Longoria gets nod at DH on Tuesday

Longoria gets nod at DH on Tuesday

ST. PETERSBURG -- Evan Longoria found himself in Tuesday's lineup batting third -- as the Rays' designated hitter.

Longoria knew manager Joe Maddon wanted to give him a day off this week. But while Longoria is glad to stay in the lineup, it's still not a role the third baseman is comfortable with.

"I made the concession that sometimes I need to get off of my feet as far as playing nine innings," Longoria said. "And I don't really like to take days off in general, so that's the best way to do it and still be in the lineup, too."

Longoria, who went 1-for-4 with two strikeouts in Tuesday's 8-0 loss to the Rangers, hasn't had the best of experiences in the DH role. The slugger is batting .160 (4-for-25) as the designated hitter in his career. Longoria also injured his hamstring while serving as the DH in June 2009.

He knocked on wood above his locker in the clubhouse before Tuesday's game while talking about the possibility of getting hurt again.

"I just kind of told Joe, 'Hey, if you're going to give me a day off, give me a complete day off,'" Longoria said. "Just because of the difference in preparation before the game. So now, when I do get DH days, I just go through my whole routine that I would do leading up to a normal game. I don't mind it, but again, it's just a preparation-type thing."

Longoria plans to watch the game from the dugout, but he will also go back into the clubhouse to watch his at-bats on video and take some practice swings.

"Any way I can keep my mind going and then take some swings to stay loose before I go," Longoria said. "Just try to stay loose and stretch. That's kind of what I've learned from those past experiences.

"You can't just sit on the bench for nine innings and stay cold, you know, and then try to go up there and hit. It doesn't work. It doesn't work for me, at least."

Longoria entered Tuesday's game against the Rangers batting .236 with 25 home runs and 80 RBIs in 111 games.