Rays can't find way to thwart KC in nightcap

Rays can't find way to thwart KC in nightcap

KANSAS CITY -- Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar drilled a bases-clearing double in the sixth inning that broke the game open, and Alex Gordon had four hits and four RBIs as the Royals completed a doubleheader sweep with a 7-1 victory over the Rays on Tuesday night.

"You have to credit [the Royals]," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "They're good. They put the ball in play. They make a lot of action happen."

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Boxberger battles with command in key 9th

Boxberger battles with command in key 9th

KANSAS CITY -- Brad Boxberger didn't have his best stuff on Tuesday afternoon against the Royals. Those struggles by the Rays' de facto closer led to a 9-5 walk-off loss at Kauffman Stadium.

The Rays had just tied the score at 5 in the top of the ninth when Boxberger took over for Everett Teaford.

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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.

Loney, Longo HRs can't help Rays sink Royals

Loney, Longo HRs can't help Rays sink Royals

KANSAS CITY -- Rookie Paulo Orlando, just called back up from Triple-A Omaha, belted a ninth-inning walk-off grand slam as the Royals earned a 9-5 win over the Rays on Tuesday afternoon in Game 1 of a day-night doubleheader at Kauffman Stadium.

"Obviously not the way you want to start the first game of a doubleheader, a ninth-inning loss," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "We did some good things, and we did some not so good things in that game."

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Archer looking to show Star power against Royals

Archer looking to show Star power against Royals

Royals right-hander Jeremy Guthrie will square off against Rays ace Chris Archer in the third of a four-game set on Wednesday night at Kauffman Stadium.

Guthrie enters his 17th start of the season with some familiarity. As a former Oriole, Guthrie has faced the Rays 24 times (22 starts) and is 9-11 overall with a 3.97 ERA.

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

Jaso activated from DL; Souza sidelined

Right-hander Guilmet designated for assignment

Jaso activated from DL; Souza sidelined

KANSAS CITY -- John Jaso returned to the Rays on Tuesday, ending a lengthy stint on the disabled list. Meanwhile, Steven Souza Jr. went on the DL, retroactive to Monday.

In addition, right-hander Preston Guilmet was designated for assignment.

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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 send Archer, Boxberger to All-Star Game

Rays send Archer, Boxberger to All-Star Game

KANSAS CITY -- Arch and Box are going to the Midsummer Classic.

Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer will go as a players' selection, while reliever Brad Boxberger will go as a manager's pick.

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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.

No tendon damage as Souza feels better

No tendon damage as Souza feels better

KANSAS CITY -- Steven Souza Jr. felt better on Monday, but the Rays slugger's status is in a holding pattern regarding whether he will be placed on the disabled list.

"We're going to go day by day right now, see how it feels," Souza said Monday before the Rays' series opener at Kauffman Stadium was rained out.

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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 top Yankees to snap 7-game skid

Rays top Yankees to snap 7-game skid

NEW YORK -- James Loney, Logan Forsythe and Curt Casali drove in two runs each as the Rays found an offensive spark and capitalized on some Yankees errors in an 8-1 win on Sunday at Yankee Stadium to snap a seven-game losing skid.

Yankees starting pitcher Ivan Nova and second baseman Jose Pirela both committed costly errors. Nova's error came in the fifth inning, when Asdrubal Cabrera laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance Casali, who had doubled. Nova fielded the ball and threw it past third baseman Chase Headley, allowing Casali to score and Cabrera to advance to second. Pirela's double error came in the eighth, when he bobbled a grounder and threw wide to first. The Rays scored four runs in the frame.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. Grace Raynor is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Decision on rotation coming for Rays

When Odorizzi returns, someone needs to be bumped from starting five

Decision on rotation coming for Rays

NEW YORK -- Jake Odorizzi will start on Monday for Class A Advanced Charlotte. If all goes well, he will re-join the Rays to start against the Astros on Saturday at Tropicana Field.

That means room will need to be made for Odorizzi on the 25-man roster and within the five-man rotation.

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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.

Karns gets through first, delivers 10-K start

Righty goes seven strong innings to allow Rays to rest bullpen

Karns gets through first, delivers 10-K start

NEW YORK -- Nathan Karns is becoming a pitcher.

On Saturday afternoon, he once again proved that he could pitch when things weren't going his way. Unfortunately for Karns and the Rays, his performance went for naught as he came away with a no-decision and the Rays took a 3-2 loss to the Yankees at Yankee Stadium.

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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.

Late-game heroics from Souza not enough

Late-game heroics from Souza not enough

NEW YORK -- The Yankees and Rays were tied in the ninth when Ramon Flores laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance pinch-runner Jose Pirela to third and Chris Young to second. But reliever Brad Boxberger's errant throw to first base allowed Pirela to come sliding into home as the Yanks topped the Rays, 3-2, on Saturday at Yankee Stadium with their second straight walk-off victory.

"I just yanked the throw," Boxberger said. " ... I should have made that play and I didn't."

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. Grace Raynor is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rays call up Teaford, option Riefenhauser

Rays call up Teaford, option Riefenhauser

NEW YORK -- The Rays optioned left-hander C.J. Riefenhauser to Triple-A Durham and recalled left-hander Everett Teaford from Durham on Saturday.

First baseman Marc Krauss was designated for assignment to make room for Teaford on the 40-man roster.

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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.

Kiermaier singled, then a pigeon flew at his face

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Kiermaier singled, then a pigeon flew at his face

The Rays and Yankees were deadlocked, 3-3, in the top of the 12th inning. With two runners on, Kevin Kiermaier hit an RBI single to center field. He stood at first base, basking in what at the time was the go-ahead run (the Yankees walked off in the bottom of the inning) and was removing his shin guard when, suddenly, A PIGEON FLEW AT HIS FACE.

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Yankees stun Rays with walk-off HR in 12th

Yankees stun Rays with walk-off HR in 12th

NEW YORK -- Brian McCann sent a walk-off three-run homer over the right-field fence in the 12th inning to push the Yankees past the Rays, 7-5, on Friday night at Yankee Stadium. It was the Yankees' first walk-off win of the year.

"That would have been an extremely tough game to lose, and I give our guys a ton of credit," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. Grace Raynor is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sizemore giving Rays a lift on offense

Veteran outfielder has looked comfortable in the batter's box

Sizemore giving Rays a lift on offense

NEW YORK -- Rays manager Kevin Cash had a hunch Friday night: Stick veteran Grady Sizemore into the leadoff spot.

Cash's logic was sound, as Sizemore has been hot on a team that hasn't been offensively. And the veteran rewarded Cash by continuing his strong showing at the plate in the 7-5 loss to the Yankees in 12 innings at Yankee Stadium.

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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.

DeJesus eats ice cream in dugout during extras

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DeJesus eats ice cream in dugout during extras

Everyone loves free baseball. When games stretch into the wee hours of the night, traffic is easier leaving the ballpark, the likelihood that you get to witness an incredible finish increases and you get plenty of opportunities to "aww" at parents holding their sleeping kids who couldn't quite make it past their bedtime.

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Bullpen burned by 3-run homers vs. Yankees

Bullpen burned by 3-run homers vs. Yankees

NEW YORK -- Three-run homers did in the Rays during Friday night's 7-5 loss to the Yankees in 12 innings at Yankee Stadium.

The last one particularly stung because the Rays grabbed a 5-3 lead in the top of the 12th and were just two outs away from a win when Steve Geltz allowed a three-run homer to Brian McCann to give the Yankees the walk-off win.

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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.

Moore feels 'normal' in return to mound

In first outing since April 2014, Rays lefty starts strong, then tails off

Moore feels 'normal' in return to mound

ST. PETERSBURG -- As he prepared to make his first start for the Rays since April 7, 2014, Matt Moore reflected on the 451-day process it took to get him back on a Major League mound.

"Just certain feelings that you get throughout the day when it's your turn to pitch," Moore said after the Rays' 5-4, 10-inning loss to the Indians on Thursday afternoon at Tropicana Field. "You don't get those on any other day. I would say that at some point this morning, putting my shoes on and just heading to the field, understand this is my turn, a little over 14 months [after the injury], it felt good."

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Troy Provost-Heron is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rays rally, but lose finale on late HR

Rays rally, but lose finale on late HR

ST. PETERSBURG -- Matt Moore made his first start for the Rays since undergoing Tommy John surgery 14 months ago, but a Mike Aviles home run in the 10th inning Thursday spoiled the left-hander's return and gave the Indians a 5-4 victory to complete a four-game sweep of Tampa Bay at Tropicana Field.

"We needed it," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "You can't come into a series getting ahead of yourself, but we needed to get greedy today. You win three and it's easy to go, 'Well, three out of four.' But, we needed to win today and that was a hard one to win. We've got to keep going. This can't be, we take a deep breath, we've played a good series. We've got to get after it."

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. Troy Provost-Heron is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Offense perks up after no-hit scares

Rays plate early runs off Kluber, but can't solve Tribe's bullpen in finale

Offense perks up after no-hit scares

ST. PETERSBURG -- After thwarting three consecutive no-hit bids in the late innings, the Rays' offense showed signs of life Thursday in their 5-4 loss to the Indians at Tropicana Field.

For the first time in the four-game series, the Rays grabbed a hit in their first trip through the order when Joey Butler delivered a one-out single in the opening frame off reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber. Evan Longoria and Grady Sizemore tacked on to make it three straight singles, the latter staking the Rays to an early 1-0 lead.

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Troy Provost-Heron is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cash happy to get Loney back in lineup

Rays first baseman returns from broken finger

Cash happy to get Loney back in lineup

ST. PETERSBURG -- Rays first baseman James Loney will make his return to the lineup this weekend after he was reinstated from the 15-day disabled list following the Rays' 5-4 loss to the Indians on Thursday.

Loney had been sidelined since May 25 after he fractured his left middle finger sliding as he attempted to steal third.

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Troy Provost-Heron is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Francona pranks Kevin Cash's car in parking lot

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Francona pranks Kevin Cash's car in parking lot

Be careful where you park when Terry Francona's around. Before the Indians finished sweeping the Rays during a four-game series on Thursday, Francona and another unidentified "uniformed" Cleveland player and/or coach stole into the parking lot and wrote "Zep says hi" on Kevin Cash's car. Which likely stands for Indians pitcher Marc Rzepczynski.

It certainly makes sense that Rzepczynski and Francona would be behind the prank -- after all, Cash was the Indians bullpen coach for the last two years before moving to Tampa. 

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Rays fall as Butler breaks up no-no in 9th

Rays fall as Butler breaks up no-no in 9th

ST. PETERSBURG -- Carlos Carrasco needed just one more strike to complete the Indians' first no-hitter in more than three decades. The big right-hander unleashed a slider to Rays outfielder Joey Butler and gave up a single that averted history.

Carrasco was unable to complete a no-hitter, but the pitcher settled for an overpowering one-hitter that led Cleveland to an 8-1 victory on Wednesday night at Tropicana Field. Butler erased Carrasco's perfect game with a walk in the seventh inning and then dashed the righty's bid for a no-no with an RBI single to right-center field with two outs -- and an 0-2 count -- in the ninth.

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

MLB.com Columnist

Hal Bodley

Cash played role in Carrasco's development

Rays manager helped right-hander turn '14 season around as Indians bullpen coach

Cash played role in Carrasco's development

ST. PETERSBURG -- Joey Butler lined a single to center, a loud sigh from the Tropicana Field crowd vibrated around the park, and it was over.

Kevin Cash, Tampa Bay's young manager, swallowed hard. He felt good and bad at the same time. Cleveland's Carlos Carrasco, with an overpowering pitching performance, came within one strike of no-hitting the slumping Rays in Wednesday night's 8-1 loss before Butler's two-out hit in the ninth inning.

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Hal Bodley is the senior correspondent for MLB.com. Follow him @halbodley on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Home remedy: Rays medical staff helps Moore return

Home remedy: Rays medical staff helps Moore return

After his April 2014 Tommy John surgery, Matt Moore spent 42 of the following 45 weeks leading into Spring Training rehabbing a minimum of five days a week at Tropicana Field under the direction of Rays head athletic trainer Ron Porterfield and his staff.

April 7, 2014. Matt Moore knew it was going to take a special effort to win his second start of the season. He was sick, requiring a dose of Dayquil earlier and a teaspoon every other inning to help him through his outing on that windswept night in Kansas City. But as the game entered the fifth inning, it wasn't a chest cold that ended his outing.

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The Butler did it! 9th-inning hit denies history

Slayer of Carrasco's no-no says knock is a confidence-builder for Rays

The Butler did it! 9th-inning hit denies history

ST. PETERSBURG -- Joey Butler stepped to the plate in the bottom of the ninth inning of Wednesday night's 8-1 Rays loss to the Indians earmarked as the final out of a no-hitter by Tribe right-hander Carlos Carrasco.

"Well, obviously, I had nothing to lose with him being the one with the no-hitter," Butler said. "I'm pretty sure he was a lot more nervous than I was, but at the same time, we had a battle and I got a good pitch."

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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 'encouraged' by first rehab outing

Odorizzi 'encouraged' by first rehab outing

ST. PETERSBURG -- Rays right-handed pitcher Jake Odorizzi made his first rehab start on Wednesday at Class A Advanced Charlotte, tossing 57 pitches over four innings while allowing one run, walking one and striking out two. Odorizzi has been on the disabled list since June 9 (retroactive to June 6) with a left oblique strain.
 
"This is my first time doing a rehab assignment, so it probably went about as well as it could," Odorizzi said. "My arm felt really good, the breaking pitches were really good -- I was surprised with the sharpness after not pitching for three weeks, and it felt like I hadn't skipped a beat. So it was a great sign."
 
Odorizzi reported no pain from the outing and said that it would not take more than one more rehab start -- if that -- before he'll be able to return to the Rays' rotation.
 
"I feel like the stuff I had today, I could have taken into today's [Rays] game and been perfectly fine and out there doing normal things," Odorizzi said. "I was really encouraged with how everything went."
 
The Stone Crabs -- or "Port Charlotte Rays," as Odorizzi called them -- also had John Jaso and James Loney in the starting lineup. Loney (fractured left middle finger) went 2-for-3 before being pulled in the middle of the fifth, and Jaso (left wrist contusion) went 2-for-5 with a double, a run scored and three strikeouts in Charlotte's 5-2 victory over Bradenton.

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Troy Provost-Heron is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rays sign first-round Draft pick Whitley

18-year-old outfielder gets full slot value of $2,962,100 as No. 13 selection

Rays sign first-round Draft pick Whitley

ST. PETERSBURG -- Garrett Whitley's life has been a whirlwind since the Rays selected him with the No. 13 pick overall, in the 2015 Draft.

Whitley, 18, first had to graduate from Niskayuna (N.Y.) High School. Next came the physical with the Rays. Then he signed on the dotted line Tuesday for $2,962,100, which is the full slot value for the No. 13 pick. And, finally, the five-tool outfielder put on a uniform and took batting practice at Tropicana Field.

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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 fall despite Ramirez's strong outing

Rays fall despite Ramirez's strong outing

ST. PETERSBURG -- Danny Salazar silenced the Rays' bats and his Indians teammates clubbed three home runs in a 6-2 win over the Rays on Tuesday night at Tropicana Field.

Salazar started for the Indians and was perfect through five innings before walking Asdrubal Cabrera to start the sixth. Two outs later, Curt Casali broke up the no-hit bid with a double to left-center. Cabrera also struck for an RBI double against the Indians right-hander in the eighth inning.

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