Rays edge Royals on homer by Kiermaier

Rays edge Royals on homer by Kiermaier

ST. PETERSBURG -- Kevin Kiermaier hit his second home run in as many days and the bullpen backed a solid start by Nathan Karns with four innings of scoreless relief to power the Rays to a 3-2 victory over the Royals on Sunday at Tropicana Field.

Kiermaier's home run was his seventh of the season and came with two outs in the sixth off Luke Hochevar, who had relieved starter Danny Duffy to open the frame.

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

Loney plays brief but crucial role in victory

Rays first baseman comes off bench in eighth, gets job done with defense

Loney plays brief but crucial role in victory

ST. PETERSBURG -- James Loney only played two innings during the Rays' 3-2 win on Sunday in the series finale against the Royals, but when he looked up from his locker in the home clubhouse at Tropicana Field, he glanced around and saw a swarm of reporters start hovering in his direction.

"Sometimes I play the whole game and don't do anything," Loney joked.

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

Wild Card hopefuls square off in Baltimore

Wild Card hopefuls square off in Baltimore

The Orioles and Rays, who have both struggled to end August, open a three-game series on Monday at Camden Yards.

And the first game is the heavyweight bout of the series. Cy Young-hopeful Chris Archer will take the mound for Tampa Bay, which has lost 10 of its past 16 games. The O's will counter with their ace, Wei-Yin Chen. Baltimore has lost 10 of its past 11 games.

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

Kiermaier homers, makes presence felt in CF

Two-run shot gives Rays brief lead; arm strength helps quell Royals' rally

Kiermaier homers, makes presence felt in CF

ST. PETERSBURG -- The initial round of ovations had just ended for Kevin Kiermaier's defense a few minutes earlier, and now he was bringing the crowd of 24,372 at Tropicana Field to a blissful chaos. Mere moments after helping the Rays limit the Royals to two runs in the fourth, the outfielder's two-run homer in the bottom half of the inning put Tampa Bay ahead.

The blast, Kiermaier's sixth of the year, was a laser off starting pitcher Kris Medlen that quickly escaped over the wall in right-center field. It was also the last reason for unbridled enthusiasm for the home team in the Rays' 6-3 loss to Kansas City on Saturday.

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

Rays shut down after Kiermaier sparks rally

Rays shut down after Kiermaier sparks rally

ST. PETERSBURG -- Powered by a pair of Mike Moustakas RBI doubles and a solid start by right-hander Kris Medlen, the Royals moved to a season-high 31 games over .500 on Saturday night with a 6-3 victory over the Rays at Tropicana Field.

Medlen, who improved to 3-0 on the season with the win, allowed three earned runs on four hits over 5 1/3 innings while striking out five and walking two. Eric Hosmer snapped an 0-for-13 skid with a run-scoring double in the fourth for the Royals, who are now 6-0 against the Rays this season.

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

Snell considered for callup when rosters expand

Rays top pitching prospect started 2015 season at Class A Advanced Charlotte

Snell considered for callup when rosters expand

ST. PETERSBURG -- One of the most intriguing names Kevin Cash and the Rays will have to consider when rosters expand Tuesday is one of the fastest rising prospects in all of baseball. Blake Snell, who began the season pitching for Class A Advanced Charlotte, will take a 1.57 ERA into a Sunday start for Triple-A Durham, and his next stop could be the Majors.

The 6-foot-4, 180-pound lefty has been just as dominant for the Bulls as he has at either of his previous stops in 2015. The lefty has gone at least five innings in each of his first seven starts for Durham, and he hasn't allowed more than one run in any of them. His 1.57 ERA is identical to the mark he posted for Double-A Montgomery.

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

Daniel Nava befriends an 18-year-old cancer patient

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Daniel Nava befriends an 18-year-old cancer patient

Just six weeks before her high school graduation, 18-year-old Nava Rodriguez was diagosed with Anaplastic Large Cell Lympoma (ALCL), a serious blood cancer that aggressively attacks when found in young people.

However, when she first arrived at All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, Fla., the teenager took some friendly ribbing from the nurses for her shirsey of choice: A Red Sox shirt with Daniel Nava's name and No. 29 on the back. 

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Kiermaier literally left hanging on catwalk HR

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Kiermaier literally left hanging on catwalk HR

On Friday, the Rays' catwalk reared its head again. In the top of the third inning, the Royals' Kendrys Morales drove another ball high off the catwalk, though this time the blast was ruled a home run. Which is a good call --- the projected distance was an absurd 442.64 feet. 

More importantly though, we got to see Kevin Kiermaier show off some Michael Jordan-esque hangtime as he hung on the wall waiting for it to come down -- only to watch the ball land roughly 50 feet away from him. 

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Rays fall short in series opener vs. KC

Rays fall short in series opener vs. KC

 ST. PETERSBURG -- Kendrys Morales' two-run home run off the catwalk in center field and a quality start by Edinson Volquez were all the Royals needed to take a 3-2 win over the Rays Friday night at Tropicana Field.

The Royals (79-49) lead the American League Central Division by 13 games over Minnesota with the best record in the AL, while the Rays (63-65) fell to 1-3 on the homestand and trail the Rangers for the second AL Wild Card spot by 3 1/2 games.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. Listen to his podcast. Michael Kolligian is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inability to challenge frustrates ejected Cash

Play in question would have scored tying run for Rays in 3-2 loss

Inability to challenge frustrates ejected Cash

ST. PETERSBURG -- Sometimes a manager just has to unload. That's what happened with Kevin Cash on Friday night.

Frustration boiled over for the Rays' first-year manager when he got ejected for arguing with first-base umpire Brian O'Nora following the third out of the third inning during a 3-2 loss to the Royals.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. Listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Zobrist honored by Rays in return to St. Petersburg

Club shows video tribute for two-time All-Star before Friday's game vs. KC

Zobrist honored by Rays in return to St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG -- Ben Zobrist returned to Tropicana Field for the first time since getting traded last offseason and he felt a "little bit upside down being on the other side of the field."

But life is good for Zobrist, one of the most popular players in Rays history and now a member of the Royals. And even if things weren't going well, he'd find a way to make it better -- on and off the field.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. Listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Butler hits ground running in return to Rays

Butler hits ground running in return to Rays

ST. PETERSBURG -- Joey Butler returned to the Rays in fine style on Thursday night, driving in the tying run and scoring the decisive run in a 5-4 win over the Twins at Tropicana Field.

"It was fun," said Butler, who was recalled from Triple-A Durham before the game. "It was fun to be back out there with the guys and playing for a playoff spot."

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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 trip Twins to gain ground in Wild Card race

Rays trip Twins to gain ground in Wild Card race

ST. PETERSBURG -- Joey Butler hit a game-tying single and scored on a passed ball to help the Rays snap a three-game losing streak with a 5-4 win over the Twins on Thursday night at Tropicana Field.

The Twins (65-62) entered the game tied with the Rangers for the second American League Wild Card spot and finished 6-4 on the road trip. By winning, the Rays (63-64) avoided a sweep while moving to within two games of the Twins in the Wild Card standings.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Loney drops appeal, serves 1-game suspension

Loney drops appeal, serves 1-game suspension

ST. PETERSBURG -- Rays first baseman James Loney dropped his appeal for the one-game suspension he received on Tuesday.

Loney reached his decision prior to Thursday night's game against the Twins.

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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 place Jennings on DL with bruised knee

Rays place Jennings on DL with bruised knee

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays placed outfielder Desmond Jennings on the 15-day disabled list on Thursday with a bruised left knee and recalled outfielder Joey Butler from Triple-A Durham.

"It's a good thing for Joey, obviously the excitement to get him back here," manager Kevin Cash said. "I think we all saw what he provided in the clubhouse. So we're pumped for that. It's obviously disappointing, frustrating for Des. It's been a rough year for him."

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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 lament missed chances with bases loaded

Rays lament missed chances with bases loaded

ST. PETERSBURG -- Opportunity came knocking for the Rays on Wednesday night, they just couldn't open the door.

Those missed chances added up to a 5-3 loss to the Twins at Tropicana Field.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. Listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Longo homers, Archer K's 12, but Rays fall

Longo homers, Archer K's 12, but Rays fall

ST. PETERSBURG -- Minnesota continued to roll on Wednesday night with a 5-3 win over Tampa Bay at Tropicana Field to claim its sixth consecutive victory and move into the top spot for the second American League Wild Card.

With the Angels' loss to the Tigers and Rangers falling to the Blue Jays, the Twins (65-61) have leapfrogged past them and now have a half-game lead over Texas and a one-game lead over Los Angeles in the AL Wild Card race.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. Listen to his podcast. Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rays place Casali on DL, promote Arencibia

Rays place Casali on DL, promote Arencibia

ST. PETERSBURG -- J.P. Arencibia arrived to Tropicana Field on Wednesday as the Rays selected the veteran catcher from Triple-A Durham to take the place of Curt Casali, who went on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring.

To make room on the 40-man roster, they recalled left-hander Grayson Garvin from Double-A Montgomery then placed him on the 60-day disabled list (back tear).

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. Listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Best-case return for McGee is last homestand

Southpaw underwent surgery Friday for torn meniscus

Best-case return for McGee is last homestand

ST. PETERSBURG -- Jake McGee underwent successful arthroscopic surgery on Friday to repair a meniscus tear in his left knee.

When asked about the best-case scenario for his return, the hard-throwing left-hander told reporters: "Not really sure. I've heard here and there maybe the last homestand. I'm just going to try and take it day-to-day. Maybe start playing some catch next week. See how my strength is and kind of go from there."

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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' bats break out, but fall to Twins

Rays' bats break out, but fall to Twins

ST. PETERSBURG -- A game between a pair of Wild Card contenders was, well, wild on Tuesday night as a heated offensive battle took place in an 11-7 Twins win over the Rays at Tropicana Field.

With the win, the Twins improved to a two-game advantage over the Rays in the cluttered race for the American League's second Wild Card spot. The loss moved the Rays back below .500 for the season (62-63). The Twins are now a half game back in the race, while the Rays are 2 1/2 games behind in the second Wild Card following the Rangers' loss to the Blue Jays.

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Rhett Bollinger and Bill Chastain are reporters for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Quick hook on Odorizzi doesn't go Rays' way

A's notch 7 runs in 7th after Cash goes to 'pen

Quick hook on Odorizzi doesn't go Rays' way

OAKLAND, Calif. --- Tough decisions resulted in a tough outcome in the Rays' 8-2 loss against the A's on Sunday.

Despite pretty much cruising through the first six innings, Rays starter Jake Odorizzi was pulled from the game in the seventh after a leadoff walk to Danny Valencia on his 94th pitch. Steve Geltz entered and didn't have his best stuff, as the A's scored four runs off the reliever. Valencia's run was credited to Odorizzi, who allowed three hits and one run through the first six frames.

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

Odorizzi strong but A's sink Rays in big 7th

Odorizzi strong but A's sink Rays in big 7th

OAKLAND -- The A's scored seven runs in a mammoth seventh inning Sunday, running away with an 8-2, come-from-behind win over the Rays and avoiding a three-game sweep at the Coliseum.

The Rays surged in front, 2-1, in the top of the seventh, scoring two runs off Sean Doolittle in the lefty's first appearance since May 27. But the A's were far from done, as eight straight batters reached base. Eric Sogard's two-run single gave the A's the lead for good, and Mark Canha's bases-clearing triple extend the lead to 7-2.

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Willie Bans is a contributor to MLB.com. Trevor Hass is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rays rally in 9th for first time in 50 tries

'Good, now we're 1-49,' says Cash after edging A's for 3rd straight win

Rays rally in 9th for first time in 50 tries

OAKLAND -- The Rays are tied for the most games in the Majors decided by two runs or fewer, so Saturday's 5-4 win over the A's was nothing new to them in one sense.

But the fashion in which the Rays surged from behind was truly unique. The win marked the first time all season Tampa Bay has gone on to win when trailing after eight innings (1-49), as Asdrubal Cabrera's two-run double proved to be the difference.

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Trevor Hass is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cabrera homers, delivers big hit in 9th to sink A's

Cabrera homers, delivers big hit in 9th to sink A's

OAKLAND -- Asdrubal Cabrera homered and drove in the winning runs of a 5-4 Rays victory over the A's with a two-run double in the ninth inning at the Coliseum on Saturday evening.

Tampa Bay trailed by one run entering the ninth against switch-pitcher Pat Venditte, who issued a one-out walk to Daniel Nava and gave up a double to Logan Forsythe, setting the stage for Cabrera's game-changing hit off lefty Drew Pomeranz. The Rays were 0-49 when trailing after eight innings entering the day.

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Trevor Hass is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Smyly stymies A's to earn first win in '15

Smyly stymies A's to earn first win in '15

OAKLAND -- Desmond Jennings homered and the Rays beat the A's, 2-1, in Friday's three-game series opener at the Coliseum behind lefty Drew Smyly, who tossed 5 2/3 scoreless innings to earn his first win of the season.

"Great win," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "I thought Drew Smyly really bounced back nicely, kind of like we thought he was going to."

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Trevor Hass is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Roger Schlueter

Stats of the Day: Archer makes Rays history

Ace right-hander's one-hitter sets club mark with game score of 95

Stats of the Day: Archer makes Rays history

Here are five interesting items from around the big leagues on Thursday …

• Rays right-hander Chris Archer twirled a one-hit shutout with 11 strikeouts and one walk in a 1-0 win over the Astros, producing a game score of 95 with his effort -- the highest such score in franchise history. The previous high was James Shields' 94, from Oct. 2, 2012, when the right-hander went nine innings, allowed two hits and a run and fanned 15 with no walks. Archer became the 69th pitcher since 1914 to have a one-hit shutout with at least 11 strikeouts, with 28 of those 69 having come since 1998.

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

Rays win key battles to get back to .500 mark

Smyly, Gomes, Boxberger fend off A's to take opener

Rays win key battles to get back to .500 mark

OAKLAND -- Twice in their 2-1 win over the A's on Friday, the Rays nearly blew the lead. But in both the sixth and ninth innings, they did just enough to fend Oakland off.

In the sixth inning, after the A's loaded the bases, Drew Smyly picked up a massive strikeout on Brett Lawrie on a high fastball. Smyly -- who recorded his first win since Aug. 27, 2014 -- departed having allowed six hits on 91 pitches.

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Trevor Hass is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rays Minor Leaguer makes crazy over-the-shoulder grab

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Rays Minor Leaguer makes crazy over-the-shoulder grab

When we first heard that the Rays had a player in their Minor League system named Boog Powell, we concerned ourselves mainly with the important questions. Questions like, "Was there any relation to that Boog Powell?" and "But is this Boog Powell a barbecue savant?" 

But while the answers to those were "No" and "We can only hope," we soon came to realize that the younger Boog was a human highlight reel in his own right. Just last month, he was seen literally running into the stands to make a spectacular catch for the Durham Bulls, and on Friday he was at it again -- this time covering an ocean of space to make a wild tumbling grab at the warning track.

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