Snell seeking better control vs. Blue Jays

Snell seeking better control vs. Blue Jays

Friday night's Rays-Blue Jays contest at Rogers Centre will see a rematch of the April 6 pitching matchup between Blake Snell and Marcus Stroman.

Stroman came away the winner in that one after limiting the Rays to one run on six hits while striking out five in 6 1/3 innings of the Blue Jays' 5-2 victory.

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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

Big weekend to sort out AL East puzzle

O's visit Yankees, Rays face Blue Jays and Red Sox host defending champs

Big weekend to sort out AL East puzzle

You've got questions about the American League East. Hey, we've got questions about the AL East.

Can the Blue Jays still turn things around? When will the Red Sox begin scoring runs?

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Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com. You can follow him on Twitter @richardjustice. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Is this a bump in the road for Archer?

Beat reporter Bill Chastain answers questions from Rays fans

Inbox: Is this a bump in the road for Archer?

Chris Archer started the season off so well. Now he seems to be free-falling back to 2016. Three home runs allowed to the Orioles on Monday night reminded me a lot of the 30 he surrendered last year. Did Archer fool all of us by looking lights out to begin the season?
-- Bill D., St. Petersburg

According to Statcast™ research Monday night, Archer's location appeared to be the culprit, and the problem didn't have anything to do with a change in his stuff. Basically, the disciplined Orioles hitters only put balls into play that were in the strike zone, and the three home runs were all close to the middle of the plate. So I think Rays fans should give Archer the benefit of the doubt. He's sure looked good in most of his starts thus far. So I guess that's a long-winded way of saying I don't believe he's reverting to 2016. He's got such good stuff.

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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 continues tear at plate with 2 HRs

Beckham continues tear at plate with 2 HRs

Maybe Tim Beckham is a Major League shortstop after all.

Much maligned in the past, Beckham hit two home runs in Wednesday night's 5-4, 11-inning loss to the Orioles, and suddenly, the return of Matt Duffy doesn't look so urgent.

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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.

Smith comes off DL, optioned to Durham

Smith comes off DL, optioned to Durham

The Rays activated outfielder Mallex Smith from the disabled list and optioned him to Triple-A Durham on Thursday.

Smith went on the 10-day disabled list on April 14 with a right hamstring strain.

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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.

Odorizzi slated for Monday start at Marlins

Righty felt fine after Wednesday sim game, ready to rejoin Rays' rotation

Odorizzi slated for Monday start at Marlins

BALTIMORE -- Jake Odorizzi threw a 65-pitch simulated game before Wednesday's series finale with the Orioles, did well, and said he will be ready to come off the disabled list to pitch for the Rays on Monday against the Marlins.

Odorizzi (strained left hamstring) threw four innings, and said he was very happy how it all turned out.

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Jeff Seidel is a contributor to MLB.com based in Baltimore. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Walk-off walk spoils Beckham's big night

Walk-off walk spoils Beckham's big night

BALTIMORE -- The Orioles kept right on rolling Wednesday night, using a walk-off walk from Seth Smith to win a marathon, 11-inning series finale, 5-4 against the Rays at Camden Yards.

Down a run, Jonathan Schoop tied the game on a sacrifice fly -- his 13th RBI of the year -- to bring up Ryan Flaherty, who drew a walk to load the bases. The next batter, Smith, received four consecutive balls from Danny Farquhar to seal the win.

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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.

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

Jeff Seidel is a contributor to MLB.com based in Baltimore.

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

Francona makes light of Cash's pitching move

Francona makes light of Cash's pitching move

Rays manager Kevin Cash played for Cleveland manager Terry Francona when he managed the Red Sox and later coached for him with the Indians, so they have a relationship that normally involves a lot of needling.

Naturally, when Francona was asked about Cash's ploy Tuesday night, he couldn't resist.

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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.

2 Rays throwing errors prove costly vs. O's

2 Rays throwing errors prove costly vs. O's

BALTIMORE -- Seth Smith singled in the third inning ... and then made it all the way home in Wednesday's 5-4, 11-inning Orioles win.

"That was a deflating inning," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "No doubt about it."

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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.

Sanchez hits pair of homers

Sanchez hits pair of homers

There were many standout performances by pitchers across the Minor Leagues on Wednesday, but none of them impressed quite like Class A hurlers Merandy Gonzalez and Cody Reed.

Gonzalez, the Mets' No. 14 prospect, scattered five hits over 7 2/3 innings for Columbia to extend his season-opening scoreless-innings streak to 28 1/3 frames. He walked a pair and struck out five, also generating eight ground-ball outs, as the Fireflies shutout Asheville, 5-0.

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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.

Rays' bullpen throws two-hit shutout vs. O's

Rays' bullpen throws two-hit shutout vs. O's

BALTIMORE -- Kevin Cash made a game-time decision on Tuesday night, pulling scheduled starter Erasmo Ramirez with a poor weather forecast looming. The risk paid off, as Tampa Bay's bullpen and a pair of fourth-inning runs were enough to hold off the first-place Orioles and give the Rays the 2-0 series-evening win.

The victory snapped a four-game road losing streak for the Rays, who entered the game with a 1-7 road record that was the worst in the Majors.

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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.

Ben Standig is a contributor to MLB.com who covered the Rays on Tuesday.

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

Cash's pregame decision comes up huge

Rays manager scratched Ramirez 25 minutes before game time

Cash's pregame decision comes up huge

A pregame decision by Kevin Cash to scratch Erasmo Ramirez from his scheduled start yielded great benefits for the Rays' manager and his team Tuesday night in a 2-0 win over the Orioles at Camden Yards.

Ramirez was scheduled to make his second start of the season, but the prospect of bad weather prompted Cash to start reliever Austin Pruitt instead. He did not want Ramirez to start, have to sit in the event of a rain delay, then not be able to continue, essentially burning his start.

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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 earns first Triple-A win

Honeywell earns first Triple-A win

Class A Advanced Florida's offense was shut out on Sunday for the first time this season. That was anything but the case on Tuesday, however, as the Fire Frogs erupted for 10 runs in the first inning before defeating Palm Beach, 22-2. Florida pounded out 18 hits including four home runs in the victory, with each starter collecting at least one hit and scoring one run.

Braves No. 7 prospect Ronald Acuna (No. 96 overall) established season highs with three hits and five RBIs, three of which came on his three-run triple in the first inning. The 19-year-old center fielder later added his second home run of the season, a two-run shot to center field in the eighth inning, to finish 3-for-5 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.

Souza back in lineup after collision

Souza back in lineup after collision

BALTIMORE -- Steven Souza Jr. couldn't keep a home run in the park Monday night. The slugging outfielder's bruised elbow didn't keep him out of the Rays' lineup the following day.

Souza Jr., who was named American League Player of the Week hours before the injury, batted leadoff in Tuesday's 2-0 win over the Orioles.

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

Early offense not enough against O's late rally

Early offense not enough against O's late rally

BALTIMORE -- Jonathan Schoop, Hyun Soo Kim and Adam Jones homered for the Orioles off of Rays ace Chris Archer, who gave up his first long ball of the season in Baltimore's 6-3 win Monday night.

The game -- which featured an 18-minute rain delay in the bottom of the eighth inning -- improved the Orioles to a Major League best 13-5.

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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.

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 pays for location issues with homers

Orioles' familiarity and patience at the plate adds to hurler's problems

Archer pays for location issues with homers

Chris Archer got visited by his old nemesis Monday night, the long ball. The Orioles hit three home runs against the Rays' ace in their 6-3 win.

Archer carried a 3.20 ERA into his fifth start of the season, and of the 25 hits he'd surrendered in 25 1/3 innings, none were home runs.

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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.

Kiermaier back to old self after battling bug

Kiermaier back to old self after battling bug

BALTIMORE -- Kevin Kiermaier had quite a rough experience battling some kind of virus over the weekend. He left the game early on Friday and Saturday, and did not start Sunday.

The good news as the Rays began the three-game series in Baltimore is that he is feeling more like his old self. Kiermaier was able to come in late in Sunday's game as a defensive replacement but had improved enough Monday to get the start in center field. He went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts in the 6-3 loss to the Orioles.

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Jeff Seidel is a contributor to MLB.com based in Baltimore. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hot-hitting week nets Souza AL award

Rays right fielder hit .414, collected 9 RBIs

Hot-hitting week nets Souza AL award

Rays right fielder Steven Souza Jr., riding a seven-game hit streak, was named the American League Player of the Week on Monday.

Souza had an AL-high 12 hits last week, hit safely in all seven of Tampa Bay's games and recorded multiple hits in four of them. He homered twice and drove in an AL-leading nine runs.

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David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler.

Jeff Seidel contributed to this report.

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

Andriese lacks command in loss to Astros

Rays right-hander allows three runs over five frames in 10-inning defeat

Andriese lacks command in loss to Astros

ST. PETERSBURG -- With a banged-up bullpen lacking a left-handed option, the Rays talked about the importance of having starters work deeper into games before Sunday's series finale vs. the Astros.

Spotted a four-run advantage in the first inning against the Astros, Matt Andriese seemed poised early on to provide that needed assistance. But after five innings -- and 88 pitches -- the right-hander's afternoon was done in what ended in a 6-4 Rays loss in 10 innings at Tropicana Field.

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

Rays unable to hold early lead vs. Astros

Rays unable to hold early lead vs. Astros

ST. PETERSBURG -- Veteran Astros catcher Brian McCann opened Houston's three-game series Friday against the Rays by scoring what turned out to be the winning run. On Sunday, he came through again -- this time with the bat.

McCann's single to shallow right field scored Carlos Beltran from third base in the 10th inning to lift the Astros to a 6-4 come-from-behind victory over Tampa Bay at Tropicana Field.

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Jeff Odom is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Rays on Sunday.

Scott Butherus is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Astros on Sunday.

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

Rays place Hunter on DL, promote righty Hu

Veteran's calf strain opens door for pitcher, who becomes club's first Taiwan-born player

Rays place Hunter on DL, promote righty Hu

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays' bullpen took yet another injury blow on Sunday when veteran right-hander Tommy Hunter was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a right calf strain.

But Hunter's misfortune in becoming the 11th Tampa Bay player -- and fifth reliever -- on the DL after being forced out of Saturday's 6-3 victory over Houston turned into a whirlwind moment for 23-year-old righty Chih-Wei Hu, who earned his first promotion to the Majors from Triple-A Durham.

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

Four-run 6th gives Rays 4th win in last 5

Four-run 6th gives Rays 4th win in last 5

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays rallied for four runs in the sixth inning to snap the Astros' three-game winning streak in a 6-3 victory at Tropicana Field on Saturday. Tampa Bay has won four of its last five games.

After avoiding trouble all night, the Rays finally got to Astros starter Charlie Morton in the sixth. Steven Souza Jr. led off the inning with a double to center. Logan Morrison walked and Derek Norris singled to center to load the bases with no outs and end Morton's night. Astros reliever Will Harris entered and allowed back-to-back RBI singles to Shane Peterson and Tim Beckham that put the Rays ahead.

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J. Scott Butherus is a contributor to MLB.com that covered the Astros on Friday.

Corey Long is a contributor to MLB.com that covered the Rays on Friday.

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

Souza jumps trying to reach base on strikeout

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Souza jumps trying to reach base on strikeout

Strikeouts are never exactly elegant for the hitter. However, Steven Souza Jr. took the subsequent awkwardness to the next level during the Rays' 6-3 win over the Astros on Saturday.

Souza entered his at-bat in the seventh inning in the middle of a 2-for-4 day, fresh off a single and a double in his previous two plate appearances. Reliever James Hoyt got the better of Souza on this occasion though, causing him to wave over a pitch in the dirt. The ball got away from catcher Evan Gattis though, so Souza made a, shall we say, "mixed" attempt to make it first base.

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Cash wants longer outings from lefty Snell

Southpaw throws five-plus innings in win on Saturday vs. Astros

Cash wants longer outings from lefty Snell

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Rays manager Kevin Cash has been generally pleased with what he's seen from Blake Snell this season, but he wants to see the young left-hander go deeper into starts.

Snell went five-plus innings in the Rays' 6-3 win, allowing three runs on three hits while walking five and striking out four. His longest start of his four this season is 6 2/3 innings, coming on April 6. In his last three outings, though, he's thrown a combined 14 2/3 innings, with the longest being his outing on Saturday vs. the Astros.

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Adames fuels Durham's doubleheader sweep

Adames fuels Durham's doubleheader sweep

Clint Frazier has had Yankees fans abuzz since New York traded for him last July, but he hadn't gotten off to the hottest start to the 2017 season at the plate. As of Saturday, that looks like it might be changing.

One of the team's two uber-prospects along with shortstop Gleyber Torres, Frazier went 2-for-3 with a solo home run for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, accounting for the only offense in the RailRiders' 1-0 win over the Indianapolis Indians.

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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.

Cash to get creative without southpaw in 'pen

Cedeno placed on disabled list Friday; Farquhar to be primary arm vs. lefties

Cash to get creative without southpaw in 'pen

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays will be without a left hander in the bullpen for the first time since April 24, 2015, after they placed Xavier Cedeno on the 10-day DL with forearm tightness, retroactive to April 18.

Rays manager Kevin Cash said he will have to be creative to get through the dilemma.

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

HRs, sweet catch not enough for Cobb, Rays

HRs, sweet catch not enough for Cobb, Rays

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays brought the big bats to open their three-game series against the Astros on Friday night, but in the end, Houston made the little things matter the most.

George Springer knocked in the go-ahead run on a bases-loaded fielder's choice in the seventh inning as the Astros rallied from a two-run deficit. Houston's bullpen shut down Tampa Bay's offense from there in a 6-3, come-from-behind victory at Tropicana Field.

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Jeff Odom is a contributor to MLB.com based in St. Petersburg who covered the Rays Friday.

J. Scott Butherus is a contributor to MLB.com based in St. Petersburg who covered the Astros Friday.

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

Kiermaier makes unreal grab despite illness

Outfielder feels sick during game vs. Houston, leaves after fifth

Kiermaier makes unreal grab despite illness

ST. PETERSBURG -- The legend of Kevin Kiermaier continues.

Two nights after a rare defensive hiccup against Detroit, in which he misplayed a seemingly routine line drive to center field that allowed the Tigers to score three runs late, the Rays' two-time American League Gold Glove Award-winner made up for it in a big way in Friday night's 6-3 loss against the Astros at Tropicana Field.

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Jeff Odom is a contributor to MLB.com based in St. Petersburg. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.