery Ball event

Rays Wives gearing up for Mystery Ball event

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays Wives were busy on Wednesday night wrapping baseballs for the Mystery Ball to raise money for All Children's Hospital.

The event will take place at Tropicana Field on Saturday, Aug. 30 at Gates 1 and 5.

For $40, fans can purchase a bag containing a baseball signed by a Rays player or coach. Other current or former players like Derek Jeter and Paul Molitor have also signed balls.

Rays hitting coach Derek Shelton and his wife, Ali, co-chair the event, which has raised nearly $100,000 over the past three years.


Maddon can't explain Rays' struggles on road

Maddon can't explain Rays' struggles on road play video for Maddon can't explain Rays' struggles on road

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays are the only team in the Majors with a winning record on the road and a losing record overall.

Entering Thursday's series finale at The Trop against the Tigers, the Rays had gone an AL-record 18 consecutive road games allowing three or fewer runs, the second-longest streak in Major League history behind in the 1908 Cubs (21).

Manager Joe Maddon continues to get peppered with questions about why the Rays are good on the road and not so good at home, and he can't pinpoint a reason.

"We pitch better on the road, and that makes no sense at all," said Maddon, when sorting through the statistics. "... I don't know [the answer], because this place [Tropicana Field] has been weird, uncomfortable for other teams to come into. A lot of it, I even go back to when I first got here. The sight lines. The depth perception. Roof lights. All those things. ... I wish I had something solid to say. It's just been really awkward. Because, normally we make our move here then try to play as well as we can on the road. I don't have it. I don't know."

{"content":["injury" ,"transactions" ] }

Rays activate Myers from 60-day disabled list

Outfielder says his confidence is back, while both wrists are fully healed

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ST. PETERSBURG -- Wil Myers is back.

The Rays activated the reigning American League Rookie of the Year from the 60-day disabled list on Wednesday afternoon. Corresponding moves saw the Rays option Vince Belnome back to Triple-A Durham while moving Jerry Sands from the 15-day DL to the 60-day.

Myers, who went 0-for-3 as the designated hitter in Wednesday night's 6-0 loss to the Tigers at Tropicana Field, had missed the previous 70 games since he was placed on the DL on June 1, retroactive to May 31, with a right wrist fracture incurred during an outfield collision with center fielder Desmond Jennings on May 30 at Fenway Park.

Rays manager Joe Maddon has been telling reporters that Myers would let him know when he was ready. That time came in the aftermath of Tuesday night's game that Myers played for Durham, when he went 0-for-3 with a walk for the Bulls. How did he know he was ready?

"I think it was more a from a physical standpoint," Myers said. "My wrist feels great, either one of them. My legs feel great. My confidence is back, which I think is the most important thing. Going forward for me, that's what I really have to rely on."

In seven games while on a rehab assignment with the Bulls, Myers hit .250 with two home runs, six RBIs, seven walks and three stolen bases. Myers has played in 53 games for the Rays this season, hitting .227 with five home runs and 25 RBIs. Given the troubles the Rays have had on offense this season, Myers was asked if he saw his return for the team's final 37 games as an opportunity to make things right.

"You know what was funny, obviously, I was having a very disappointing season," Myers said. "It really feels like 2011 and 2012 all over again, having a bad 2011 and coming back in 2012 to prove to everybody that that was a fluke. ... So that's really how it feels coming into this again.

"...I don't necessarily see it as a makeup. I think it's more me going out and proving to myself what I can do. And proving to everybody that kind of doubted what I can do, just showing that the first two months was a fluke."

Maddon was asked if Myers could salvage his season.

"Yeah, and he can help us salvage ours at the same time," Maddon said. "Salvage-rescue operation. Getting back in the lineup hopefully will pick up the run production a little bit. Whenever he's confident, that can happen. He sounds confident right now."

Not only did Myers have a right wrist fracture, he also had an inflamed left wrist. Now both feel fine and, perhaps most important, he feels like he's rediscovered his mojo.

"I didn't really find what was missing," Myers said. "I just found myself again at the plate and just found the confidence level that I was looking for. As far as being in the box right now, I feel very confident in there. The timing can always get better -- I'm behind some pitches, even yesterday. But it's one of those things that when you get here, you have to be ready to go and make things happen at the big league level.

"...The home runs I hit in Durham, the power is back. Even the ball hit out to center I didn't get all the way and it still went out to center. Even my BP's are better. The ball has more lift and more backspin, which is what I like."

Maddon allowed that Myers feels more comfortable at the plate right now than in the outfield, which is why he'll initially be used as the DH. After that, it's likely he'll find a spot in left field due to the emergence of Kevin Kiermaier, whose defense in right field has been superlative.

{"content":["injury" ,"transactions" ] }

Balfour, Kiermaier frustrated after extras defeat

Non-catch of triple leads to Tigers' decisive three-run 11th inning on Tuesday

Balfour, Kiermaier frustrated after extras defeat play video for Balfour, Kiermaier frustrated after extras defeat

ST. PETERSBURG -- Prior to Wednesday night's game between the Rays and Tigers, Kevin Kiermaier and Grant Balfour could be seen discussing what transpired in Tuesday night's 8-6, 11-inning loss.

Balfour started the 11th for the Rays with the score tied at 5 and Ian Kinsler opened the inning with a sinking drive to right. Kiermaier dove to try for the catch, but the ball bounced off his glove and kept on rolling. By the time the right fielder got the ball back to the infield, Kinsler stood on third with a triple.

Balfour proceeded to walk Torii Hunter before Miguel Cabrera was intentionally walked to load the bases for Victor Martinez, who also walked to force in a run and chase Balfour.

After the game, Balfour was candid with reporters about his thoughts, particularly concerning the play that Kiermaier did not make.

"That's the story of my season," Balfour said. "... I see guys go out and make the same pitch and a play gets made, and I feel like it's frustration for me because time in and time out that play hasn't been made [for me]. It's been tough. ... Obviously [if] he comes up with it, I'm sitting one out, nobody on, or stay back and it's a runner on first. ... Can pitch a little more when I have a runner on first, as opposed to a runner on third."

Kiermaier said everything was fine between the two.

"That's just how his season's been going for him," Kiermaier said. "And that's something I took into consideration, too, he hasn't had great luck this season with things like that.

"I did that one [other] time when he was pitching against Kansas City when we were here and even in Texas last week when [Matt] Joyce or [Brandon] Guyer did it. It seems like other times when other guys are pitching we make that play and balls are just hit in the perfect spot when he's been going."

Said Balfour: "No, it's OK, I was just frustrated."

Kiermaier, who prides himself on his defense, still wasn't happy about not making the play.

"I expect to make that play," Kiermaier said. "I still have kind of a loss for words that I didn't catch that ball."

Despite the blown chance, Kiermaier said he won't let that one play alter his hair-on-fire style of play.

"No [it won't]," Kiermaier said. "Like I said, I wouldn't have dove if I wasn't 100 percent that I was going to catch the ball. I just didn't. I don't have an answer. I just didn't catch the ball. It's one of those things where if I would have dove and it would have bounced three feet in front of me, he could have let me have it. ... But right there, I should have had the ball."


Rays' bats can't stop Tigers from slamming door

Odorizzi logs seven K's in solid start before 'pen allows big homer

Rays' bats can't stop Tigers from slamming door play video for Rays' bats can't stop Tigers from slamming door

ST. PETERSBURG -- The catwalks cower and Raymond the mascot hides when Victor Martinez walks into Tropicana Field.

That's because the veteran Tigers' slugger digs the home of the Rays.

Entering Wednesday night's contest, Martinez held a .382 batting average with seven home runs and 20 RBIs in 144 career at-bats at the park where he so loves to hit.

An RBI double in the first and a seventh-inning grand slam off Kirby Yates only added to Martinez's Ruthian stature at the Trop. The slam put the game on ice in a 6-0 win over the Rays in a contest that quickly changed from pitchers' duel to rout.

"That was a huge one," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said of Martinez's hit. "It gives you some breaking room."

Save for the RBI double Rays starter Jake Odorizzi surrendered to Martinez in the first, the game was an exercise in frustration for hitters on both sides while facing Odorizzi and Tigers starter Rick Porcello.

Odorizzi posted five zeros on the scoreboard after the first until a two-out RBI single by Ian Kinsler chased him in the seventh.

The trouble came when Yates took over for Odorizzi. After allowing a single to Torii Hunter, he walked Miguel Cabrera to load the bases and bring Martinez to the plate. Yates got ahead in the count 1-2 before delivering a belt-high fastball that Martinez deposited into the right field stands to put the Tigers up 6-0.

"Tried to throw it up and didn't get it up. And it's about executing pitches and I didn't execute," Yates said. "Great hitter and that's what he does. Especially in a situation like that. ... Bottom line is, I didn't execute."

Rays manager Joe Maddon noted that Martinez "didn't miss it."

"Some guys may have fouled it off, taken it whatever, he didn't miss it," Maddon said. "That why, if you look at his numbers, they're as good as they are."

Yates' outing snapped a streak of seven scoreless appearances.

"I think that Kirby is going to be a really good Major League relief pitcher," Maddon said. "I think retrospectively, if he had the chance to sit down and really analyze what he wanted to do differently, hopefully that moment's going to arrive when he's able to be so self-aware that he can do it in the moment."

Meanwhile, Porcello dominated the Rays in posting a three-hit shutout for his 14th win of the season. At one point, he retired 20 consecutive batters.

"I really had no idea," Porcello said of the 20 straight. "It was a tight game. I just wanted to go back out there and put up zeros."

Ausmus was more to the point: "Porcello was the biggest factor in this game. You literally can't ask for anything more."

In recording his third career shutout -- all of them have come this season -- Porcello showed a different side of himself than what the Rays saw earlier this season. On July 6 at Comerica Park, the Rays jumped him for seven runs on 11 hits.

"Poof," Maddon said. "From the side [Porcello's pitches] looked like a Wiffle ball. It's like playing in your backyard and the ball's just doing all kinds of weird things. He only punched out four guys, but really elicited a lot of weak contact.

"... Incredibly different [than in Detroit]. Total one-eighty. Much more of a strike thrower. Everything going on. In Detroit he wasn't near as comfortable pitching like he was today. He just totally had it going on. He felt it from Jump Street."

The Rays (61-65) have lost four straight while getting shut out for the 15th time this season to lead the American League. In addition, they lost the series to Detroit, which translates to five series losses in their last seven after winning eight of nine.

"Our goal has been to win series," Maddon said. "We don't have a chance to do that right now. But to at least get one of three and move it along, and we're going to play Toronto and Baltimore on the road, where we seem to be playing better right now. So it will be kind of nice to leave town under those circumstances."


Price gets warm welcome back to Tropicana

Now with Tigers, left-hander saluted by fans, Rays in first trip back since trade

Price gets warm welcome back to Tropicana play video for Price gets warm welcome back to Tropicana

ST. PETERSBURG -- David Price walked into Tropicana Field early Tuesday afternoon, turned left and walked through the front door of the home clubhouse. He sat down to play a game of "EA Sports NHL 14" with Rays starter Jake Odorizzi and won, 1-0.

"It was just like old times," Odorizzi said.

Just like old times, except for this: Price walked into the Rays' clubhouse wearing a Tigers hat, and he found a small basketball hoop mounted in his old locker.

Price will start for Detroit on Thursday at Tropicana Field against the only professional organization he had known before being traded on July 31. He said he looks forward to pitching, as he always does, but he's not excited about facing the players he shared a clubhouse with three weeks ago.

"Pitching against friends is always the worst," Price said. "I'm definitely going to have to be a little bit more focused on Thursday."

The Rays honored their former ace with a video presentation and a standing ovation during the second inning of Tuesday's game against the Tigers. The montage ended with a screen that read, "A tip of the cap to David Price," then flashed to Price waving and tipping his Tigers cap in the visitors' dugout.

"I spent a lot of time here. I built a lot of memories, made a lot of long-lasting friendships and stuff like that," Price said. "Without Rays baseball, I'm not myself."

That was evident as Price spoke to the media on Tuesday in the visiting dugout, admitting that he "absolutely" would have liked to stay and even occasionally referring to the Rays as "we." And Price's impact on his former teammates was evident in the way they spoke about him.

"A big part of the Rays becoming the Rays," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "When he gets into the Hall of Fame, hopefully he goes in there as a Ray."

Meanwhile, both sides are moving on after the three-way deal at the non-waiver Trade Deadline that sent Price to Detroit and netted Tampa Bay left-hander Drew Smyly, infielder Nick Franklin and shortstop prospect Willy Adames.

Price said he understood the move from the Rays' perspective, that they have to make difficult decisions in order to acquire young, affordable players and keep their small-market club competitive for the long haul.

And as the interview progressed, Price began talking about the Tigers as "we." He said he's still getting to know all his new teammates, and it's been harder to do so on the fly, without the benefit of an offseason or Spring Training like most players. But he has pitched as advertised so far.

"He's kind of been what we anticipated. He's a horse, pitches deep into games, locates his fastball pretty well on both sides of the plate," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "He's been what we'd hoped for. He certainly has not disappointed."

The most difficult part of the transition, Price said, was spending nearly three weeks away from his French bulldog, Astro.

"I'm thrown into the fire. But it's been fun," Price said. "The guys have welcomed me extremely well."

Just about everybody in baseball has lined up against a former teammate, friend or someone they've followed closely. The Rays have plenty of experience in that department. This season alone, they've gone up against former Rays pitchers Jason Hammel, Edwin Jackson, Matt Garza and, most notably, James Shields.

But Price is different.

"He's just been such a personality," starter Alex Cobb said. "You think Rays, you think David Price."

Price is the franchise's only Cy Young Award winner. He was their teammate three weeks ago, and he's still a friend to many of them. On road trips, Cobb said, they used to drop their bags in their respective rooms and text Price to see whose room they'd be hanging out in that night. He is still beloved by fans.

Price still texts his former rotation-mates on the days they pitch, Cobb said, and they text him when he's scheduled to pitch.

"They're friends first and foremost," Price said. "And I still care about them."

"It's just weird. The normal is not the normal anymore," Cobb added. "It's just something you don't want to get used to, but you do eventually get used to it. He's been awesome since he got traded. ... The friendships will never be lost. It's just a different type of friendship now."

It wasn't all that different on Tuesday, though. When asked about the basketball hoop occupying Price's old locker, Cobb more or less summed up the emotions on both sides of Price's first visit to his former home.

"It was weird when it first happened. Now, it's kind of just the way life is around here," Cobb said. "Nothing's changed because he showed up here in a different uniform."

Just like old times, almost.

{"event":["prospect" ] }

Belnome notches first MLB hit, RBI vs. Tigers

Belnome notches first MLB hit, RBI vs. Tigers play video for Belnome notches first MLB hit, RBI vs. Tigers

ST. PETERSBURG -- Vince Belnome is on the board. The Rays' designated hitter got his first Major League hit in Tuesday night's 8-6 loss in 11 innings to the Tigers.

The Rays had recalled the infielder from Triple-A Durham for the third time this season prior to Saturday's game against the Yankees. His accrued totals from the three trips to the Major Leagues showed an 0-for-7 before hitting a double to center field off Max Scherzer in the second inning.

Belnome later scored in the second, when Ben Zobrist singled him home to put the Rays up 4-0.

"People will always say the first one is the hardest," said Belnome, who finished 1-for-3 and recorded his first RBI with a game-tying sacrifice fly in the eighth. "But I've been having good at-bats and finally one fell in."

Counterbalancing the ecstasy of Belnome's first hit was the disappointment of having his first home run taken back via a crew chief review that overturned a call on the field, which had ruled a home run when he led off the fourth with blast into the right-field stands.

"I hit it and I was looking at it," Belnome said. "I couldn't really tell if it went around the pole or in front of the pole. The umpire called it a home run, so I was going to run around the bases. Then after looking at it, called up to the video guys and said it was 50-50, they couldn't tell. Then they [overturned it]."

{"event":["prospect" ] }

Rays burned by walk, missed catch in extras

Kiermaier's miscue on triple leads to decisive three-run 11th

Rays burned by walk, missed catch in extras play video for Rays burned by walk, missed catch in extras

ST. PETERSBURG -- What happened in the 11th inning of the Rays' 8-6 loss to the Tigers defied logic, but it served as a microcosm of the season and a series of frustrating losses.

"In a long and illustrious line," manager Joe Maddon said. "Got a nice lead, we gave that back up, fought back into it, had opportunities to win it."

But they didn't.

The Rays (61-64) have lost three straight after winning seven of their previous nine, making the math to qualify for the postseason look even more difficult to overcome.

Grant Balfour started the 11th for the Rays with the score tied at 5 and Ian Kinsler opened the inning with a sinking drive to right. Kevin Kiermaier dove to try for the catch, but the ball bounced off his glove and kept on rolling. By the time the right-fielder got the ball back to the infield, Kinsler stood on third with a triple.

"I wouldn't have dove if I wasn't 100 percent," Kiermaier said. "I'm still trying to figure out how I missed it. That was a ball that I had a good read on, and I dove, and I thought for sure that I had it. I wouldn't have dove if I wasn't 100 percent. I missed it somehow.

"Very frustrating because once a runner's on third with no outs, it's really hard to pitch to because the odds are in their favor. It's just tough because I just put that loss on my shoulders, and these are games that we need to win."

Balfour proceeded to walk Torii Hunter before Miguel Cabrera was intentionally walked to load the bases for Victor Martinez.

"There was a much better chance, I thought, to put Victor on the ground right there than the other guy," said Maddon when asked to explain the move. "So that's what I chose. ... It's a horrible moment, it's only right if it works. It just didn't work."

That verdict came when Martinez walked to force in the go-ahead run and chase Balfour.

"You feel like you give up a base hit and next thing you know the guy's at third," said Balfour, harkening back to Kiermaier's gaffe. "When does it end? ... Just tough luck. Then, you're in a tough spot and you pretty much have to go out and strike everyone out so they don't get that run. It makes it tough.

"I probably should have been more aggressive. If I concede that one run, I concede one run. ... We ended up scoring a run anyway, would have tied it up. Just trying to be too fine. Trying to do too much, not wanting to give up that run at all after that play. Yeah, just a lot of frustration."

Jeff Beliveau took over for Balfour and struck out the first batter he faced before uncorking a wild pitch with Don Kelly up to bat, allowing Hunter to score. Kelly walked to again load the bases and Bryan Holaday drove home Cabrera with a sacrifice fly to make it 8-5.

A two-out rally in the bottom half of the 11th saw Evan Longoria drive in a run and Sean Rodriguez come to the plate as the potential winning run with two runners aboard. But Rodriguez struck out to end the game.

The Rays got busy early when James Loney hit his seventh homer of the season, a three-run shot in the first off Max Scherzer. Ben Zobrist added an RBI single in the second to put the Rays up 4-0.

Meanwhile, Chris Archer started for the Rays and posted four scoreless innings before a bizarre fifth inning changed the texture of the game.

With runners on first and second and one out, Rajai Davis grounded to Loney, but the normally dependable-throwing first baseman made a bad throw to second base trying to get the force. That left the bases loaded for Kinsler.

Archer walked Kinsler on five pitches to force home the Tigers' first run. Hunter then grounded out to drive home the Tigers' second run before Cabrera hit a ball to center field. Desmond Jennings appeared to make a diving catch of the drive for the third out, but the call on the field was overturned. Cabrera's hit became a single and the Tigers' third run scored on the play.

Archer ran into more trouble in the sixth when he walked Alex Avila and Andrew Romine with two outs. Davis followed with an RBI single to center to tie it at 4.

Archer came away with a no-decision after allowing one earned run on five hits and five walks in 5 2/3 innings.

Joel Peralta started the eighth for the Rays and J.D. Martinez was the first batter he faced. After falling behind 1-0, Peralta threw a curve to Martinez, who drove the ball over the center-field wall for a go-ahead homer.

The Rays answered in the bottom of the eighth when Vince Belnome's sacrifice fly scored Longoria to tie it at 5, setting up the extra-inning finish.

"It's nice to come from behind," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "We definitely needed a win, but we're in a position where we need to win every day. To be four runs down in the blink of an eye and come back and not only take the lead, but take it twice, it's a nice feeling to come back to the clubhouse after that, as opposed to hanging your heads after a loss."

{"content":["replay" ] }

Tigers gain, save run following replay reviews

Tigers gain, save run following replay reviews play video for Tigers gain, save run following replay reviews

ST. PETERSBURG -- Instant replay smiled on the Tigers in their 8-6 win in 11 innings over the Rays on Tuesday night at Tropicana Field.

First, a crew chief review saved Detroit a run, and later, manager Brad Ausmus' successful challenge notched the Tigers an extra run.

Leading off the bottom of the fourth with the Rays ahead, 4-0, Tampa Bay designated hitter Vince Belnome thought he belted his first Major League home run, as his fly ball down the right-field line and into the stands was called fair.

But Ausmus thought differently and went onto the field to discuss the matter with the umpiring crew led by Greg Gibson. That prompted a review.

"From the get-go that looked foul to me," Ausmus said. "You basically ask [the umpires for a review]. They're very good about it -- they don't want to miss the call."

After 58 seconds passed, the call on the field was overturned. The ball was foul and Belnome then struck out for the first out of the fourth.

An inning later, Ausmus emerged from his dugout a second time, this time to discuss a potential RBI hit off the bat of Miguel Cabrera.

With runners on first and second, two outs and two runs already across in the frame, Cabrera laced a line drive into center field. But it was initially ruled that Desmond Jennings had come up with a sliding catch, which would have ended the inning.

Ausmus challenged, and replays showed Jennings had clearly trapped the ball. The call was overturned and Cabrera was credited with a single. Ian Kinsler, who had been on second, was awarded home, giving the Tigers their third run, and Torii Hunter, who had been on first, was placed on third base.

"It was close enough that I had to get out of the dugout relatively quickly, before the Rays got out of there," Ausmus said. "If they tell me it was a catch, I don't want to waste everyone's time, so I'm trying to get an answer as I'm going out. I had one within three strides of getting out of the dugout."

The next batter, Victor Martinez, struck out to end the inning, but Detroit had closed the four-run deficit to 4-3.

{"content":["replay" ] }

Maddon says losing home mark out of norm

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ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays entered Tuesday night's series opener against the Tigers with a losing record at home (28-34), in deference to their road mark of 33-29.

Manager Joe Maddon has scratched his head all season about his team's troubles at home.

"We normally vacay back home," Maddon said. "We've been that group for a long time. To be upside down at home is really unusual for us. And that's where the season lies right now. We have not played well enough here.

"Why? Probably we just haven't hit as well here. It's a very good pitcher's ballpark. You may not understand that, but it is. We just have not hit as well. It's a pretty quick surface. The dimensions don't look big, but the ball doesn't carry. We just haven't hit here as well as we should."

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