Rays grab early lead, stifle Yanks for victory

Rays grab early lead, stifle Yanks for victory

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays are hard to beat when they get pitching and the long ball. And that's exactly the recipe they used Friday night to defeat the Yankees, 5-1, at Tropicana Field.

Logan Forsythe and Corey Dickerson staked starter Jake Odorizzi to a 2-0 lead in the first with solo homers off Yankees starter Ivan Nova. Tampa Bay continued to add runs after the opening frame, and Odorizzi and the bullpen did the rest.

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Sam Blum is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Petersburg and covered the Yankees on Friday.

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' play of late what they expected all year

Starting pitching has led the way since break, with offense and defense chipping in

Rays' play of late what they expected all year

ST. PETERSBURG -- Friday night the Rays painted a portrait of how the team planned to win games in 2016: Great pitching, solid defense and just enough hitting.

"When we tried to anticipate what this year was going to look like, our starters were going to be our horses. Our defense was going to carry us and we had some power threats," said Steven Souza Jr., who chipped in with a sacrifice fly in the 5-1 win over the Yankees at Tropicana Field.

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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 activate Boxberger, place LoMo on DL

Arcia also out with right elbow strain; Franklin recalled from Triple-A

Rays activate Boxberger, place LoMo on DL

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays' bullpen received a major boost on Friday when Brad Boxberger was activated from the disabled list.

Boxberger's activation highlighted a busy transaction day that also saw infielder/outfielder Nick Franklin recalled from Triple-A Durham. Both took open spots on the 25-man roster created when Logan Morrison (right forearm strain) and Oswaldo Arcia (right elbow strain) went on the 15-day disabled list.

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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.

Smyly looks to get back into win column

Smyly looks to get back into win column

The Yankees and Rays will play the second game of their three-game series on Saturday at Tropicana Field. But the continued focus will be the on Monday's non-waver Trade Deadline.

But both teams are just trying to steer clear of the elephant in the room.

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Sam Blum 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.

Analyzing Rays' past Trade Deadline deals

Analyzing Rays' past Trade Deadline deals

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays don't like to classify themselves as buyers or sellers. They like to act as the market dictates, and they make whatever move makes the most sense at the right time.

"We don't characterize ourselves at all," Rays president of baseball operations Matt Silverman said. "We know where we are in the standings. We dug ourselves a big hole. At the same time, we have confidence in this club. Whether we are active in the trading market or not is going to be determined by the market, by the conversations, by our record."

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Sam Blum 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.

Snell centerpiece of Rays' rosy future

Tampa Bay places four in midseason update of Top 100 Prospects

Snell centerpiece of Rays' rosy future

ST. PETERSBURG -- Looking forward is the best tack for Rays fans given the way the 2016 season has unfolded. And what better way to do so than taking a glance at the players who will drive the future for this team.

MLB.com's lists for the Top 100 Prospects in baseball and the Top 30 Prospects for each individual organization were released on Thursday.

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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 put in Moore work, earn first LA win

Rays put in Moore work, earn first LA win

LOS ANGELES -- Matt Moore allowed one unearned run in 6 2/3 innings and Evan Longoria slugged a two-run homer in a three-run fourth inning as the Rays beat the Dodgers on Wednesday, 3-1, for the franchise's first win at Dodger Stadium.

"It's a long flight home," Rays manager Kevin Cash said after the road-trip finale. "It's nice to have a 'W' under our belts. Matt Moore was outstanding, again. It's not hard to believe. But what he's done over here the last eight, nine, 10 starts has been really impressive."

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Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.

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.

LoMo, Dickerson leave feet for ovation-worthy grabs

LoMo, Dickerson leave feet for ovation-worthy grabs

LOS ANGELES -- The outcome of Wednesday afternoon's Rays-Dodgers game could have gone either way in the seventh inning. What happened in that crucial frame went a long way toward breaking the Rays' four-game losing streak.

Corey Dickerson and Logan Morrison came away the heroes for flashing the leather in the pivotal inning of the Rays' 3-1 win over the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium.

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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

Rays have plenty of pitchers to offer if the price is right

Archer, Moore, Odorizzi among Tampa Bay's attractive trade chips

Rays have plenty of pitchers to offer if the price is right

The Tampa Bay Rays may just be the key to everything at this point. That's the power that comes with having so much quality pitching and a bunch of teams that are anxious to upgrade their rotation.

What the Rays do between now and Monday's 4 p.m. ET non-waiver Trade Deadline could decide three division races, and it could also impact various other postseason chases.

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Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com. Read his blog, Justice4U. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Moore extends impressive stretch amid trade talk

Lefty, who could be dealt by Monday's Deadline, gets through 6 in 10th straight start

Moore extends impressive stretch amid trade talk

LOS ANGELES -- Matt Moore slowly walked off the mound on a hot, humid Southern California day, with the sun bearing down. Aside from the spattering of Rays fans at Dodger Stadium cheering, it was largely unceremonious.

With trade rumors swirling around the Rays, and particularly Moore, Wednesday afternoon's start, a 3-1 win, quite possibly could have been the lefty's last for the team that drafted him more than nine years ago.

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Sam Blum 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.

MLB.com Columnist

Mike Petriello

Versatile slugger Pearce is a valuable trade chip

.564 slugging percentage against lefties since 2014 is among game's best

Versatile slugger Pearce is a valuable trade chip

At 39-61 after a 3-1 win over the Dodgers on Wednesday, the Rays could do everything at the Aug. 1 non-waiver Trade Deadline, or nearly nothing. They could move Chris Archer, Matt Moore, Jake Odorizzi, Alex Colome or even Evan Longoria and explode the industry. Or with only three impending free agents, two of whom are unlikely trade targets, they could simply sit tight and hope for better luck with the same core in 2017.

The one thing we know for nearly certain: Steve Pearce is going somewhere, since his one-year contract is nearly up. And since he's a fit for just about every single contender in baseball, the Rays might actually get a nice return for the relatively small $4.75 million they gave Pearce in January.

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Mike Petriello is an analyst for MLB.com and the host of the Statcast podcast. He has previously written for ESPN Insider and FanGraphs. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rays seek answers as 1-run losses mount

Rays seek answers as 1-run losses mount

LOS ANGELES -- Tuesday's 3-2 loss to the Dodgers marked the first time in franchise history that the Rays lost four straight games by just one run apiece. Six of the seven losses following the All-Star break have been by one run, leading to a mounting frustration by the team and manager Kevin Cash.

"I view it as a team that's not good enough," Cash said. "We're not good enough right now. We've got to figure out a way to win those ballgames. ... It seems like when those big moments in the game are coming, we're not getting it done."

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Sam Blum 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.

Archer turns in strong outing amid trade talk

Rays righty strikes out eight in loss to Dodgers

Archer turns in strong outing amid trade talk

LOS ANGELES -- If the Rays do decide to trade Chris Archer, the right-hander went out on a strong -- albeit, losing -- note, Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium.

Archer, who is in the middle of many trade rumors, made his 22nd start of the season and 115th of his Rays career in the 3-2 loss. Like many recent losses by Rays starters, he deserved a better fate.

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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.

Archer thwarted by costly errors as rally falls short

Archer thwarted by costly errors as rally falls short

LOS ANGELES -- Scouts sent to watch Chris Archer on Tuesday night saw him outdueled by Bud Norris, as the Dodgers kept the heat on the first-place Giants with a 3-2 Interleague win over Tampa Bay.

Archer (5-14), whose rumored Trade Deadline destinations include Los Angeles, allowed three runs (two unearned) on four hits in seven innings with eight strikeouts. But Norris (5-9 overall and 3-2 with LA) allowed only two hits in 6 1/3 scoreless innings. He struck out six and surpassed 1,000 career strikeouts, three nights after relieving in St. Louis and allowing a walk-off home run to Matt Adams in the 16th inning.

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

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.

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

Maile making most of chance behind plate

Catcher remains a position in flux for Rays

Maile making most of chance behind plate

LOS ANGELES -- Catching has been one of the most difficult positions for the Rays to fill, dating back to Devil Rays days.

The position remains in flux. Even Rays manager Kevin Cash, when asked about positions that are locked down for the present and immediate future, allowed "that specific one isn't." 

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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.

Jennings could return for series vs. Royals

Rays outfielder goes 1-for-4 in first rehab assignment

Jennings could return for series vs. Royals

LOS ANGELES -- Rays outfielder Desmond Jennings played in his first rehab game Tuesday, as he works his way back from a hamstring strain sustained on June 30.

Jennings batted leadoff as the DH for Class A Advanced Charlotte and finished 1-for-4 with a strikeout against Jupiter. Barring any setbacks, Rays manager Kevin Cash hopes to have Jennings back early next week when Tampa Bay hosts Kansas City.

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Sam Blum 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.

Williams among top prospect performers Tuesday

Rays' No. 13 prospect knocks in career-high five runs, Reds' No. 18 scores winning run and hits for cycle

Williams among top prospect performers Tuesday

Justin Williams tied his career high for homers in a season and set a career high for RBIs in a game. Not bad for a day's work.

Williams, the Rays' No. 13 prospect, went 3-for-4 with five RBIs Tuesday as he led Double-A Montgomery to a 10-5 win over Pensacola.

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

Rays lose fourth straight one-run game

Club leaves six men on base in last three innings vs. Dodgers

Rays lose fourth straight one-run game

LOS ANGELES -- The Rays had every chance to reverse a trend of close losses that has defined their struggles following the All-Star break. Tampa Bay had just two hits in the first six innings in Tuesday night's 3-2 loss to the Dodgers. When they finally found a way to hit, they couldn't figure out how to score.

Six men were left on base in the last three innings. In the seventh, two pinch-hitters stranded runners after a pair of one-out walks. In the eighth, after the first three batters got hits, the next three combined for two strikeouts and a popup. And in the ninth, with the tying run on second base and one out, the Rays struck out twice.

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Sam Blum 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.

Inbox: Will the Rays move Archer?

Beat reporter Bill Chastain answers questions from Tampa Bay fans

Inbox: Will the Rays move Archer?

Will the fact that Chris Sale now seems to be on the market affect what the Rays do in regards to trades? He's got to be considered the top pitcher on the market now.
-- Paul K., Brandon, Fla.

Rumors concerning Rays players have swirled throughout the Major Leagues this trade season, primarily because Tampa Bay is lower in the standings than the club has been in recent years. Prominent among the rumors are Chris Archer, Matt Moore and Jake Odorizzi.

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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.

Snell keeps Rays' rotation on stellar roll

Rookie hurls staff's 6th straight quality start

Snell keeps Rays' rotation on stellar roll

OAKLAND -- Some Rays fans might say it's about time. Others might suffice it to say it's nice to see the team's starters finally start to live up to lofty expectations.

Rookie southpaw Blake Snell added to the roll the Rays starters have enjoyed when he allowed two runs in 6 2/3 innings in Sunday's 3-2 loss to the A's at the Oakland Colisieum.

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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.

Whitley, Cobb continue to progress in rehabs

Rays pitchers recovering from Tommy John surgeries

Whitley, Cobb continue to progress in rehabs

OAKLAND -- Chase Whitley continued his rehab from Tommy John surgery on Sunday, allowing one hit and a walk while striking out one in two innings for Class A Advanced Charlotte against Brevard County.

Rays manager Kevin Cash was asked if Whitley, claimed off waivers from the Yankees in the offseason, had moved ahead of Alex Cobb in their progression toward a return to the Rays.

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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 can't hold off A's, drop 3rd straight

Rays can't hold off A's, drop 3rd straight

OAKLAND -- Billy Butler's solo home run in the eighth proved to be the difference in the A's 3-2 win over the Rays Sunday at the Oakland Coliseum.

After losing the first game of the four-game series, the A's (45-54) won the final three over the Rays (38-60), taking the lead in the eighth inning or later of each win. They've won three consecutive series for the first time since 2014, and are 7-3 since the All-Star break.

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

Mark Chiarelli is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area.

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

Williams among top prospect performers Sunday

Nationals' No. 5 prospect hurls his first shutout following big league debt

Williams among top prospect performers Sunday

Reynaldo Lopez is eager to get back to the big leagues.

In his first start since debuting with the Nationals on July 19, Lopez recorded his first shutout on Sunday as Triple-A Syracuse defeated Rochester, 6-0. The Nationals' No. 5 prospect scattered four hits and struck out seven in nine dominant innings, throwing 69 of his 99 pitches for strikes.

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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.

Colome stung by homers in first blown save

Colome stung by homers in first blown save

OAKLAND -- What wasn't supposed to happen did on Saturday night, as dependable closer Alex Colome was handed his first blown save in the Rays' 4-3 loss to the A's at the Oakland Coliseum.

"Just one of those outings," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "A little bit of a head-scratcher."

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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 stunned as A's homer twice off Colome

Rays stunned as A's homer twice off Colome

OAKLAND -- Jake Smolinski and Ryon Healy homered in the ninth to hand Alex Colome his first blown save of the season as the A's stunned the Rays with a 4-3 win Saturday night at the Oakland Coliseum. It was the A's third walk-off win in five games. 

"I don't think there's anything more fun than walk-off wins in baseball," said Healy, who was called up last Friday. "The fact we've been able to have so many in my short eight-day career just makes winning that much better." 

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

Mark Chiarelli is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area.

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

Odorizzi 'outstanding,' but bad luck persists

Rays starter gets 12th no-decision after 8 shutout innings

Odorizzi 'outstanding,' but bad luck persists

OAKLAND -- Another no-decision for Jake Odorizzi on Friday night. Boy, did he deserve better.

"Odo was outstanding," Rays 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.

Archer makes special RBI visit in Oakland

Archer makes special RBI visit in Oakland

OAKLAND -- Chris Archer continued his work away from the field on Friday morning with another of his RBI visits.

This time he spoke to a group of about 50 youngsters from the Richmond YMCA Junior Giants in Oakland, along with other children who are involved with RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) in nearby Contra Costa County.

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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.

Beckham ties Rays mark with 8-AB hit streak

Beckham ties Rays mark with 8-AB hit streak

OAKLAND -- Tim Beckham had an interesting day at the ballpark Thursday before and during the Rays' 7-3 win over the Athletics.

For starters, he played first base and trumping that unique event, he extended his hit streak to a team record-tying eight consecutive at-bats.

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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.