Odorizzi aims to keep Mariners from going deep

Odorizzi aims to keep Mariners from going deep

If statistics serve as an indicator, home runs could be on the menu as Ariel Miranda (7-6, 4.75 ERA) and Jake Odorizzi (6-6, 4.30 ERA) square off at Tropicana Field on Saturday.

The Mariners are a half-game back for the second American League Wild Card spot, while the Rays remain three games back for that spot.

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Kiermaier hustles out of gate upon activation

Double leads to Rays' only run of game as CF proclaims he's healthy

Kiermaier hustles out of gate upon activation

ST. PETERSBURG -- Few highlights dotted the Rays' landscape in Friday night's 7-1 loss to the Mariners, but seeing Kevin Kiermaier complete a hustling double brought a lot of smiles to Rays fans.

"Felt good," Kiermaier said. "Felt good to be back on the field. ... I felt good in the box. I felt good defensively. I felt good on the bases.

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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.

Pruitt allows 6 runs, offense struggles in loss

Pruitt allows 6 runs, offense struggles in loss

ST. PETERSBURG -- Erasmo Ramirez got some payback against his old teammates with a quality start, and Nelson Cruz made his mark with two doubles and a tape-measure home run to lead the Mariners' 7-1 win over the Rays on Friday night at Tropicana Field.

Cruz tacked onto the Mariners' lead in the ninth inning with a 482-foot blast, the longest tracked by Statcast™ at Tropicana Field. Informed of his historic effort, Cruz fired a question back to reporters: "Do they give me a prize for that?"

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

Connor Mount is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Petersburg and covered the Mariners on Friday.

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

Ramos runs with Buffalo on Players Weekend

Rays catcher looking forward to having fun with new event Aug. 25-27

Ramos runs with Buffalo on Players Weekend

ST. PETERSBURG -- "The Buffalo" will be roaming among the myriad names on the backs of Rays jerseys when the inaugural Players Weekend takes place Aug. 25-27.

Fans can look forward to seeing players wear non-traditional uniforms featuring alternate designs and nicknames. And, of course, that means Rays catcher Wilson Ramos will have "The Buffalo" on the back of his jersey.

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

Adames plates five for Durham

Adames plates five for Durham

Now into his second month playing in the Florida State League, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is finding his power stroke.

Guerrero, MLBPipeline.com's No. 6 overall prospect (Blue Jays' No. 1), connected on his second home run in as many games on Friday, going 2-for-4 with two RBIs as Class A Advanced Dunedin blanked St. Lucie, 4-0.

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Archer tosses 1,000th career K, 200th of '17

Cash impressed with righty's changeup during milestone outing

Archer tosses 1,000th career K, 200th of '17

TORONTO -- Like he's done countless times in his six years with Tampa Bay, Chris Archer provided a bright spot in an otherwise frustrating night for the Rays.

Archer recorded his 1,000th career strikeout on Thursday in Toronto -- and his 200th of the season -- which puts him in rare company. The 28-year-old ace knew he'd reached the milestone when it happened, but given the 5-3 loss and the Rays' August struggles, Archer isn't in a celebratory mood just yet.

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

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

McKay succeeding so far in two-way experiment

Rays' No. 3 prospect having no trouble between mound and plate

McKay succeeding so far in two-way experiment

When the Rays drafted Brendan McKay, he was announced as a first baseman. It was always thought the two-way star from Louisville would need to focus on one craft eventually, and it sounded like Tampa Bay wanted him to hone his hitting skills long-term.

Word spread that the organization would let McKay, who won the John Olerud Award as the college game's best two-way player an unprecedented three times, continue to both hit and pitch for a little while as he got acclimated to pro ball. But no one thought it would extend beyond this debut summer.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. Mike McCormick contributed to this story. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rays come up short after rally, milestone K's

Rays come up short after rally, milestone K's

TORONTO -- Josh Donaldson is doing just about everything in his power to get the Blue Jays back into contention for the second American League Wild Card. On Thursday afternoon, he also got a major assist from Justin Smoak.

Donaldson homered twice and Smoak hit the go-ahead shot in the eighth inning as the Blue Jays survived a late rally from the Rays to secure their third consecutive series victory with a 5-3 win at Rogers Centre. Donaldson has multiple hits in five consecutive games, and his 21 RBIs this month are tied with Baltimore's Manny Machado for the most in the AL.

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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Keegan Matheson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto.

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

Lineup versatility gives Cash ability to shuffle

With Kiermaier's return around the corner, Rays skipper has options for batting order

Lineup versatility gives Cash ability to shuffle

TORONTO -- Tampa Bay's 3-2 loss to the Blue Jays on Wednesday looked awfully familiar. Coming off a stretch where the Rays were shut out five times in eight games, their quiet offense wasn't surprising. The defeat did offer some encouraging results, though, in the form of two changes to the Rays' batting order.

Second baseman Brad Miller jumped into the leadoff spot and went 1-for-4 with a walk and RBI, while left fielder Corey Dickerson dropped down to the six hole, where he went 2-for-4 with a double. The shuffling has been a focal point recently, but it boils down to players getting a fresh look.

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

Rays' bats struggle vs. Stroman in loss to Jays

Rays' bats struggle vs. Stroman in loss to Jays

TORONTO -- The cluttered American League Wild Card race isn't getting any clearer after Marcus Stroman and the Blue Jays held on for a 3-2 win over the Rays on Wednesday night at Rogers Centre.

Stroman was charged with just two runs over 6 1/3 innings and brought his season ERA down to 2.99 while tying a career high with his 11th win. The right-hander struck out seven batters and allowed six hits and three walks, but he controlled Tampa Bay's lineup by forcing plenty of ground-ball contact with his sinking two-seam fastball. Stroman induced eight groundouts to only one flyout.

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Keegan Matheson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto who covered the Rays on Wednesday.

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

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

Faria's changeup a mystery, but its success isn't

24-year-old righty uses unique grip to baffle hitters

Faria's changeup a mystery, but its success isn't

Though the pitch has been around for nearly than 40 years, Jacob Faria's teammates implore him to keep the details of his best offering close to his vest. You can find the general blueprint online, in books and within wonkier, more creative pitching circles. But like a magician's trick or a grandma's secret recipe, there are things Faria can just do to his split-finger changeup that are more or less unteachable that make it different, and that render the intricacies of it worth protecting.

"Don't give away the grip!" Rays ace Chris Archer begs Faria from the corner of the clubhouse when a reporter asks to see how the young right-hander holds his split-change.

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

Bauers has big game for Durham

Bauers has big game for Durham

The White Sox announced on Monday that they were promoting Eloy Jimenez and Zack Collins to Double-A Birmingham. On Wednesday, it was the powerful prospect duo making an immediate impact and pacing the Barons' offense to a 9-4 win over Montgomery in their Southern League debut.

Jimenez, MLB Pipeline's No. 7 overall prospect (White Sox No. 2), homered in his first Double-A at-bat in the first inning, when he hit a 1-1 offering just inside the right-field foul pole to give Birmingham an early lead.

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rays harness power in win against Blue Jays

Rays harness power in win against Blue Jays

TORONTO -- The Rays' offense broke out of its prolonged slump and scored more runs on Tuesday night than the club had in its last four games combined.

Tampa Bay snapped a four-game losing streak as Lucas Duda and Wilson Ramos each went deep in a 6-4 victory over Toronto. The victory at least temporarily pulled the Rays to within 1 1/2 games of the second American League Wild Card spot, while Toronto dropped to 3 1/2 games back.

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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Keegan Matheson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto who covered the Rays on Tuesday.

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

Quenching win as Rays' bats douse drought

Club rewarded after keeping positive attitude through 2-8 slump, now seeks momentum

Quenching win as Rays' bats douse drought

TORONTO -- Tuesday night was a sweet relief for the Rays' offense in Toronto as it finally jumped back to life after a 10-game slumber.

Tampa Bay racked up 13 hits -- including home runs from Lucas Duda and Wilson Ramos -- in its 6-4 win after scoring just 12 runs over a 2-8 skid. That drought included five shutout losses, so it's understandable that manager Kevin Cash waited to exhale until the very end.

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

Ramos shows signs of offensive life despite loss

Ramos shows signs of offensive life despite loss

TORONTO -- The Rays will take offensive production from anywhere they can get it right now, and with Wilson Ramos showing signs of life in Monday night's 2-1 loss, that might be a good place to start.

Ramos has clearly struggled since making his Rays debut in late June and still owns a .175 average with a .531 OPS. He entered play on Monday 2-for-25 in the month of August, and it's difficult to turn that around overnight, but manager Kevin Cash believes his hitters are close, and Monday night's warning-track shots showed just that.

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

Burke fans 12 for Charlotte

Burke fans 12 for Charlotte

The hits just keep coming for Jahmai Jones.

The Angels' No. 2 prospect extended his hitting streak to 18 games on Tuesday with a leadoff double in Class A Advanced Inland Empire's 2-0 win over Lake Elsinore. He also hit a single and walked once in the contest, finishing 2-for-4 at the plate.

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ground ball leads to chaos for Jays and Rays

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Ground ball leads to chaos for Jays and Rays

Nothing we say could be more outlandish than simply describing what took place in the top of the seventh of Monday night's Rays-Blue Jays game, so here we go.

Trailing, 2-1, the Rays got a rally going with men on first and second and nobody out. Corey Dickerson hit a little blooper in front of second baseman Ryan Goins. Peter Bourjos, thinking that Goins was about to catch the ball on the fly, quickly got back to second base and stayed there. Just one problem: Goins had actually caught the ball on a bounce.

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Rays fall short vs. Jays despite Ramos' homer

Rays fall short vs. Jays despite Ramos' homer

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays gained a little ground in the race for the second American League Wild Card spot and dealt yet another blow to the Rays' hopes for the postseason on Monday night at Rogers Centre.

Right-hander Nick Tepesch allowed one run over six strong innings and the bullpen took it the rest of the way in Toronto's 2-1 victory. Tepesch scattered four hits and three walks while Aaron Loup and Roberto Osuna combined to toss three scoreless innings.

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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Keegan Matheson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto who covered the Rays on Monday.

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

Rays promote Whitley from Triple-A Durham

Rays promote Whitley from Triple-A Durham

TORONTO -- The Rays added right-hander Chase Whitley to their bullpen prior to Monday's series opener against the Blue Jays in a move to protect their starting pitching and bullpen depth.

Whitley, who was optioned to Triple-A Durham on Aug. 1, made two Minor League outings and last pitched Aug. 9. Of his 31 MLB appearances, Whitley pitched more than one inning in 15.

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

Rays feel they'll turn corner after tough stretch

Despite 2-7 homestand, Tampa Bay still in Wild Card race

Rays feel they'll turn corner after tough stretch

ST. PETERSBURG -- Sunday afternoon brought more bad news for the Rays, when they lost to the Indians, 4-3, at Tropicana Field, completing a tough nine-game homestand on a sour note.

"Maybe it's a good thing we're getting out of here for four days and heading to Toronto," Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said.

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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.

Souza's HR ties it, but Rays fall to Tribe

Souza's HR ties it, but Rays fall to Tribe

ST. PETERSBURG -- Corey Kluber came through like an ace on Sunday, and a late home run by Austin Jackson made him a winner as the Indians claimed a 4-3 win over the Rays at Tropicana Field.

"It's nice to pick him up -- not that he pitched [poorly]; I mean he gave up three [runs]," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "But when they got the two-run homer [from Steven Souza Jr.], it's nice to see our offense -- that's two games in a row -- come back and score when he was out of the game. And if anybody deserves it, it's him."

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

Connor Mount is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Petersburg who covered the Indians on Sunday.

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

Rays keeping focus ahead amid tight races

Rays keeping focus ahead amid tight races

ST. PETERSBURG -- Scoreboard watching is something all contending teams do this time of year. But if you're the Rays -- or a Rays fan -- which teams do you pull against?

Looking at the American League standings heading into Sunday's action, at least nine teams were still considered to be in the hunt, and that's not including the three division-leading teams.

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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.

Honeywell spins another gem for Durham

Honeywell spins another gem for Durham

Brent Honeywell kept the opposing team off the board once again on Sunday as he tossed turned in his second scoreless start this week for Triple-A Durham.

Honeywell, The Rays' top-ranked prospect (No. 14 overall), dominated over six innings, allowing just two hits while striking out five and generating six ground-ball outs. He did not issue a walk in the outing, throwing 52 of his 70 pitches for strikes, but received a no-decision as the Bulls ultimately fell to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, 4-2.

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rays remain in funk, get shut out by Indians

Rays remain in funk, get shut out by Indians

ST. PETERSBURG -- Tampa Bay's bats remained silent Saturday night. Cleveland's Mike Clevinger had a lot to do with that in the Indians' 3-0 win over the Rays at Tropicana Field.

Making his first start since July 31 after a brief stint in the bullpen meant to keep the rest of the rotation's schedule in order, Clevinger blanked the Rays for seven innings on four hits and a walk while striking out nine to move to 6-4 on the season.

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

Connor Mount is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Petersburg who covered the Indians on Saturday.

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

Tough luck part of Archer's streak-ending start

Bloop hits, lack of support hurt as righty doesn't make it through 6 for first time in 16 starts

Tough luck part of Archer's streak-ending start

ST. PETERSBURG -- Giving his team innings has long been Chris Archer's mantra.

The Rays right-hander exceeded 200 innings the past two seasons and is well on his way toward exceeding that exalted number again this year. Archer entered Saturday night's start against the Indians having gone six or more innings in 15 consecutive outings, leaving him one shy of tying Jeff Niemann's franchise record established from April 13-July 6, 2010.

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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 stymied by Carrasco, Indians in shutout

Rays stymied by Carrasco, Indians in shutout

ST. PETERSBURG -- Carlos Carrasco flirted with a no-hitter, and the Indians' bats hung a five-spot on the board in the fifth to lead a 5-0 win over the Rays on Friday night at Tropicana Field.

The American League Central-leading Indians (61-52) maintained a firm lock on their division, while the Rays (59-58) did not gain any ground on the AL East-leading Red Sox, nor the Wild Card-leading Yankees.

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

Connor Mount is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Petersburg who covered the Indians on Friday.

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

Snell in attack mode, impresses skipper Cash

Left-hander uses fastball to shut down tough Tribe lineup

Snell in attack mode, impresses skipper Cash

ST. PETERSBURG -- Blake Snell made strides Thursday night, and his manager, Kevin Cash, gave credit where credit was due after Snell did his part in the Rays' 4-1 win over the Indians.

"We had a chance to win the game simply because of Blake Snell's performance," Cash said. "It was outstanding."

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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.

Dickerson's clutch HR propels Rays past Tribe

Dickerson's clutch HR propels Rays past Tribe

ST. PETERSBURG -- Corey Dickerson stepped to the plate in the bottom of the eighth inning riding an 0-for-21 streak. There were two outs, two aboard and the score was tied when the Rays' slugger put away the mental baggage and delivered, hitting a three-run homer to lift the Rays to a 4-1 win over the Indians on Thursday night at Tropicana Field.

"The game is hard," Dickerson said. "It's hard for anybody, but it's about how quick you can bounce back from it. ... That's what I'm expected to do. That's why I play this game. I expected more than you all or anybody expected out of me. I was just trying not to miss my pitch and not think too much. When you're struggling, you tend to think too much and change stuff. I just tried to be my old self."

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

Connor Mount is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Indians on Thursday.

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

Rays fall further back of Red Sox in AL East

Rays fall further back of Red Sox in AL East

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Red Sox stormed to their eighth consecutive win Wednesday night, riding a quality start from Rick Porcello, timely hitting and sloppy play by the Rays for an 8-2 win at Tropicana Field.

"We seem to be firing on all cylinders," said Porcello, who turned in the Majors' eighth immaculate inning this season. "Chris [Sale] pitched a [heck] of a game [Tuesday] and got us the win there. Tonight, we came out and scored some runs. The bullpen came in and did a heck of a job, so that's kind of the recipe for us. We have to continue to do that."

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

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.