Longoria finally gets night off after six starts

Longoria finally gets night off after six starts

SEATTLE -- And on the seventh day, Evan Longoria rested.

After fueling a six-game winning streak since returning from the disabled list, Longoria did not start Monday night against the Mariners.

"I think there was going to have to be a day at some point where I give it a rest," Longoria said. "... Obviously, when I look at the schedule, I don't want to take a day off at any point. And it's always tough to look at it and say this is a day to take off, because there are really no days where you can kind of concede a day because they're all important at this point.

"But I think today being the best-case scenario because it was a travel day, overnight. In the past it has been a little more sore after we've flown. Looking ahead, it just seemed like the best-case scenario to take a day today."

Overall, Longoria reported that he has felt "pretty good" since rejoining the team Tuesday after missing most of the season with a partially torn left hamstring.

"I haven't had to push it too hard," Longoria said. "Which is a blessing in disguise, we've been able to win some games and I haven't had to put myself out there too much. ... Since I've been back, I really haven't done any huge damage. We've been hitting the ball well as a team. So it takes a lot of pressure off me. Makes it easy. I just show up and get to have fun and play again."

Upon rejoining the team Tuesday, Longoria told reporters he was not a savior. While Longoria might not be a savior, his return definitely seems to have had an effect on the Rays' offense.

During the Rays' six-game winning streak, which coincides with Longoria's return, the Rays have scored 37 runs on 65 hits, hitting .314 in the process.

In contrast, the Rays scored 25 runs in the 10 games prior to Longoria's return, hitting .199.

With Longoria in the lineup, the Rays are 21-8 this season. In addition, when he hits cleanup, they are 13-2 and they are 12-1 with him in the lineup when they play at Tropicana Field.

The Rays have averaged more than a run per game more with Longoria in the lineup (4.93 runs per game) than without him (3.86).

"I think you just look at what we've been doing since he's been back," B.J. Upton said. "Anytime you can put a guy like him into the middle of your lineup, it's hard to say that it doesn't change the complexion of it."