Mechanical adjustment pays off for Franklin

Rays second baseman went deep after 0-for-25 skid at plate

Mechanical adjustment pays off for Franklin

ANAHEIM -- Just when the Angels appeared like they would run away and hide Monday night, Nick Franklin stepped up to make a difference.

Ultimately, that difference could not change the Rays' fortunes -- which were minted in a 7-3 loss -- but it did give the Rays a chance to win.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Homers sting Colome, Rays in series opener

Homers sting Colome, Rays in series opener

ANAHEIM -- Albert Pujols homered twice, and David Freese and Mike Trout also went deep, leading the Angels and their suddenly surging offense to a 7-3 victory over the Rays in Southern California on Monday night.

The Angels, coming off a four-game sweep of the Tigers, have won a season-high five straight games to put them a season-best four games above .500 at 28-24. The Rays have dropped seven of their last nine and are now 26-26.

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Bill Chastain and Alden Gonzalez are reporters for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rays DFA Frieri, call up Mahtook

Rays DFA Frieri, call up Mahtook

ANAHEIM -- The Rays designated right-hander Ernesto Frieri following Monday night's 7-3 loss to the Angels. They will recall outfielder Mikie Mahtook prior to Tuesday night's game against the Angels.

"Unfortunately, we had to designate Ernesto Frieri tonight," manager Kevin Cash said. "We're going to recall Mikie Mahtook, with the lefties coming in and kind of the way our bullpen is."

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Moore set to pitch in Class A on Wednesday

Moore set to pitch in Class A on Wednesday

ANAHEIM -- Matt Moore will pitch for Class A Advanced Charlotte on Wednesday, which means the left-hander has entered the home stretch of recovery from 2014 Tommy John surgery to his left elbow.

"We have Matt Moore scheduled to throw three innings, 50 pitches," Rays manager Kevin Cash said.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Archer looks to continue hot stretch in Anaheim

Archer looks to continue hot stretch in Anaheim

Angels left-hander C.J. Wilson will take the mound against the Rays on Tuesday night -- hoping for a better result than the last time he faced Tampa Bay -- in the second game of a three-game set at Angel Stadium.

Last August, Wilson returned from a three-week stint on the disabled list at Tropicana Field -- and his return lasted four outs, as he was knocked out in the second inning after giving up six runs. Wilson would prefer his start Tuesday to look more like the one he pitched five days ago, when he held the Tigers to one run on two hits over six innings.

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David Adler is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @_dadler. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rays in need of All-Star support

Rays in need of All-Star support

ANAHEIM -- The latest 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot tabulation was announced on Monday, and the Rays are going to need some help from their fans if any players are going to get elected to this year's Mid-Summer Classic.

"I would vote several guys in here, obviously," Rays slugger Steven Souza Jr. said. "Start with our pitching staff. It's been phenomenal all year long."

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bellatti called up to bolster Rays bullpen

Bellatti called up to bolster Rays bullpen

ANAHEIM -- Tim Beckham became the 15th different Rays player to go on the disabled list this season and the Rays recalled Andrew Bellatti from Triple-A Durham on Monday.

Beckham (right hamstring strain) was placed on the 15-day DL following Sunday's game in Baltimore.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Souza powers Rays past O's, into tie for 1st

Souza powers Rays past O's, into tie for 1st

BALTIMORE-- Red-hot Steven Souza Jr. hit his third home run in three days -- a three-run shot -- to help Tampa Bay to a 9-5 victory over the Orioles on Sunday afternoon at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, and into a tie for first place in the American League East.

Souza, first among American League rookies with 10 homers, crushed Orioles starter Chris Tillman's 3-2 pitch in the fifth inning to cap a four-run frame. David DeJesus added a solo homer off Oliver Drake in the seventh. Joey Butler went 4-for-5 with two doubles for the Rays, who have won two straight since stopping a six-game slide.

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Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. Connor Smolensky is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Souza, Butler combine for huge weekend in Baltimore

Newcomers team up for 11 hits and four homers during three-game series

Souza, Butler combine for huge weekend in Baltimore

BALTIMORE -- All the reporters in the Rays' locker room wanted to hear about Steven Souza Jr. and Joey Butler following Sunday's 9-5 win over the Orioles.

A year ago, that would not have been possible. The two Tampa Bay newcomers combined for seven hits and three RBIs on Sunday at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

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Connor Smolensky is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Beckham placed on DL with strained hamstring

Beckham placed on DL with strained hamstring

BALTIMORE -- The Rays placed Tim Beckham on the 15-day disabled list with a right hamstring strain following Sunday's 9-5 win over the Orioles.

The team will travel to Anaheim for a three-game series against the Angels, and make a corresponding move before Monday's game.

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Connor Smolensky is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ramirez delighted with dominant outing

Right-hander fans seven over seven shutout innings vs. Orioles

Ramirez delighted with dominant outing

BALTIMORE -- Erasmo Ramirez was quite frank with reporters following the Rays' 3-0 victory on Saturday.

"I am really happy right now. I cannot stop smiling," he said with a big grin on his face.

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Connor Smolensky is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ramirez, Rays blank O's to stop slide

Ramirez, Rays blank O's to stop slide

BALTIMORE -- The Rays homered twice, and Erasmo Ramirez achieved season highs with seven innings and seven strikeouts to snap Tampa Bay's six-game losing streak in a 3-0 win over the Orioles at Camden Yards on Saturday.

Tampa Bay scored three runs in the first three innings, which paved the way for Ramirez. Steven Souza Jr. and Joey Butler both hit solo home runs over the tall scoreboard in right field on an 84-degree day in Baltimore.

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Jeff Seidel is a contributor to MLB.com. Connor Smolensky is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Karns, Cash confident in bullpen despite setback

Right-hander throws 87 pitches over six, allows one hit with six strikeouts

Karns, Cash confident in bullpen despite setback

BALTIMORE -- Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash and Nate Karns both echoed the same sentiments after the Rays' 2-1 loss to the Orioles on Friday night at Oriole Park at Camden Yards: They have a lot of confidence in the Rays' bullpen.

Yet Karns also had a lot of confidence in himself after the sixth inning. The rookie right-hander had given up just one hit, struck out seven and was sitting at 87 pitches, but it was Kevin Jepsen who trotted out for the seventh inning.

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Connor Smolensky is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rays fall short in series opener

Rays fall short in series opener

BALTIMORE -- J.J. Hardy's two-out single gave the Orioles a 2-1 walk-off win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday night.

Hardy, facing the third Rays reliever of the inning in Steve Geltz, poked a ball into left field to score pinch-runner Everth Cabrera and seal in the victory.

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Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. Connor Smolensky is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cabrera, Souza return to Rays' lineup

Both left Sunday's game vs. Oakland with injuries

Cabrera, Souza return to Rays' lineup

BALTIMORE -- Steven Souza Jr. and Asdrubal Cabrera both returned to the Rays' lineup in Friday's 2-1 loss to the Orioles for the first time since both injured themselves against Oakland last Sunday.

Souza left last weekend's game with a sprained wrist after running into A's catcher Stephen Vogt while trying to score in the first inning, and Cabrera came up limping on the basepaths with what turned out to be a mild left groin strain.

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Connor Smolensky is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Elmore gets shot to replace injured Loney

Elmore gets shot to replace injured Loney

BALTIMORE -- The Rays haven't quite found a replacement for James Loney at first base since he was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Monday with a broken middle finger in his left hand.

Logan Forsythe filled in for Loney when the Rays were swept in a three-game series against the Mariners at the beginning of the week. On Friday, Jake Elmore got his shot and went 1-for-4 in the 2-1 loss to the Orioles.

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Connor Smolensky is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: How can Tampa Bay prevent more injuries?

Beat reporter Bill Chastain answers questions from Rays fans

Inbox: How can Tampa Bay prevent more injuries?

With all of the injuries the Rays have had, when is somebody going to check out the team's training staff? Two words: Preventative care.
-- Bob R., Richmond
, Va.

I couldn't disagree with you more, Bob. First, from what I observe, the care the players get from the training staff is amazing. And if you want some numbers, consider this: Chris Archer and Jake Odorizzi began the 2014 season as the Rays' No. 4 and No. 5 starters, respectively, and haven't missed a start since. Tampa Bay has filled the other three spots with 12 pitchers in that span, giving the team 14 starters in 210 games. From 2008-13, the club used a Major League-low 20 starting pitchers in 973 games. The training staff has been a constant throughout the years. So I would conclude that the laws of probability finally caught up to the Rays' pitching staff, not that the training staff is lacking. Remember, throwing a baseball is not the most natural motion.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Impressive Archer gets short end of duel

Right-hander matches career high with 12 strikeouts in eight shutout innings

Impressive Archer gets short end of duel

ST. PETERSBURG -- In the midst of a pitchers' duel with the Mariners' Felix Hernandez, Chris Archer could have let the moment get to him, but he didn't.

Instead, he went toe-to-toe with the Seattle ace, allowing two hits through eight scoreless innings while matching a career-high with 12 strikeouts en route to a no-decision in the Rays' 3-0 loss to the Mariners.

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Troy Provost-Heron is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

X-rays negative on Kiermaier's right ankle

Outfielder plunked by Hernandez in sixth inning of Wednesday's loss

X-rays negative on Kiermaier's right ankle

ST. PETERSBURG -- In the aftermath of the Rays' 3-0 loss to the Mariners Wednesday afternoon, good news came when X-rays to Kevin Kiermaier's right ankle were negative.

With one out in the sixth, Seattle starter Felix Hernandez hit Kiermaier on his right ankle. The Rays center fielder went to the ground in obvious pain, but after being tended to by Rays trainers, he took his base.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rays activate, then option Brett to Triple-A

Rays activate, then option Brett to Triple-A

The Rays reinstated rookie infielder Ryan Brett from the 15-day disabled list on Thursday and optioned him to Triple-A Durham. Brett, 23 years old, got a hit in two of his first three at-bats in the Major Leagues, but he suffered a shoulder injury in April while diving back to first base on a pickoff attempt.

Brett, a third-round selection in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, saw action in three games at second base for Tampa Bay. Brett began the season at Durham and batted .211 in 38 at-bats, and he's a .296 hitter with 25 home runs in 382 games over the course of his Minor League career.

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Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Archer spins gem, but bats silenced by Felix

Archer spins gem, but bats silenced by Felix

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Mariners hit a go-ahead home run off Rays closer Brad Boxberger for the second consecutive game on Wednesday, this one a three-run shot off the bat of Nelson Cruz, to give Seattle a 3-0 win over Tampa Bay and a series sweep.

Boxberger came in to relieve Chris Archer in the top of the ninth and proceeded to strike out Mike Zunino and Austin Jackson to start the inning, but walked Seth Smith and Robinson Cano to bring Cruz to the plate. After getting ahead, 1-0, Cruz launched a ball over the center-field wall and into the Rays' Touch Tank. It was only the fourth home run to ever land in the Touch Tank.

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Troy Provost-Heron is an associate reporter for MLB.com and Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rays eye Friday return for Souza, Asdrubal

Banged-up players available off bench for Wednesday's series finale

Rays eye Friday return for Souza, Asdrubal

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays are eyeing Friday as the return date for right fielder Steven Souza Jr. and shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, and both were available off the bench in Wednesday's 3-0 loss to the Mariners.

Cabrera appeared as a pinch-hitter and flied out to right in the ninth.

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Troy Provost-Heron is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rays grant Balfour release from Minors

Right-hander tallied just 4 1/3 innings with Tampa Bay in 2015

Rays grant Balfour release from Minors

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays announced on Wednesday that right-handed pitcher Grant Balfour was granted his release from his Minor League contract, ending his stint with Triple-A Durham.

Balfour was designated for assignment on April 19 after making six appearances for the Rays, allowing three runs in 4 1/3 innings, but re-signed with the club on May 1. In eight appearances for the Bulls, he posted a 2.79 ERA in 9 2/3 innings.

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Troy Provost-Heron is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rays rally to tie but fall in extra innings

Rays rally to tie but fall in extra innings

ST. PETERSBURG -- Kyle Seager did in the Rays with two home runs on Tuesday night at Tropicana Field, leading the Mariners to a 7-6 win in 10 innings.

Facing Brad Boxberger with one out in the 10th, Seager connected on an 0-2 fastball that went over the center-field wall for his second home run of the game and a one-run lead for the Mariners.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Elmore picks up Rays in losing effort

Elmore picks up Rays in losing effort

ST. PETERSBURG -- With his team trailing by a run in the bottom of the ninth inning on Tuesday, manager Kevin Cash called on Asdrubal Cabrera to pinch-hit for Tim Beckham, hoping he'd drive in one or both of the runners standing on second and third.

The Mariners had other ideas, intentionally walking Cabrera and electing instead to take their chances with Jake Elmore, who began the night with 15 at-bats on the season.

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Troy Provost-Heron is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.TV unveils new media player, price drop

MLB.TV unveils new media player, price drop

Along with the new Web-based media player (version 5.0) that was introduced this week by Major League Baseball Advanced Media, there is another new reason to sign up now to watch live out-of-market games. The cost of a yearly subscription was lowered on Friday to $99.99 for MLB.TV Premium and $79.99 for MLB.TV.

This is the final weekend of May, and the price drop for MLB.TV reflects the fact that nearly a third of the regular season is in the books. The new HD media player has an in-page layout, so it all happens in your browser with no need for an additional download, and the new game scoreboard will make it easier to track games.

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Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.