ST. PETERSBURG -- While a rebound performance in Game 4 restored third baseman Evan Longoria's confidence, the break leading into Tuesday night's Game 5 should make his ailing left quadriceps feel better.
The first four games of this series have all been day games. The finale will be in primetime -- 8:07 p.m. ET -- and following Monday's off-day.
"It's definitely more time to recover and get treatment and do all the things that I need to do to get myself ready," said Longoria. "Playing a day game is always tough, no matter what time of the season it is. But at this point, it's particularly tough to play a game as intense as we played the evening before and then come back and play a noon game. It's pretty taxing on everybody's body. I think everybody is going to feel a little bit more fresh [Tuesday] night than we have in the past couple days."
While Longoria clearly isn't running close to full speed, he refuses to make any excuses. He sure looked fine in Game 4, breaking out of a 1-for-12 drought by going 3-for-4 with a homer and two RBIs.
"I think everybody's legs feel bad," Longoria said. "Nobody feels 100 percent, and it's definitely not something that I'm pointing my finger at. I'm going to go out there and give everything I have for this next game."
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.