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Krauss notches RBI in debut with Rays

ST. PETERSBURG -- New first baseman Marc Krauss went 1-for-2 with an RBI double during his debut with the Rays in a 4-3 loss to the Red Sox on Friday night.

"He got a big hit. Impacted us, got us on the board early," said Rays manager Kevin Cash. "It's not an easy thing to do to get on a plane and fly cross-country, and then come in here with nobody you know and get plugged in the lineup. I thought he handled it really well."

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The left-handed-hitting Krauss, who the Rays acquired from the Angels on Thursday for pitcher Kyle Winkler, has batted .194 with 11 homers and 39 RBIs over parts of three big league seasons with the Angels and Astros.

"He's a guy who has hit in the Minor Leagues, but maybe he hasn't had the most opportunities up here," Cash said of Krauss, who has a .271 average with 19 homers and 108 RBIs in 628 Triple-A at-bats. "He's a nice addition for us. Hopefully we can provide him with a good opportunity and he can run into some balls."

With regular first baseman James Loney still recovering from a fractured middle finger on his left hand and Nick Franklin having posted disappointing numbers in his brief stint at the position, the Rays are looking for Krauss to fill a void on their current roster.

"We felt like we've needed that left-handed bat, and especially somebody that has a little more experience at first base," said Cash. "It will be nice for our infield to have someone who has played over there.

"We're excited he's here. He's in the lineup tonight, and hopefully he gets off to a good start."

Tweet from @RaysBaseball: First #Rays ... AB ✔️ Hit ✔️ 2B ✔️ RBI ✔️ Productive, @MarcKrauss25. WATCH:

For Krauss, who was playing for Triple-A Salt Lake at the time of the trade, the last two days have been a whirlwind.

"It was a lot of excitement with a little bit of craziness mixed in," said Krauss. "It was a bit surprising, kind of out of the blue. Just another day in the life of a ballplayer.

"Like I said to my wife, you never know what's going to happen when you're playing baseball, so just enjoy it, have fun and try to make the most of the opportunity."

Krauss had heard from former teammates Carlos Pena and Matt Joyce about the winning culture that prevails throughout the Tampa Bay organization.

"They talked about how great the atmosphere is, how relaxed and down to earth most of the guys are and that it's all just about putting a winning product on the field," said Krauss.

Krauss was overwhelmed by the reception he received upon entering the Rays' clubhouse.

"Everybody just came up to me," said Krauss. "I didn't have to introduce myself to anybody. They all came up to me and wanted to introduce themselves, so that right there says a lot about the guys in here and the character that they have."

And what about Krauss' on-field approach?

"Just try to put together good at-bats whenever I'm in the lineup, and do what I can to help the team win," said Krauss. "That's the main goal at this level, especially with a team that's in first place, just not mess up anything and continue what they've been doing."

Michael Kolligian is a contributor to
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