Sore McGee still expects early May return

Colome, Smyly, Cobb also among group of Rays' rehabbing arms

Sore McGee still expects early May return

ST. PETERSBURG -- Jake McGee cut loose a little too much on Thursday, leaving him with some soreness. Nevertheless, all is well for the left-hander and for the rest of the corps of rehabbing Rays pitchers.

McGee, who had "loose bodies" removed from his left elbow in December, said his elbow "feels great," but reported that the rest of his body was a little stiff after pitching in an extended Spring Training game. However, McGee remained optimistic he will be back pitching for the Rays by the first part of May.

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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 eyeing weekend return to lineup

Rays first baseman currently on 15-day DL with mild oblique strain

Loney eyeing weekend return to lineup

ST. PETERSBURG -- James Loney took his first full batting practice on Tuesday since going on the disabled list. The veteran first baseman believes he will be playing for the Rays by the weekend.

Loney went on the 15-day disabled list with a mild oblique strain on April 8 retroactive to April 7.

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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.

Beliveau's sore left shoulder to be evaluated Tuesday

Left-hander placed on 15-day disabled list

Beliveau's sore left shoulder to be evaluated Tuesday

ST. PETERSBURG -- Jeff Beliveau's ailing left shoulder will be examined further on Tuesday.

Beliveau last pitched in Wednesday's 12-7 loss to the Blue Jays in Toronto when he allowed two runs on three hits in 1 1/3 innings. On Friday he was placed on the 15-day disabled list with soreness in his left shoulder.

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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.

Inbox: Are Longo's best numbers behind him?

Beat reporter Bill Chastain answers questions from Rays fans

Inbox: Are Longo's best numbers behind him?

Looking at the numbers Evan Longoria put up last year coupled with the way he's starting out this year, I'm wondering if we've seen the best of Longo. Sometimes the end comes earlier than expected.
-- Rick S., St. Petersburg

While Longoria did not put up Longoria-like numbers in 2014, they were still the best offensive numbers on the team. As for this season, it's still early. This guy is a really good hitter. I don't think Rays fans have anything to worry about.

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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.

Souza displaying formidable pop in early going

Souza displaying formidable pop in early going

ST. PETERSBURG -- Steven Souza Jr. may be a Major League rookie, but he certainly doesn't think like one. The outfielder's reaction to a 1-2 slider from Michael Pineda in the first inning of Sunday's game against the Yankees represented a classic case in point.

Four pitches into his first career plate appearance against Pineda, Souza was able to recognize the strategy the Yankees were planning to use against him. So he responded with a plan of his own, resulting in a two-run homer.

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

Andriese roughed up as Rays fall to Yankees

Andriese roughed up as Rays fall to Yankees

ST. PETERSBURG -- Chase Headley and Mark Teixeira each drove in a pair of runs to support another solid effort from Michael Pineda, helping the Yankees complete a series sweep of the Rays with a 5-3 victory on Sunday at Tropicana Field.

Headley followed Teixeira's third-inning RBI groundout with a go-ahead run-scoring single, highlighting the attack against Tampa Bay starter Matt Andriese, who took his first big league loss after permitting four runs and eight hits in 3 1/3 innings.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. Michael Kolligian is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rays DFA Balfour after rocky outing

Gomes recalled to replace veteran reliever in Tampa Bay's bullpen

Rays DFA Balfour after rocky outing

ST. PETERSBURG -- Grant Balfour struggled mightily in Saturday's 9-0 loss to the Yankees, with the veteran reliever surrendering a grand slam to Chris Young, issuing three walks, hitting a batter and throwing a wild pitch.

Immediately following the game, the Rays designated Balfour for assignment and filled the roster spot by selecting right-hander Brandon Gomes from Triple-A Durham.

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

Walks prove costly for Odorizzi, ending duel with Tanaka

Rays starter fans 9 but 2 free passes in 6th inning come around to score on McCann's triple

Walks prove costly for Odorizzi, ending duel with Tanaka

ST. PETERSBURG -- With five innings in the books, and Jake Odorizzi and Masahiro Tanaka combining to retire 27 of the previous 28 batters they had faced, the Rays and Yankees were officially locked in a classic pitchers' duel Saturday night at Tropicana Field.

Then the sixth inning arrived. Odorizzi's command departed. And the Yankees never looked back.

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

Odorizzi on point before Rays unravel in 7th

Odorizzi on point before Rays unravel in 7th

ST. PETERSBURG -- Masahiro Tanaka made strides toward recapturing his dominant form of a season ago, Brian McCann legged out a two-run triple, and Chris Young hit a grand slam late, leading the Yankees to a 9-0 victory over the Rays on Saturday night at Tropicana Field.

Tanaka was unsatisfied with his first two starts of the season, but the right-hander was on point this time, handcuffing Tampa Bay's lineup to two hits over seven innings. Tanaka retired 15 straight after a leadoff single in the first, ringing up eight strikeouts without a walk.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. Michael Kolligian is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Dykstra: 'Special' to have dad on hand for first homer

Dykstra: 'Special' to have dad on hand for first homer

ST. PETERSBURG -- The instant that Allan Dykstra's fourth-inning liner off Adam Warren with two men aboard rang off the right-field foul pole Friday night at Tropicana Field, the Rays took a 3-2 lead.

And Dykstra broke into a trot he'll never forget.

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

MLB.com Columnist

Hal Bodley

Rays exceeding outside expectations early in season

Rays exceeding outside expectations early in season

ST. PETERSBURG -- Alex Rodriguez single-handedly dealt the Rays a jarring 5-4 setback Friday night, and the much-maligned Yankees slugger obviously created most of the buzz as fans filed out of Tropicana Field.

It was a different story inside the Rays' clubhouse.

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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.

Rays announce 2015 summer concert series

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Tampa Bay Rays have announced five acts for their summer concert series at Tropicana Field.

Each concert is free with the purchase of that date's game ticket, and will begin after the conclusion of that date's game.

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

Longoria back at 3B with games-played streak intact

Rays' star extends Majors' best active stretch to 254 after 1 start at DH

Longoria back at 3B with games-played streak intact

ST. PETERSBURG -- After a one-game stint in the designated-hitter role, Evan Longoria returned to his customary third-base spot Saturday night for the second game of the Rays' weekend series with the Yankees.
 
Longoria, who was drilled in the left hip by a Marco Estrada fastball on Thursday in Toronto, extended his Major League-leading games-played streak to 254.
 
"I probably didn't have a ton of confidence that he was going to to play [at all on Friday], and then to have him back [at third base] today is huge," Rays manager Kevin Cash said Saturday.
 
When asked whether it was a return to full strength or a high pain threshold that enabled Longoria to man the hot corner, Cash didn't hesitate.
 
"It's more of gutting it out," he said. "If you look at where he got hit, it's like a severe charley horse on the bone. It's painful."
 
Longoria, who entered Saturday hitting .235 across 11 games, went 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored in Friday night's 5-4 loss to the Yankees.

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

Back-to-back HRs not enough to get Rays past Yanks

Back-to-back HRs not enough to get Rays past Yanks

ST. PETERSBURG -- Alex Rodriguez homered twice and drove in the go-ahead run with a late single, collecting four RBIs and leading the Yankees to a 5-4 victory over the Rays on Friday evening at Tropicana Field.

Rodriguez connected for his 657th and 658th career homers, slugging a second-inning solo shot off starter Nathan Karns and a two-run, game-tying shot off Ernesto Frieri in the sixth. Rodriguez then knocked in pinch-runner Brett Gardner with the deciding run in the eighth, lining a full-count single to center field off Kevin Jepsen.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. Michael Kolligian is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Beckham's homer can't be robbed this time

Rays' infielder's two-run, pinch-hit homer was the difference in the win over Toronto

Beckham's homer can't be robbed this time

TORONTO -- Tim Beckham got "Pillar-ed" Wednesday night when Toronto's Kevin Pillar robbed him of a home run.

Thursday night in the Rays' 4-2 win over the Blue Jays he fired back with a two-run, pinch-hit homer that Pillar could not bring back. The homer pushed the Rays' lead to 4-0, while giving Beckham his second home run of the season.

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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.

Archer dominates as Rays pick up series win over Blue Jays

Archer dominates as Rays pick up series win over Blue Jays

TORONTO -- Rays starter Chris Archer pitched seven shutout innings and the Tampa Bay offense did the rest in a 4-2 series-clinching victory over the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on Thursday.

The right-hander two-hit the Blue Jays and struck out 11 to improve to 2-1 on the season. He's given up only six earned runs in 36 1/3 career innings in Toronto, lowering his ERA here over six starts to 1.49.

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

Things get heated between Blue Jays and Rays after hit by pitches

Things get heated between Blue Jays and Rays after hit by pitches

TORONTO -- Mark Buehrle and Chris Archer appeared to be shouting at each other from their respective dugouts after Rays third baseman Evan Longoria was hit by a pitch from Blue Jays reliever Marco Estrada.

The incident occurred in the eighth inning of the Rays' 4-2 series-clinching victory over the Blue Jays on Thursday at Rogers Centre.

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

Rays sign Arencibia to Minor League contract

Rays sign Arencibia to Minor League contract

TORONTO -- The Rays have signed veteran catcher J.P. Arencibia to a Minor League contract.

Arencibia, 29, is expected to join Triple-A Durham, where he will likely be used primarily at DH and first base.

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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.

Cash ejected for first time as a manager

Cash ejected for first time as a manager

TORONTO -- Kevin Cash was ejected for the first time as manager of the Rays in the eighth inning of Thursday night's 4-2 win over the Blue Jays.

Rays reliever Steve Geltz threw a changeup to Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson that arrived high and tight and the pitch was ruled to have hit Donaldson to load the bases

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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.

McGee throws in extended spring training game

McGee throws in extended spring training game

TORONTO -- Jake McGee continues to make progress.

On Thursday the left-hander threw an inning (14 pitches) during an extended spring training game.

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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.

Souza launches homer for second consecutive game

Right fielder's offense becoming asset for Rays

Souza launches homer for second consecutive game

TORONTO -- Much of the pregame talk Wednesday night dealt with the estimated distance of the home run Steven Souza Jr. hit Tuesday night.

ESPN reported that the blast had traveled 463 feet, and most of the Rays players begged to differ. Rays manager Kevin Cash even noted that it was the longest home run he'd seen at Rogers Centre -- and he saw Carlos Delgado hit some bombs while they were teammates.

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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.

Young Rays honored to wear historic No. 42

Club has participated in honoring Robinson each year since 2008

Young Rays honored to wear historic No. 42

TORONTO -- All Major League Baseball uniformed personnel wore No. 42 on Wednesday in honor of Jackie Robinson.

The annual league-wide celebration is commemorating the 68th anniversary of Robinson breaking baseball's color barrier in 1947.

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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.

Souza, Mahtook homer, but Rays' win streak ends

Souza, Mahtook homer, but Rays' win streak ends

TORONTO -- Jose Bautista, Devon Travis and Dalton Pompey each homered while Josh Donaldson enjoyed a three-hit night as the Blue Jays scored early and often in an 12-7 victory over the Rays on Wednesday night at Rogers Centre on Jackie Robinson Day.

Bautista got things started in the first inning with a two-run shot to left, and Toronto never looked back. Kevin Pillar, Travis and Donaldson each doubled while Edwin Encarnacion was the only member of the starting lineup to not reach base at least once.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mahtook homers for first big league hit

Rookie joins five other Rays to boast accomplishment

Mahtook homers for first big league hit

TORONTO -- Mikie Mahtook stepped into the batter's box in the sixth inning of Wednesday night's 12-7 loss to the Blue Jays looking for his first Major League hit.

Little did the Rays' rookie know that his first hit would be a home run.

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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' Breaking Barriers to celebrate Jackie Robinson

Club to host community activities before game vs. Yankees on Saturday

Rays' Breaking Barriers to celebrate Jackie Robinson

TORONTO -- The Rays will honor Jackie Robinson Day through the organization's Breaking Barriers celebration.

Although Major League Baseball's official Jackie Robinson Day occurred Wednesday, while the Rays were on the road, the organization will host several community activities and recognize community figures leading up to Saturday's 7:10 p.m. ET game when the Rays take on the Yankees 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 using caution with Jaso's return

Catcher likely to be out longer than expected with left-wrist contusion

Rays using caution with Jaso's return

TORONTO -- Kevin Cash allowed that John Jaso will likely be out longer than expected.

When the Rays' manager was asked about the slow progress of Jaso's left-wrist contusion, he said: "Yeah, I would say it's looking that way."

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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.