Karns struggles as Rays' rally falls short vs. Red Sox

Karns struggles as Rays' rally falls short vs. Red Sox

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- The Red Sox scored early on Saturday and then added runs late to put a 9-6 win over the Rays on ice at Charlotte Sports Park.
    
The Red Sox jumped to a 6-0 lead, only to see that lead get cut to one run due to a costly error. But they scored once in the sixth and two times in the ninth before dodging a bases-loaded jam in the ninth en route to the win.

Nathan Karns started for the Rays and got into some early trouble after he walked the leadoff batter, Shane Victorino.

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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.

Cobb moving forward in his recovery

Ace right-hander expects to be back by the end of April

Cobb moving forward in his recovery

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Alex Cobb played catch on Saturday and everything went well.

The right-hander threw 30 pitches and said he expects to be back pitching for the Rays by the end of April.

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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 still have plenty of roster decisions to make

Spots in the bullpen, starting rotation and bench remain up for grabs

Rays still have plenty of roster decisions to make

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Heading into Saturday, the Rays' roster stood at 44 players. That means 19 players must be trimmed in some fashion before the start of the season.

Rays manager Kevin Cash expects the final decisions about who will be on the team's 25-man roster will go down to the wire. All teams must set their roster by 3 p.m. ET on April 5.

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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, Orioles game washed out

Game was postponed in the middle of the fourth inning by rain

Rays, Orioles game washed out

SARASOTA, Fla. -- The Orioles and Rays game was called off due to inclement weather in the middle of the fourth inning.

Baltimore was leading the contest, which was not long enough to be an official game, 4-3, with home runs by Adam Jones and Nolan Reimold.

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

Teaford making a push for spot on Rays pitching staff

Teaford making a push for spot on Rays pitching staff

SARASOTA, Fla. -- With his 31st birthday drawing near, a modest 106 Major League innings under his belt and multiple spots on the Tampa Bay pitching staff up for grabs, Everett Teaford's career has reached a critical stage.

And the Rays' left-hander is pitching accordingly.

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Michael Kolligian is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Karns uses new mindset to earn spot in Rays rotation

Karns uses new mindset to earn spot in Rays rotation

PORT CHARLOTTE. Fla. -- Along with the standard equipment he typically brings to Spring Training each February, Nathan Karns decided to pack something else this year.

A modified mindset.

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Michael Kolligian is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cash confirms Odorizzi, Karns will start in opening series

Lefties McGee, Moore will throw bullpen sessions, Cabrera to DH in Minor League game

Cash confirms Odorizzi, Karns will start in opening series

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Rays manager Kevin Cash met with the media in Port Charlotte this morning, and offered several updates before the team boarded the bus for Sarasota, Fla.

Cash confirmed that Nathan Karns and Jake Odorizzi will start the second and third games of the regular season vs. the Orioles. But he has yet to determine the order in which he will use the two right-handers.

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Michael Kolligian is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Archer named Opening Day starter

Right-hander becomes 11th different pitcher to get call in opener

Archer named Opening Day starter

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Chris Archer will be the Tampa Bay Rays' Opening Day starter.

Rays manager Kevin Cash confirmed what appeared to be the obvious choice prior to Thursday's game against the Yankees.

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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.

Longoria, Jennings go deep in win over Yankees

Seven Rays relievers combine for victory

Longoria, Jennings go deep in win over Yankees

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- The Rays had a "bullpen day" on Thursday as they did not use a starting pitcher, rather a stream of relievers were backed by home runs from Evan Longoria and Desmond Jennings in a 6-5 win over the New York Yankees on Thursday at Charlotte Sports Park.

"You had to be prepared a little earlier," said Grant Balfour, who pitched a scoreless third. "Guys are going six, seven innings now. Today was one of those days where we just threw all the relievers out there."

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Souza focused on making a home with Rays

Tampa Bay acquired reigning International League Player of the Year from Nats in offseason

Souza focused on making a home with Rays

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Steven Souza Jr. might have been an established Major Leaguer sooner had he not come up in the Nationals' organization.

Their outfield is, and has been, strong, to say the least.

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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 reassign four to Minors camp, reduce roster to 44

Rays reassign four to Minors camp, reduce roster to 44

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- The Rays reduced their roster to 44 following Thursday's 6-5 win over the Yankees.

Reassigned to Minor League camp were right-handers Ronald Belisario, Andrew Belatti, and Bryce Stowell along with infielder Eugenio Velez.

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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.

Manfred discusses stadium in Rays' camp visit

Manfred discusses stadium in Rays' camp visit

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Rob Manfred visited the Rays' camp on Thursday, first meeting with players prior to the media. Fielding questions about the Rays' stadium issue proved to be the order of the day for Major League Baseball's new Commissioner.

Manfred first noted that he talks regularly to Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg.

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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.

Andriese, Rays outduel Gibson, Twins with late rally

Andriese, Rays outduel Gibson, Twins with late rally

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Rays' Matt Andriese and the Twins' Kyle Gibson matched up for a Grapefruit League pitchers' duel on Wednesday afternoon at Hammond Stadium, as the Rays scored late to pick up a 2-1 win.

The Rays scored the go-ahead run in the ninth inning, off Caleb Thielbar. With two outs, Joey Butler walked, advanced to third on Joey Rickard's single and scored when Leonardo Reginatto legged out an infield single to shortstop. 

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Andrew Simon is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Jepsen ready for big role in Rays bullpen

Jepsen ready for big role in Rays bullpen

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Kevin Jepsen should be a mainstay in this year's bullpen for Tampa Bay.

The Rays acquired the veteran reliever from the Angels in exchange for outfielder Matt Joyce. Thus far, manager Kevin Cash said he's been "kind of exactly as everybody envisioned."

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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.

Cobb progressing, Smyly set for another 'pen session

Cobb progressing, Smyly set for another 'pen session

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Rays have experienced their share of injuries this spring, but all seem to be moving in the right direction where recovery is concerned.

Alex Cobb (right-forearm tendinitis) visited team orthopedic Dr. Koco Eaton on Monday and got a good report.

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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.

Forsythe getting chance to start at second base

Forsythe getting chance to start at second base

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Now that Nick Franklin is out with a left-oblique strain, Logan Forsythe should be considered the Rays' starting second baseman.

Rays manager Kevin Cash allowed as much on Wednesday when he noted: "I think Logan will see the bulk of the playing time there until we get our roster back."

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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 Members to receive new perks for 2015 season

Rays Members to receive new perks for 2015 season

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Beginning this season, Rays Members will receive half-priced parking and the ability to use a smartphone as a digital ticket and for payment at concessions stands.

"We pride ourselves on staying at the forefront of fan engagement, affordability and convenience," said Brian Richeson, vice president of sales and service. "The ability for Rays Members to access their benefits from their smartphone further enhances all three of those objectives.

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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 impressed with Karns' strong spring

With injuries to rotation, right-hander has chance to prove staying power

Rays impressed with Karns' strong spring

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Nathan Karns arrived at camp ready to compete for the No. 5 spot in the Rays' rotation. And the odds were not in his favor. But things happen, and the right-hander is now on the brink of becoming the team's No. 3 starter -- at least to begin the season.

Karns pitched in a Minor League game on Tuesday afternoon. By design, he pitched just two innings, throwing 29 pitches. Afterward, Karns told reporters he felt strong.

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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.

McGee throws 30 pitches in bullpen session

McGee throws 30 pitches in bullpen session

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Jake McGee continued to make progress from offseason left elbow surgery when he threw his third bullpen session of the spring on Tuesday.

The Rays had an off-day, but the hard-throwing lefty went to work, throwing 30 fastballs to catcher Bobby Wilson, prompting manager Kevin Cash to joke: "Why isn't he pitching?"

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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 to retire Zimmer's number on Opening Day

Rays to retire Zimmer's number on Opening Day

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- The Rays announced on Tuesday that Don Zimmer's No. 66 will be retired on Opening Day. A ceremony will take place at Tropicana Field prior to the Orioles-Rays contest on April 6.

"Don Zimmer enriched the lives of everyone in the Rays family, and he played a significant part in the growth of our organization," Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg said. "Zim's presence has been a gift to the game of baseball, and his influence will be felt for years to come.

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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 play small ball behind Archer's solid start

Potential Opening Day starter strikes out four over 4 2/3 innings

Rays play small ball behind Archer's solid start

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- With potential Opening Day starter Chris Archer on the hill for the fourth time this spring, the Rays' small-ball approach wasn't enough to combat the Pirates' power attack in Pittsburgh's 7-6 victory on Monday afternoon at Charlotte Sports Park.

Francisco Cervelli, Gorkys Hernandez and Pedro Florimon each homered for the Bucs, with Florimon's eighth-inning solo shot tying the game. Wilkin Castillo hit a single to left to drive in the Pirates' decisive run in the ninth.

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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.

Tickets available for Rays' final 4 Grapefruit home games

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Tickets are still available for the Rays' four remaining home dates at the Charlotte Sports Park this spring, all against American League East rivals.

The Rays will face the Yankees (Thursday), the Red Sox twice (Saturday and March 31) and the Orioles (Monday). The March 31 matchup vs. Boston wraps up Tampa Bay's Grapefruit home slate.

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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.

Bell's final toll: Longtime closer elects to retire

All-Star from 2009-11 with Padres, fiery reliever bows out after 11-season career

Bell's final toll: Longtime closer elects to retire

Heath Bell turned down the stereo long enough in his 31-foot Fleetwood RV on Tuesday afternoon to take a few questions about the next chapter in his life, although he didn't take the foot off the gas pedal, as he bombed his way across the Florida Panhandle.

A day after being released by the Nationals, Bell was only a few hours into what he was expecting to be a three-day solo drive back to San Diego, where he will join his wife, Nicole, and their four children for good.

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Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Oblique injury puts opener in jeopardy for Franklin

Several Rays players making progress on road back to full strength

Oblique injury puts opener in jeopardy for Franklin

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Nick Franklin joined the list of injured Rays on Monday, and the infielder could miss the start of the season.

The candidate to play second base tweaked his left oblique on his last swing of batting practice prior to the game. When asked if the injury might delay the start of his season, Franklin told reporters, "Yeah, absolutely."

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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.

Asdrubal works hard to prove himself at short

Veteran earns Rays' everyday job after offseason preparation

Asdrubal works hard to prove himself at short

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Asdrubal Cabrera had something to prove.

The veteran heard that he had lost too much range to play shortstop, prompting him to take action during the offseason to quiet the whispers.

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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.

Durham Bulls to wear 'Game of Thrones' jerseys

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Durham Bulls to wear 'Game of Thrones' jerseys

Thought that there couldn't be any more pop culture-themed Minor League jerseys? Don't be ridiculous. We are fast approaching the day when every Minor League jersey is based on some movie, TV show or Internet meme.

Look, here's a chart I made that uses no actual data whatsoever. 

Continue Reading on Cut4

Cash names 'sure-handed' Cabrera everyday shortstop

Manager says Franklin, Forsythe will split second-base responsibilities

Cash names 'sure-handed' Cabrera everyday shortstop

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Asdrubal Cabrera will be the Rays' starting shortstop this season. Manager Kevin Cash made the announcement Monday morning.

"Just made the most sense right now for the club and all parties involved," Cash said. "I think everybody's come in and done a good job, for the most part.

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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.