Dickerson gains steam at DH in ASG voting

Hosmer, Sano, Cruz holding on to leads over Smoak, Ramirez, Dickerson

Dickerson gains steam at DH in ASG voting

The Midsummer Classic voting race has entered the home stretch. With the 88th All-Star Game presented by MasterCard drawing ever closer, Major League Baseball released its final updates on the results of the Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot on Monday.

The starting position players and rosters for the game -- to take place on July 11 at Marlins Park in Miami -- will be unveiled on Sunday at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.

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David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

With HR, Longoria sets 3B record vs. Orioles

With HR, Longoria sets 3B record vs. Orioles

ST. PETERSBURG -- Evan Longoria victimized a familiar target with a home run in Sunday's 8-5 loss: Chris Tillman and the Baltimore Orioles.

Looking for a fastball, Longoria yanked a changeup on the outside corner into the left field bleachers to put the Rays ahead 5-3 in the fifth inning. It was the ninth time Longoria has homered off Tillman in his career, his most versus any pitcher.

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Connor Mount is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Petersburg. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bullpen falters late as Rays drop finale

Bullpen falters late as Rays drop finale

ST. PETERSBURG -- Alex Colome normally is money. On Sunday afternoon he wasn't, and the Orioles came away with an 8-5 win over the Rays at Tropicana Field.

The Orioles (37-38) claimed the rubber game over the Rays (40-38) by scoring three against the Rays closer, who entered in the ninth with the score tied at 5.

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Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rays plan to recall Snell; put Erasmo in 'pen

Rays plan to recall Snell; put Erasmo in 'pen

ST. PETERSBURG -- Blake Snell will be recalled by the Rays to start against the Pirates on Wednesday, while Erasmo Ramirez will head back to the bullpen.

A corresponding roster move will take place prior to Wednesday's game.

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Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gillaspie stays hot for Durham

Gillaspie stays hot for Durham

Logan Ice put together one of the best offensive games of his young career and led Class A Lake County to a 15-6 win over Dayton on Sunday.

Ice, the Indians' No. 21 prospect, put together his first career two-homer game and finished 2-for-4 with three runs scored and a career-high seven RBIs.

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William Boor is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Improving Cobb ready to pitch, hit in Pittsburgh

Improving Cobb ready to pitch, hit in Pittsburgh

Alex Cobb (6-5, 4.05) and the Rays pitchers get a chance to swing the bat as the team heads to Pittsburgh to face hot-hitting Andrew McCutchen and the Pirates on Tuesday night at PNC Park.

Cobb and fellow Rays starter Chris Archer prepared Saturday by taking batting practice at Tropicana Field, with Cobb swatting half a dozen homers. He said he always looks forward to the chance for in-game hitting.

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Connor Mount is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Petersburg. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

#ASGWorthy Dickerson, Longoria set record

#ASGWorthy Dickerson, Longoria set record

ST. PETERSBURG -- Down 3-0 to the Orioles in the third inning on Saturday, the Rays tied the game in a way more characteristic of this team than any others in the Majors: with back-to-back homers.

As Evan Longoria followed up Corey Dickerson's long ball with the solo shot that knotted the score in an eventual 8-3 loss to the Orioles, the Rays set a franchise record with their 10th back-to-back jacks of the season.

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Connor Mount is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Petersburg. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rough 7th inning costs Rays in loss

Rough 7th inning costs Rays in loss

ST. PETERSBURG -- Dylan Bundy gave the Orioles exactly what they needed Saturday afternoon: A quality start.

The right-hander held the Rays to three runs on five hits and four walks, while striking out eight in seven innings to claim his eighth win of the season and lead the Orioles to an 8-3 win at Tropicana Field.

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Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ramos makes long-awaited Rays debut

Ramos makes long-awaited Rays debut

ST. PETERSBURG -- Wilson Ramos went 1-for-4 with a single from the sixth spot in the order in Saturday's 8-3 loss to the Orioles, his first game since returning from knee surgery.

Ramos led off the ninth inning with a single up the middle for his first hit since Sept. 26, the day his breakout 2016 abruptly ended.

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Connor Mount is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Petersburg. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sunday's spinner giveaway changed

Sunday's spinner giveaway changed

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays have adjusted the distribution plan for Sunday's scheduled Rays Spinner giveaway.

According to a statement by the team, many of the spinners that were delivered to Tropicana Field did not meet the Rays' quality standards due to a small defect. As a result, kids 14 and under attending Sunday's game will receive a replacement giveaway as well as a voucher for a Rays Spinner redeemable at a later date.

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Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gillaspie goes deep for Durham

Gillaspie goes deep for Durham

Austin Riley's perfect day at the plate helped lead Class A Advanced Florida to a 4-3 win over Fort Myers on Saturday.

The Braves' No. 12 prospect put together his first two-homer game of the season -- and second of his career -- as he finished 3-for-3 with two homers and tied his season high with a trio of RBIs.

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William Boor is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rays hit 3 HRs, score 15 runs in win vs. O's

Rays hit 3 HRs, score 15 runs in win vs. O's

ST. PETERSBURG -- A potent offense met a struggling pitching staff, and the results were predictable Friday night at Tropicana Field, where the Rays defeated the Orioles, 15-5.

The Rays (40-36) moved to four games over .500 for the first time this season. Meanwhile, the pitchers for the Orioles (35-38) allowed five runs or more for the 20th consecutive game, earning a dubious distinction by tying the Major League record established by the 1924 Phillies.

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Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

With offense clicking, Rays reach new heights

Club overcoming injuries to surge past .500

With offense clicking, Rays reach new heights

ST. PETERSBURG -- Maybe it's time to acknowledge the obvious: The Rays are playing pretty good baseball.

Let the numbers speak for themselves.

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Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hip tendinitis lands Rasmus on 10-day DL

OF Peterson selected from Triple-A Durham

Hip tendinitis lands Rasmus on 10-day DL

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays have placed Colby Rasmus on the 10-day disabled list (retroactive to Monday) with left hip tendinitis.

Outfielder Shane Peterson was selected from Triple-A Durham to take the veteran outfielder's spot on the active roster, bringing the 40-man roster to its full capacity.

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Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Homework paying off for Rays' Smith

Outfielder's play a reflection of his notebooks

Homework paying off for Rays' Smith

ST. PETERSBURG -- In the two weeks since his callup, outfielder Mallex Smith has made himself a fixture on Rays television broadcasts for his consistent hitting, his thrilling baserunning and his visible dedication to self-improvement. When he returns to the dugout after his turn at the plate, cameras have been eager to show Smith jotting notes down for himself in a personal journal.

The notes are extensive and detailed. Smith's game preparation is even more so.

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Connor Mount is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Petersburg. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Martinez a free agent; Rays sign Broadway

Infielder clears waivers after DFA; righty assigned to Double-A Montgomery

Martinez a free agent; Rays sign Broadway

ST. PETERSBURG -- Veteran infielder Michael Martinez cleared waivers and has elected free agency, while the Rays on Thursday signed right-handed reliever Mike Broadway.

The Rays had designated Martinez for assignment on Monday to make room for infielder Trevor Plouffe on their 25-man roster.

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Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rays score 4 in 6th to beat Reds, win series

Rays score 4 in 6th to beat Reds, win series

ST. PETERSBURG -- Offense continues to fuel the Rays' fortunes. Wednesday afternoon, a four-run sixth provided the separation needed to lead to an 8-3 win over the Reds at Tropicana Field.

The Rays (39-36) claimed the series with the win, sending the Reds (30-41) to their 11th loss in their last 12 games. The Rays have won seven straight rubber match games, improving to 8-1-3 over their last 12 series.

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Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Plouffe starts to fit in with new team

Veteran has contributed in all three games since joining Rays

Plouffe starts to fit in with new team

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays did not acquire Trevor Plouffe from Oakland because they lacked power. When Plouffe hit his first home run with Tampa Bay on Wednesday, it tied the team with Houston for the Major League lead in long balls.

The Rays brought the 31-year-old Plouffe into the fold to help out in more subtle ways: to grant a regular a day off his feet, to provide a jolt off the bench or to allow the lineup some defensive shuffling.

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Connor Mount is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Petersburg. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hamilton rundown ends in a rare putout

Speedy outfielder doesn't go down easily

Hamilton rundown ends in a rare putout

ST. PETERSBURG -- Because of his speed, Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton can even make rundowns more interesting. Even though the Rays got their man caught between third base and home, they needed five men to do it because Hamilton was quick on his feet.

It made for the rare 6-5-2-4-5-7 putout in the Reds' 8-3 loss to the Rays.

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Dickerson's HR helps Rays edge Reds

Dickerson's HR helps Rays edge Reds

ST. PETERSBURG -- Corey Dickerson's bat just keeps stating his case to become the American League's DH at this year's All-Star Game in Miami.

Tuesday night, Dickerson -- currently ranked third in the voting for the designated-hitter spot, helped fuel the Rays' offense with an RBI single and his 16th home run of the season. Alex Cobb pitched in with seven innings, holding the Reds to two runs en route to a 6-5 win at Tropicana Field.

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Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cobb getting closer to pre-TJ surgery form

Cobb getting closer to pre-TJ surgery form

ST. PETERSBURG -- Viewing Tuesday's game as a singular event, the Rays are happy to see Alex Cobb persevere and earn a win in a night filled with suspect defense behind him. The team is more pleased with the continuation of Cobb's most recent trend, in which the right-hander has started looking much more like his pre-surgery self.

In holding the Reds to two runs over seven innings, Cobb made it three straight starts of six-plus innings and two or fewer earned runs after a 6-5 win over the Reds. He last achieved such a streak in late 2014, before he underwent Tommy John surgery that wiped out his 2015.

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Connor Mount is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Petersburg. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Dickerson has All-Star ballot glory in reach

Dickerson has All-Star ballot glory in reach

ST. PETERSBURG -- Corey Dickerson won't go away when it comes to the Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot voting this season.

Major League Baseball released the latest results on Tuesday and Dickerson remains very much in the running as the third-place candidate in the voting for American League DH.

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Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

LoMo headlines 6 #ASGWorthy bats in AL

LoMo headlines 6 #ASGWorthy bats in AL

Logan Morrison's career arc was written by a lot of people shortly after he made his debut for the Marlins in 2010. He was going to be a star.

Only thing is, very few players have a straight line from debut to stardom. That's how it has been for Morrison. Scouting reports get around. Injuries happen. But the really good players -- that is, those with talent and drive and a little bit of luck -- eventually figure it out.

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Richard Justice has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2011. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @RichardJustice This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Late homers not enough for Rays vs. Reds

Late homers not enough for Rays vs. Reds

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Reds snapped a nine-game losing streak with a 7-3 win over the Rays on Monday night at Tropicana Field.

Joey Votto's RBI single and Jesse Winker's two-run single fueled a three-run eighth that proved to be the difference for the Reds.

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Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2004.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Plouffe added to Rays' 25-man roster

Infielder acquired two days ago; Martinez designated for assignment

Plouffe added to Rays' 25-man roster

ST. PETERSBURG -- Two days after acquiring Trevor Plouffe from the Athletics in exchange for cash considerations, the Rays added the veteran infielder to their 25-man roster, the club announced Monday. To make room for Plouffe on the active roster, Tampa Bay designated utility man Michael Martinez for assignment.

Plouffe, who last played June 14 at Miami, told reporters he and his pregnant wife packed up their 2-year-old and their San Francisco apartment, then boarded a flight for the Tampa Bay-area that landed at 12:30 a.m. ET Monday.

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Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2004. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rays ink hurler Mercado, their second-rounder

Rays ink hurler Mercado, their second-rounder

The Tampa Bay Rays and right-handed pitcher Michael Mercado have agreed to terms on a contract, according to MLB.com's Jim Callis. The club has not confirmed the report.

Mercado was the No. 40 overall selection in the 2017 MLB Draft and will receive a $2,132,400 signing bonus from the Rays. The suggested slot value for the pick is $1,714,500.

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Oliver Macklin is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter at @OMacklinMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Father's Day makes Souza's 1st slam special

Right fielder also homered on Mother's Day this year

Father's Day makes Souza's 1st slam special

DETROIT -- After homering on Mother's Day, Steven Souza Jr. said he had to make sure his dad got some love on his special day, too.

Souza hit his first career grand slam to lead Tampa Bay to a 9-1 win over the Tigers on Father's Day. When he returned to the dugout, he walked up to the camera to wish his dad a happy Father's Day, and tell his 6-month-old son Micah that he loves him.

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Jordan Horrobin is a reporter for MLB.com based in Detroit. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.