Longoria to fans: 'Don't count us out'

Longoria to fans: 'Don't count us out'

Longoria to fans: 'Don't count us out'
ST. PETERSBURG -- The energy level at Tropicana Field for Monday's matchup vs. the Red Sox was considerably low, and the small attendance number certainly didn't help.

Only 11,722 people were on hand to catch the action, but third baseman Evan Longoria told fans not to count out Tampa Bay, which trails Baltimore by five games in the American League Wild Card standings.

"Like we say every year at this time, regardless of if we have 20 or 30 [thousand], or whatever the number was [Monday], we can use all the support we can get," Longoria said. "We've got nine games left at home, and they're all important. The more we get, the better it's going to be."

Longoria was quick to point out that the empty seats should not at all affect on how the team plays, but he did say a larger crowd could help the team's energy level.

"We played pretty dead as a club," Longoria said. "The blame isn't placed on any one person, but we didn't play with any energy last night. That was pretty obvious from my standpoint. We have to find a way regardless of how many people are in this building to find some energy and some offense."

It might be Longoria's presence in the lineup that ends up being the most beneficial for the Rays. In games he starts, they're 35-24, a much better mark than the 43-45 mark without him in the lineup.

Longoria, who dealt with a partially torn left hamstring earlier this season, said he should be able to play either as a designated hitter or at third in the rest of the club's final 15 games after missing Monday's contest.

Longoria served as Tampa Bay's DH on Tuesday against Boston, and he added that he is fine to play in the field as well.