Archer fans 10, bats power up to top Astros

Archer fans 10, bats power up to top Astros

HOUSTON -- A double-digit strikeout day from Chris Archer and 15 hits from the Tampa Bay offense proved too much to overcome, as the Astros lost ground in the American League Wild Card race with a 10-4 loss to the Rays at Minute Maid Park on Sunday.

The Astros are now three games behind the Orioles for the second AL Wild Card spot.

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

Jordan Ray is a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston.

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

Archer reaches 200-K milestone for 2nd straight year

Righty avoids club record-tying 18th loss with finale win over Astros

Archer reaches 200-K milestone for 2nd straight year

HOUSTON -- Chris Archer reached one milestone while avoiding another on Sunday.

The Rays right-hander struck out 10 in the Rays' 10-4 win, moving him to 202 strikeouts for the season. He also picked up the win, which prevented him from tying Tanyon Sturtze, who set the club record with 18 losses in 2002 when he went 4-18.

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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.

Cobb to join Rays in Boston, pitch over weekend

Righty, who had Tommy John, hasn't seen Majors action since 2014

Cobb to join Rays in Boston, pitch over weekend

HOUSTON -- Alex Cobb will join the team in Boston on Monday and will likely make his first start of the season on Friday or Saturday.

The Rays optioned Steve Geltz after the Rays' 10-4 win on Sunday to make room for Cobb.

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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.

Andriese set for rematch with Porcello at Fenway

Andriese set for rematch with Porcello at Fenway

The Rays head to Boston to begin a three-game series at Fenway Park on Monday against a Red Sox team trying to keep pace with the Blue Jays in AL East.

A week ago, the two teams met for a four-game series at Tropicana Field that saw the Red Sox win the first two games and the Rays win the final two to earn a split.

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Bill Chastain is the Rays beat reporter for MLB.com. He has been covering the club since 2004.

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

Geltz optioned back to Triple-A Durham

Reliever had been called up Sunday to boost depleted bullpen; Cobb to be activated Monday

Geltz optioned back to Triple-A Durham

HOUSTON -- Steve Geltz returned to the Rays Sunday morning to give the team's depleted bullpen a boost for a day. After pitching an inning in Tampa Bay's 10-4 win over Houston, the right-hander was optioned back to Triple-A Durham following the game.

Geltz had been recalled from Triple-A Durham and in a corresponding move, outfielder Mikie Mahtook had been optioned to Durham prior to the game. Afterward, the team announced that Alex Cobb would be activated on Monday and that Geltz was optioned back to Durham.

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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 cash in against Keuchel, Astros

Rays can't cash in against Keuchel, Astros

HOUSTON -- The Astros rode a hot night from the bats and another quality outing from Dallas Keuchel to gain in the American League Wild Card race and secure their first series win over the Rays since 2008 with a 6-2 victory on Saturday night at Minute Maid Park.

Houston had 12 hits, including a two-run homer by rookie sensation Alex Bregman and four doubles -- three of which produced runs -- while taking advantage of a bumpy night from Rays starter Blake Snell, who lasted only three-plus innings before leaving with a bruised lower left leg.

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

Jordan Ray is a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston.

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

Cash: Rays need 'better judgment' on bases

Manager shoulders responsibility for baserunning miscues

Cash: Rays need 'better judgment' on bases

HOUSTON -- Baserunning mistakes have haunted the Rays this season.

For a second consecutive night, the Rays gave up an out and a baserunner via a baserunning mistake in their 6-2 loss to the Astros at Minute Maid Park.

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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 'fine' after leaving with bruised left leg

Rookie hit by hard grounder vs. Astros; expects to make next start

Snell 'fine' after leaving with bruised left leg

HOUSTON -- A rough start by Rays left-hander Blake Snell ended after he left in the fourth inning of Saturday's 6-2 loss to the Astros with a bruised lower left leg.

"Got me on the ankle, I feel fine," said Snell, who said he expects to make his next 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.

Rays reinstate Franklin from concussion DL

Sturdevant optioned to Triple-A in corresponding move

Rays reinstate Franklin from concussion DL

HOUSTON -- Nick Franklin was reinstated from the seven-day concussion disabled list on Saturday.

Franklin was removed from the Rays' 2-0 win over the Padres on Aug. 17 before the second inning after sustaining a head contusion. Kevin Kiermaier accidentally hit Franklin -- who was wearing a helmet -- on a back-swing while warming up in the on-deck circle before the bottom of the first, but he stayed in for his first at-bat and walked. He went on the DL on Aug. 20.

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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 hang on after Mahtook's HR in 9th

Rays can't hang on after Mahtook's HR in 9th

HOUSTON -- Talk about a power surge. Carlos Correa and Evan Gattis hit back-to-back homers in the ninth to give the Astros a 5-4 victory over the Rays on Friday night in the series opener. It was Houston's first win at Minute Maid Park in five games and its 10th walk-off win this season, which is the most in the Majors.

Rays right fielder Mikie Mahtook had belted a go-ahead homer in the top of the ninth off Ken Giles, but Correa, who has discovered a certain knack for coming through in the clutch this season, blasted a leadoff shot over the right-field wall in the bottom half to tie at 4. Gattis then fended off Alex Colome, who suffered his second blown save of the season, in a lengthy at-bat before smashing the game-winner on a pitch high in the zone.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com and covers the Rays.

Jordan Ray is a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston and covered the Astros on Friday.

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

Smyly turns his start to keep Rays in game

Lefty yields 3 runs early before retiring the final 14 batters he faced

Smyly turns his start to keep Rays in game

HOUSTON -- Drew Smyly finished strong after a tough beginning on Friday night. Unfortunately for the Rays, the left-hander's good work went for naught in a 5-4 loss to the Astros at Minute Maid Park.

Smyly wasn't sharp in the first, but a sloppy play by first baseman Brad Miller did not help the pitcher's cause, eiither.

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

Rays release injured OF Jennings

Rays release injured OF Jennings

HOUSTON -- The Rays released outfielder Desmond Jennings on Saturday.

"It was time, best for him, best for us going forward," manager Kevin Cash said before Friday's series opener against the Astros. "Wish him the best with his career going forward. It was just unfortunate it didn't work out. Couldn't quite get him on the field as much as we'd have liked. We had to make a decision."

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

Rays were rooting for Moore in no-hitter bid

Former Tampa Bay starter goes 8 2/3 innings before yielding single

Rays were rooting for Moore in no-hitter bid

HOUSTON -- Former Rays starter Matt Moore was one out shy of pitching a no-hitter for the Giants against the Dodgers on Thursday night before Corey Seager singled to break up the bid.

The left-hander had plenty of fans in the Rays' clubhouse, including shortstop Matt Duffy, who was the main player acquired by Tampa Bay in the non-waiver Trade Deadline deal with San Francisco.

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

Odorizzi, Mahtook lift Rays over Red Sox

Odorizzi, Mahtook lift Rays over Red Sox

ST. PETERSBURG -- Mikie Mahtook called timeout at second base and looked to the Tropicana Field roof, letting a massive deep breath escape him. His RBI double gave the Rays a one-run lead in the seventh inning. It also snapped a personal 0-for-34 stretch that dated back to Aug. 9.

The lead would hold for the Rays, who went on to defeat Boston, 2-1, on Thursday.

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Sam Blum is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Red Sox on Thursday.

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.

Big game hunter: Mahtook's arm, bat shine

Left fielder snaps 0-for-34 skid with key double, snuffs rally with great throw

Big game hunter: Mahtook's arm, bat shine

ST. PETERSBURG -- Talk about relief. Mikie Mahtook personified the emotion while on his knees at second base after he'd doubled home Steven Souza Jr. for what would turn out to be the winning run.

The Rays came away with a 2-1 win over the Red Sox and a split of their four-game series at Tropicana Field on Thursday, and Mahtook came away with an escape from a dreadful 0-fer.

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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.

Longo sets Rays record with 4th 30-HR year

Veteran credits yoga, weightlifting and positive approach for resurgence

Longo sets Rays record with 4th 30-HR year

ST. PETERSBURG -- Evan Longoria hit his 30th home run of the season in the Rays' 4-3 win over the Red Sox in 11 innings Wednesday night.

In doing so, the Rays' slugger moved past Carlos Pena to become the only player in team history to log four 30 home run seasons. Longoria spoke about reaching 30 prior to Thursday afternoon's game, and clearly the milestone felt special.

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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 among top prospect performers Thursday

Brewers' No. 2 prospect notches first multi-homer game for Sky Sox

Honeywell among top prospect performers Thursday

Lewis Brinson seems to be enjoying life in the Brewers' organization.

The No. 18 overall prospect (Brewers' No. 2) has done nothing but rake since he was acquired from Texas before the non-waiver Trade Deadline and that theme continued Thursday night with a pair of homers in Triple-A Colorado Springs' 5-0 win over Oklahoma City.

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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 edge Red Sox on walk-off error in 11th

Rays edge Red Sox on walk-off error in 11th

ST. PETERSBURG -- Luke Maile saw reliever Heath Hembree drop the ball at first base in the 11th inning and started his sprint home. And the Rays' backup catcher slid in safely as Sandy Leon couldn't handle the throw at the plate to give Tampa Bay a 4-3, walk-off win over the Red Sox on Wednesday night at Tropicana Field. The Red Sox remain in a tie for first place in the American League East since the Blue Jays lost to the Angels on Wednesday.

"I was just busting my butt trying to get to the bag," Hembree said. "Was just running a little bit too fast. Knew the ball was coming and trying to find the bag, it was just, I just dropped it. ... It's a play I should make 10 out of 10 times."

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Sam Blum is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Petersburg and covered the Red Sox on Wednesday.

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.

Rehabbing Cobb nearing return to Rays

Right-hander has been out since undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2015

Rehabbing Cobb nearing return to Rays

ST. PETERSBURG -- Alex Cobb will pitch Saturday in Durham for the Triple-A Bulls in what will likely be his final start before returning to the Rays.

Saturday is the 30th and final day of Cobb's rehab assignment, and if all goes well, he's expected to rejoin the team.

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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.

One-run win a wonderful result for Rays

Club has struggled in tight games all season

One-run win a wonderful result for Rays

ST. PETERSBURG -- One-run games have not been kind to the Rays this season.

Entering Wednesday night's action, the Rays had an 8-19 record in one-run games, the worst in the Major Leagues. And they had lost 10 of their previous 11 such games. But all seemed to be forgotten in the afterglow of a 4-3, 11-inning win over the Red Sox 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.

Offense can't get on track vs. Sox

Offense can't get on track vs. Sox

ST. PETERSBURG -- In what may be his final start with Steven Wright set to rejoin the Red Sox's starting rotation, Clay Buchholz turned in a stellar outing against the Rays on Tuesday night.

The right-hander fanned nine, scattered five hits and allowed just one run as the Red Sox beat the Rays, 2-1, at Tropicana Field to stay tied with the Blue Jays atop the American League East.

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Sam Blum is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Petersburg and covered the Red Sox on Tuesday.

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.

Wild throw, baserunning gaffes costly

Wild throw, baserunning gaffes costly

ST. PETERSBURG -- Mistakes were plentiful for the Rays on Tuesday night, and those miscues proved to be the difference in a 2-1 loss to the first-place Red Sox.

"Tight ballgames, we always talk about tight ballgames, and the separator is how you limit mistakes," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "We made just a couple of mistakes today that seemed to cost us."

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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's sweatshirt gave him some trouble

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Archer's sweatshirt gave him some trouble

Stubbing your toe. Locking your keys in the car. Putting your socks on inside out. Everybody deals with these issues in life, as they're simply unavoidable. 

Chris Archer is one of the game's premier right-handed starters. As a pitcher, he's the ace of an MLB club, which already puts him in the upper echelon of athletes in the world.

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Duffy, Miller holding their own at new spots

Duffy, Miller holding their own at new spots

ST. PETERSBURG -- Matt Duffy and Brad Miller have transitioned well to their new positions since the pair changed the complexion of the Rays' infield.

Duffy came to the Rays in the non-waiver Trade Deadline deal that sent Matt Moore to the Giants. Once Duffy joined the team, he returned to his original position, shortstop, after playing third base for San Francisco. With Duffy taking over the shortstop duties, Miller shifted to first base from shortstop.

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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' bullpen keeps an eye out after ballboy error

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Rays' bullpen keeps an eye out after ballboy error

In the majority of Major League parks, bullpens warm up and catch the occasional dinger behind the safety of the outfield fence. A select few, though, rely on one of baseball's most sacred trusts: With the bullpen in foul territory, it's up to the ballboy/ballgirl/balldude to stand guard. 

Often, this works out great. But sometimes, like during Tuesday's Red Sox-Rays game, everybody needs to run for cover.

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Guerrieri among top prospect performers Tuesday

Top Mets prospects continue to show off talent at Double-A

Guerrieri among top prospect performers Tuesday

Amed Rosario and Dominic Smith proved worthy of their elite prospect rankings as the duo led Double-A Binghamton to a 9-1 victory over Hartford on Tuesday night.

The duo, ranked Nos. 1 and 2 in the Mets' system, combined to go 6-for-10 with five RBIs in just the latest of several good offensive games for both players.

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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.

Longo homers in Rays' loss to Price, Red Sox

Longo homers in Rays' loss to Price, Red Sox

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays entered Monday's series opener against the Red Sox having scored 55 runs in the previous seven games. Apparently the only thing that could cool them off was facing Red Sox lefty ace David Price.

The former Rays star pitched eight scoreless innings and allowed just two hits in a 6-2 Red Sox win at Tropicana Field. From the outset, it looked like Price and rookie lefty Blake Snell would have a pitchers' duel. But Snell allowed two runs before getting pulled amid a 40-pitch fourth inning. And the Red Sox's offense was more than enough.

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Sam Blum is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Petersburg and covered the Red Sox on Monday.

David Wilson is a contributor to MLB.com based in St. Petersburg and covered the Rays on Monday.

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

Command continues to elude Rays' Snell

Following early exit, rookie lefty says 'attacking, getting ahead' key to success

Command continues to elude Rays' Snell

ST. PETERSBURG -- To find Rays left-hander Blake Snell's last efficient outing, the calendar has to flip back a full month to when the rookie, who entered the season as one of baseball's top prospects, took the mound in Oakland. His July 24 start was the last time Snell lasted more than 5 1/3 innings. He hasn't been bad in his five starts since, but a glaring flaw has materialized.

Three of Snell's last five outings have gone either five or 5 1/3. One was a 1 2/3-inning dud. Monday's outing against the Red Sox fell in the middle. The lefty went 3 2/3 as a 40-pitch fourth derailed what had been a promising start. Snell needed 94 pitches to make it through his abbreviated start while allowing two runs, four hits and five walks in Tampa Bay's 6-2 loss to Boston at Tropicana Field.

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David Wilson 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.