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Yarbrough strong, but offense falls flat in loss

Left-hander pitches 7 innings of relief as Tampa Bay leans on its bullpen vs. O's
MLB.com @wwchastain

ST. PETERSBURG -- Ryan Yarbrough didn't start Friday, rather he relieved like a starting pitcher, effectively delivering a quality start. Unfortunately, the Rays' offense came up flat in a 2-0 loss to the Orioles at Tropicana Field.

The Rays' use of "bullpen days" has been a hot topic all season, and that conversation was turned up a notch this week when Rays manager Kevin Cash announced that relievers would start each of the three weekend games against the Orioles.

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ST. PETERSBURG -- Ryan Yarbrough didn't start Friday, rather he relieved like a starting pitcher, effectively delivering a quality start. Unfortunately, the Rays' offense came up flat in a 2-0 loss to the Orioles at Tropicana Field.

The Rays' use of "bullpen days" has been a hot topic all season, and that conversation was turned up a notch this week when Rays manager Kevin Cash announced that relievers would start each of the three weekend games against the Orioles.

View Full Game Coverage

Thus, Sergio Romo started for the Rays on Friday night, in advance of the starter, Yarbrough, coming in to pitch the bulk of the game.

Romo didn't have as much success against the Orioles as he did the previous weekend, when the veteran reliever started back-to-back games against the Angels and didn't allow a run. This time, Romo lasted just two outs before Danny Valencia's RBI double brought Cash to the mound to change pitchers. Yarbrough took over and got the last out of the inning, then went on to give the Rays an excellent seven-inning performance.

Video: BAL@TB: Robertson holds on to popup after collision

"Pretty good [groove] obviously," Yarbrough said. "... Not much time to think about things. Basically, it was just a matter of getting ready as fast as possible, not really thinking, and just trying to execute pitches. … Just trying to treat it like a normal start day. Just a matter of coming in and not throwing the first pitch. Just went through my whole routine and controlled what I could control."

The only blemish on the rookie left-hander's line came in the sixth when Jonathan Schoop homered with one out to give the Orioles a 2-0 lead. His final line showed one run on seven hits and a career-high eight strikeouts.

"A lot of strikes," Cash said. "... When you're throwing strikes at a 70-percent clip, generally you're rolling pretty good. Just watching the hitters' swings. I know the Schoop home run, but other than that, there weren't many balls that found the barrel. He mixed really well. He had the cutter going, and then the fastball."

Video: BAL@TB: Cash on Yarbrough, impact of the trade

A big part of the Rays' ineffectiveness came from the right arm of Orioles starter David Hess, who allowed only four hits while walking three and striking out three in 6 2/3 innings to move to 2-1 on the season.

"I think you have to give credit to Hess," said Cash when asked if his offense came out flat. "We faced him [May 12]. [Matt] Duffy hit the three-run homer off him and then he kind of shut us down. So there's something there. We're just not seeing him, for whatever reason, very well. I do think it has to do [with how] he pitches up with the fastball a little bit. But he mixed. He had enough zip on the fastball to get us to expand up, and it was a quiet night for us offensively."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Romo struck out Schoop with two outs in the first, but he did so with a wild pitch. Adam Jones went to second and Schoop to first. Valencia followed with the RBI double that gave the Orioles a lead they would not relinquish.

Video: BAL@TB: Valencia opens the scoring with an RBI double

SOUND SMART
Yarbrough tied a club record for a relief pitcher with his eight strikeouts. The last time it happened was June 13, 2007, when Jason Hammel accomplished the feat against San Diego.

HE SAID IT
"Look, I try to be consistent with all of the trades, and I know that every decision we make as an organization, we're kind of doing it for the greater good. And we've talked about the youth that we have in this organization. And those guys don't get those opportunities if we don't make some changes. Saying that, we're excited about the guys we got back, but saying there's no doubt, I mean you have to respect what Denard Span has done in a brief time here, and obviously what [Alex Colome] has done." -- Cash, on the pregame trade that sent Colome and Span to the Mariners 

Video: BAL@TB: Rays deal Colome and Span to the Mariners

UP NEXT
Ryne Stanek will make his first Major League start on Saturday when the Rays host the Orioles in a 4:10 p.m. ET contest at Tropicana Field. He has averaged 97.9 mph on his fastball this season. Andrew Cashner will start for the Orioles.

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.

Tampa Bay Rays, Ryan Yarbrough

Rays deal Colome, Span to M's for 2 RHPs

Tampa Bay acquires Moore, Romero; club also lands righty Font from A's for Minor Leaguer Bayer
MLB.com @wwchastain

ST. PETERSBURG -- Tampa Bay made a surprising move before Friday night's game against the Orioles when the club traded outfielder Denard Span and closer Alex Colome to the Mariners in exchange for right-handed pitching prospects Andrew Moore and Tommy Romero.

Moments later, the Rays acquired right-handed pitcher Wilmer Font from the Athletics in exchange for Minor League right-hander Peter Bayer. Font was designated for assignment by the A's on Wednesday.

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ST. PETERSBURG -- Tampa Bay made a surprising move before Friday night's game against the Orioles when the club traded outfielder Denard Span and closer Alex Colome to the Mariners in exchange for right-handed pitching prospects Andrew Moore and Tommy Romero.

Moments later, the Rays acquired right-handed pitcher Wilmer Font from the Athletics in exchange for Minor League right-hander Peter Bayer. Font was designated for assignment by the A's on Wednesday.

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The Rays played short-handed Friday night. Outfielder Carlos Gomez will likely be activated from the disabled list for Saturday's game, and Font will join the Rays' bullpen upon his arrival.

"I think usually when you see moves made this time of year, it's not very common," said Erik Neander, senior vice president of baseball operations. "This is usually the time where you're still learning about your club and where you're at competitively, and so on. A lot of the focus for the front office is on the Draft at this point.

Video: BAL@TB: Rays deal Colome and Span to the Mariners

"But I think some circumstances changed in Seattle, with respect to where their team is at and where their finances were at, and that led to some motivation from them to seek out and try to find ways to improve their team. That was a situation where we responded to the interest that was there. And Andrew Moore is a player that we value highly. He fits in really well to the group we have in place already."

Moore, 23, pitched in 11 games (nine starts) over four separate stints with Seattle in 2017, going 1-5 with a 5.34 ERA and only eight walks. This season, Moore was 3-1 with a 3.04 ERA in nine starts for Double-A Arkansas. Neander explained that the Mariners placed Moore at the Double-A level so he could better work on some things rather than doing so at the Triple-A Pacific Coast League. He added that it is not reflective of the level Moore is qualified to pitch at.

Video: SEA@SD: Moore shines in relief for the Mariners

Romero, 20, was 3-3 with a 2.45 ERA and 54 strikeouts in nine starts for Class A Clinton. He ranked seventh in the Midwest League in ERA, fifth in strikeouts and third in strikeouts per nine innings (11.05).

Font, 28, has split the 2018 season between the Dodgers and Athletics organizations, posting a 0-2 record with a 12.71 ERA in 10 appearances. He was named to the Dodgers' Opening Day roster as a reliever this season, but was designated for assignment on April 23 after six appearances. He appeared in four games with the A's.

Colome left the Rays clubhouse, shook hands with the security guard, then hopped in a golf cart and drove off, waving to reporters without comment.

Span did talk to reporters about getting traded from his hometown team.

"Definitely shocked," said Span, who grew up in Tampa. "Obviously, I knew coming into this situation that it probably wouldn't be a full season that I get an opportunity to play here. Honestly, I was concerned I wouldn't get out of Spring Training. But once I got out of Spring Training, I figured that I'd at least have until July to play here, so this definitely caught me off guard."

Span came to the Rays in the December trade that sent Evan Longoria to the Giants. All along it was speculated that Tampa Bay would flip Span in a trade because of the $11 million he will make for the 2018 season.

Span, who was popular in the clubhouse, said he would miss the Rays players. He also sounded disappointed because of how the team had been playing of late, and he hoped that might lead to a special summer.

"Obviously, we've been playing better here of late, but you know, this is part of the business," Span said. "I'm just happy that I have a job and somebody wants me. So I'm looking forward to going to Seattle, even though it hasn't sunk in yet. I'm looking forward to this new challenge. But as you know, Tampa is home for me."

Span said he told Neander and co-senior vice president of baseball operations Chaim Bloom that the Rays "have a good thing going here."

"Just an unbelievable atmosphere," Span said.

Colome, 29, leaves the Rays ranked second in club history with 95 saves, trailing only Roberto Hernandez (101). This season, Colome is 2-5 with a 4.15 ERA and 11 saves in 23 appearances. In 2017, he became the first pitcher in franchise history to lead the Majors in saves (47). Colome will make $5.3 million this season.

Span, 34, is batting .238/.364/.385 with seven doubles, one triple, four home runs, 28 RBIs and six stolen bases in 43 games. His 28 RBIs are his most ever through his first 48 games.

Bayer, 24, was 0-0 with an 18.00 ERA in five appearances for Class A Advanced Charlotte this season. Over parts of three Minor League seasons, he is 4-4 with a 4.08 ERA. He was selected by the Rays in the ninth round of the 2016 Draft from California Polytechnic State University.

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.

Tampa Bay Rays, Wilmer Font, Andrew Moore

Eovaldi to be activated for Tuesday start vs. A's

Righty set for season debut; Gomez, Kiermaier making progress with injuries
MLB.com @wwchastain

ST. PETERSBURG -- Nathan Eovaldi will be activated from the disabled list to start for the Rays on Tuesday night in Oakland. The 28-year-old right-hander hasn't pitched in the big leagues since 2016 with the Yankees after having Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.

"He's going to pitch for us on Tuesday," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "I think given his workload and how many pitches he threw in Durham, it's time to get him back in the big leagues. He's probably got another start to continue that progression to get him as built up as possible.

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ST. PETERSBURG -- Nathan Eovaldi will be activated from the disabled list to start for the Rays on Tuesday night in Oakland. The 28-year-old right-hander hasn't pitched in the big leagues since 2016 with the Yankees after having Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.

"He's going to pitch for us on Tuesday," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "I think given his workload and how many pitches he threw in Durham, it's time to get him back in the big leagues. He's probably got another start to continue that progression to get him as built up as possible.

View Full Game Coverage

"We're excited to have him back. This has been a long time coming for Nate. I know he's champing at the bit. Eager to get out there and help us win some games. I'm kind of intrigued to see him. We saw the reports from his rehab outings, 96-100 [mph], I think you'll take that for four innings or five innings, whatever he's able to provide that first start."

Leaving Spring Training, Eovaldi had been slated to start the Rays' second game of the season, but instead he began the season on the DL after having arthroscopic surgery to deal with loose bodies in his right elbow.

Eovaldi made his last rehab start for Triple-A Durham on Wednesday night and allowed eight earned runs in four innings.

"I physically feel great," Eovaldi said. "The results weren't what I wanted when I was down there, but physically I feel good. Fastball, slider, the split and the curveball, they all feel good."

Eovaldi last appeared in a Major League game on Aug. 10, 2016, at Boston. The Rays signed him as a free agent on Feb. 14, 2017, due in part to the organization's reputation in handling pitchers recovering from Tommy John surgery. At the time, he was coming back from his second such surgery. Eovaldi achieved his goal of being physically ready to return by the end of the 2017 season, prompting the Rays to exercise his 2018 option.

If Eovaldi successfully makes his start Tuesday night, he'll become the fourth player to pitch for the Rays after two Tommy John surgeries, joining Al Reyes, Lance Carter, and Jonny Venters.

Eovaldi likened the process he's gone through this year to "having Spring Training twice.

"I definitely feel like I'm ready to go," Eovaldi said. "I think it will be five innings or 90 pitches. I'm built up to 90. Ready to go."

Eovaldi acknowledged that his journey has been a frustrating one.

"Just as close as I was in Spring Training, ready to go for the season, and have it end the way it did -- to rebuild all the way back up, it's definitely frustrating," Eovaldi said. "But it is what it is. Accept it, and I'm ready to go now."

Injury updates:
Carlos Gomez (right groin strain) homered twice in a simulated game on Friday.

"It was supposed to be an extended game, but I think the Orioles, rain, or somebody didn't show up," Cash said. "It ended up being a simulated game. He felt good."

Cash said Gomez will be checked out to determine whether he gets activated on Saturday or Sunday.

Kevin Kiermaier (torn ligament in right thumb) will see the doctor next Friday to check on the progress of his energy. The Gold and Platinum Glove center fielder said no timeline has been established yet, but added: "It feels good, though."

Kiermaier is optimistic he will return to the Rays before the All-Star break.

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.

Tampa Bay Rays, Nathan Eovaldi, Carlos Gomez, Kevin Kiermaier

John Jaso was stopped by usher at Trop

With his long dreads, philosophical outlook on losing streaks and plans to spend his post-playing days sailing the world on his boat, it's safe to say there aren't many -- if any -- ballplayers like John Jaso. He made that more than obvious during the Rays' 6-3 victory over the Red Sox on Thursday night. 

Looking every bit like a retired, Jimmy Buffett- and Phish-listening dude in a tie-dyed tank top and (we assume) flip-flops, Jaso tried to head toward the field to speak to his former teammates and coaches. Only problem: An usher stopped him because ballplayers tend not to look so ... relaxed. 

Rays' offense clicks to back stellar Snell

MLB.com @wwchastain

ST. PETERSBURG -- On a night when the offense broke loose, Blake Snell grabbed the spotlight in the Rays' 6-3 win over the Red Sox on Thursday night at Tropicana Field.

The win snapped the Rays' three-game losing streak, and they improved to 23-25 on the season as they head into a weekend series against last-place Baltimore.

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ST. PETERSBURG -- On a night when the offense broke loose, Blake Snell grabbed the spotlight in the Rays' 6-3 win over the Red Sox on Thursday night at Tropicana Field.

The win snapped the Rays' three-game losing streak, and they improved to 23-25 on the season as they head into a weekend series against last-place Baltimore.

View Full Game Coverage

Snell continues to find excellence every time out, and he followed suit in his 11th start of the season.

"Blake looked really good against them, like the last time up in Fenway," manager Kevin Cash said. "Kind of set the tone [with] the first at-bat with Mookie [Betts], that he was going to come right after guys. He did that. And then the fifth inning rolled around, his pitch count got up. I thought he lost the command of the fastball, a little bit uncharacteristic walk here and there. But really, really good performance by Blake."

The left-hander held the Red Sox scoreless on three hits and two walks while striking out eight in six innings to move to 6-3 on the season while dropping his ERA to 2.78. In addition, he dropped his home ERA, from 1.07 to 0.86. Eight of his last nine starts have been quality starts.

"First four innings [I was] very happy with, being in the zone, attacking," said Snell, who allowed that he began to struggle a little in his final two innings when he tried to "place the ball" on the corner "instead of just throwing it to the catcher."

Snell didn't need much help, but the bats provided plenty of firepower, scoring two in the first and three in the second against Rick Porcello to take a 5-0 lead.

Video: BOS@TB: Miller scores Cron on a sacrifice fly in 1st

"Defense played good, offense early, patient at-bats, good at-bats," Snell said. "When you get that comfort, it makes it a lot easier pitching with a lead. And having Wilson [Ramos] behind the plate, there's no question. Whatever he wants, I throw. I feel like we're on the same page, for the most part."

Ramos, who had to leave Tuesday night's game with a contusion of his left hand, returned to the lineup to lead an offense that spread the wealth. Ramos went 3-for-4 with two RBIs. Leadoff hitter Denard Span caused havoc with a double, a single and two walks, scoring three times.

Video: BOS@TB: Ramos clears the bases on single, error

"Porcello's really good. To be able to get his pitch count up and capitalize on some opportunities, we talked about that before the game -- that it would be nice if we were able to accomplish that, and we did that," Cash said. "A lot of good at-bats. Wilson Ramos' at-bats were really good. ... Our offense [piled] up some runs early [to] give us some breathing room."

ADAMES OPTIONED
As expected, Willy Adames was optioned back to Triple-A Durham following the game, and infielder Joey Wendle was reinstated from the paternity list. Adames, who is the Rays' No. 2 prospect as ranked by MLB Pipeline, had a single and a homer in his three games with the Rays.

"It's been pretty fun," Adames said. "Finally, we got the win tonight. This experience has been good for me. Calmed me down. Because when you're in Triple-A, you want to get here. So I got here, played three games. Now I'm more calm. I know more of the guys over here. And I know what to do on the field."

HE SAID IT
"Trying to get some nachos." -- Span, who twice went into the stands attempting to catch foul balls

"It was good we had Raymond out there the second time to help him up." -- Cash, on the second time Span went into the stands, this time in front of the team mascot, Raymond

Video: BOS@TB: Span knocks down fan as he leaps into stands

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
The Rays tried to extend their lead in the bottom of the sixth when Matt Duffy attempted to score from second on a grounder. Red Sox first baseman Mitch Moreland fired home, and Duffy was initially ruled safe, But after the Red Sox challenged, the replay official ruled that Sandy Leon tagged Duffy's right leg before Duffy touched home.

Video: BOS@TB: Moreland cuts down run, ends 6th after review

UP NEXT
Sergio Romo will get the starting nod on Friday night when the Rays open a three-game series against the Orioles in a 7:10 ET contest at Tropicana Field. Romo started two games against the Angels last weekend as the Rays continue to try different ways to effectively use their staff. The Orioles have not yet named their starter.

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.

Tampa Bay Rays

Rays to start 3 relievers in series vs. Orioles

Romo, Stanek, then Romo again to open this weekend's games
MLB.com @wwchastain

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays will be making an early call to the bullpen for this weekend's games against the Orioles at Tropicana Field.

Veteran reliever Sergio Romo is slated to start Friday and Sunday, while Ryne Stanek, a reliever with less wear on the tires, will start Saturday's game.

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays will be making an early call to the bullpen for this weekend's games against the Orioles at Tropicana Field.

Veteran reliever Sergio Romo is slated to start Friday and Sunday, while Ryne Stanek, a reliever with less wear on the tires, will start Saturday's game.

This won't be the first time the Rays have used their unconventional and wildly intriguing "opener" strategy -- Romo started back-to-back games against the Angels last weekend, yet they're taking it to a more accelerated level.

Reaction to Rays' strategy: 'Complicated,' 'weird'

"Look, it worked," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "Not commiting that it's going to work. ... Going through [the Orioles'] lineup is somewhat similar to the Angels in that they're very heavy righty. They have Chris Davis hitting fourth or fifth in there, that's the lone lefty that hits up at the top most of the time. It should stack up similarly to what we did in Anaheim. And hopefully we have some similar success."

Baltimore boasts a right-handed heavy lineup at the top, which makes such matchups favorable and conducive for the unorthhodox strategy. Trey Mancini, Adam Jones, Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop were the Orioles' one through four hitters on Thursday against the White Sox.

The opener strategy drew significant attention across MLB, with many opposing players, managers, scouts and front-office personnel chiming in on its unique approach -- and, perhaps notably, because it proved effective.

Romo, an 11-year veteran, has bought into the opener concept -- one that has been explored in many analytical circles in recent years but never employed purposefully in a Major League game until last weekend. When Romo started on consecutive days, he became the first pitcher to do so since Zack Greinke in 2012, who made those starts largely due to an ejection quirk.

Romo threw 2 1/3 innings in his two starts, with six strikeouts, two walks and zero hits among the nine batters he faced. He began the first outing by striking out Zack Cozart, Mike Trout and Justin Upton - all right-handed hitters -- in order. Cozart said that he disapporved of the strategy because it thwarted his pre-at-bat approach.

"Look we're not trying to do anything that's cute, we're trying to do something that will work and be right for us to win games," Cash said. "Saying that, I know Sergio has done it twice now, and looks like he's probably on scheduled to do it two more times. Stanek is going to get an opportunity to do it."

Video: ATL@TB: Stanek K's Bautista to strand two runners

Stanek averages 97.9 mph on his four-seam fastball, among the highest in the Majors, though the right-hander has surrendered six homers in 21 outings, which has contributted to a 5.85 ERA.

"He's started before," Cash said. "Look, we think he's a talented pitcher. And it hasn't gone that easy for him up at the Major League level. Maybe a different look can help him. And we see a lot of guys change their lineup around, and stick a struggling guy up and hitting leadoff.

"There are some similarities, some thought to that. But every decision we make is to do our best to win that game that night. And we think this is going to help us."

Cash allowed that a similar scenario might play out if they played a predominantly left-handed team.

"In theory we have Yarbs [Ryan Yarbrough] and [Anthony] Banda, who are in the rotation, they could start," Cash said. "Or you could see a guy like Johnny Venters come in there and start and hopefully get three to six outs."

As for dealing with the pushback from the baseball world about what they are doing ...

"I'm sensitive to it, because I care, but we have to do what we think is right," Cash said. "As long as our players are understanding and we're doing a good job communicating with them, that's really all we can ask for."

The club entered the season with limited rotational depth with just four starters, and announced early in Spring Training that they planned to relegate the fifth day for the bullpen when the schedule dictated. Their rotation became even further depleted on Wednesday when right-hander Jake Faria was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a left oblique strain.

Medical matters:
Nathan Eovaldi (loose bodies in right elbow) made a rehab start for Triple-A Durham on Wednesday night against Gwinnett. The right-hander allowed eight earned runs in four innings. The rehab start was his fourth, and should put him in line for a start with the Rays next week in Oakland.

Eovaldi is "good," Cash said. "I know he got hit a little bit, but health-wise, he was 100 percent, which is always good to hear. Velo was up. Just one of those nights. I think he had some strikeouts, but he also gave up a bunch of hits. We'll get through tonight's game and probably insert him [into the rotation] on Monday or Tuesday once we get on the road."

Carlos Gomez (right groin strain) ran on Thursday and Cash said the veteran outfielder looked fine.

"Took some outfield work, looked fine," Cash said. "He's going to go to play extended [spring training], play right field, five, six innings. And also get six or seven at-bats, then see how he comes in Saturday. Most likely we're looking at closer to Sunday [to activate him]. Just see how he responds."

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.

Tampa Bay Rays, Sergio Romo, Ryne Stanek

McKay fires six scoreless innings

MLB.com @GoldenSombrero

Here's MLB Pipeline's roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Thursday.

Brendan McKay has a legitimate chance of becoming Major League Baseball's next two-way star. Right now, however, the Rays' No. 3 prospect is standing out more for his success on the mound.

Here's MLB Pipeline's roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Thursday.

Brendan McKay has a legitimate chance of becoming Major League Baseball's next two-way star. Right now, however, the Rays' No. 3 prospect is standing out more for his success on the mound.

:: Complete prospect coverage ::

McKay, MLB Pipeline's No. 24 overall prospect, tossed six scoreless innings on Thursday, leading Class A Advanced Charlotte in a shutout of Fort Myers, 1-0. Entering the game in the third inning in relief of rehabbing big leaguer Yonny Chirinos, McKay allowed three hits, hit one batter and struck out three as he improved to 2-0 in as many outings for the Stone Crabs.

McKay, 22, has now worked 23 2/3 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run dating back to his April 28 start with Class A Bowling Green. He's permitted just four hits while striking out 10 in 11 innings for Charlotte after posting a 1.09 ERA with 40 strikeouts and two walks over 24 2/3 frames (six starts) in the Midwest League.

Overall, McKay has pitched to a combined 0.76 ERA and 0.39 WHIP, with an equally impressive 50-to-2 strikeout-to-walk ratio and .101 opponents' average, in 35 2/3 innings (eight appearances/six starts) between the two levels.

At the plate, meanwhile, the left-handed-hitting first baseman has produced a .247/.434/.318 batting line, totaling four extra-base hits, 18 RBIs and more walks (30) than strikeouts (20) in 26 games.

The rest of the best performances from top prospects Thursday

• No. 2 overall prospect (Blue Jays' No. 1) Vladimir Guerrero Jr's solo shot and Bo Bichette's (No. 11 overall, Blue Jays' No. 2) two-run homer accounted for all of Double-A New Hampshire's offense in a 4-3 loss against Reading. They both finished 2-for-4 at the plate, with Bichette also reaching once via a walk and recording his 10th stolen base in the contest. The 19-year-old Guerrero boosted his Minor League-best average to .427 with his third straight multihit performance, and he's now up to nine home runs and 46 RBIs through 42 games.

Guerrero Jr. hits another homer

• No. 17 overall prospect Alex Reyes (Cardinals' No. 1) struck out the side on three occasions and fanned nine consecutive batters -- breaking a 116-year Pacific Coast League record -- en route to racking up 13 strikeouts in seven scoreless innings in a rehab start for Triple-A Memphis. He allowed one hit and one walk, throwing 52 of his 76 pitches for strikes in the outing. The 23-year-old righty has dominated while working his way back from 2017 Tommy John surgery, piling up 44 strikeouts and allowing just seven hits in 23 scoreless innings (four starts) across three levels.

Reyes notches 13th strikeout

• No. 56 overall prospect Dylan Cease (White Sox No. 5) completed a career-high 7 1/3 innings, allowing one earned run on four hits, as he recorded his sixth win in nine starts for Class A Advanced Winston-Salem. The 22-year-old right-hander issued two walks and struck out nine, sitting in the upper 90s and touching 99 mph against his final batter. He's pitched to a 2.83 ERA with 57 strikeouts in 47 2/3 innings this season.

Cease's ninth strikeout

• No. 57 overall prospect Jo Adell (Angels' No. 1) connected on his first California League home run, hitting a two-run shot as well as a double in his third game since joining Class A Advanced Inland Empire. The 19-year-old outfielder earned a quick promotion after hitting .326/.398/.611 with six homers, seven doubles and 29 RBIs in 25 games with Class A Burlington.

• No. 74 overall prospect Stephen Gonsalves (Twins' No. 3) posted his second straight scoreless start as Triple-A Rochester blanked Lehigh Valley, 2-0. He scattered four hits and four walks over five innings, striking out five and generating another six outs on the ground. Nick Gordon (No. 76 overall, Twins' No. 4), playing in his third Triple-A game, hit a pair of doubles and scored a run to pace the Red Wings offensively.

• After going 0-for-8 in his first two Triple-A games, Angels' No. 8 prospect Matt Thaiss erupted to hit a pair of solo homers and went 3-for-6 as Salt Lake outslugged Albuquerque, 16-11. The 23-year-old first baseman, a first-round pick in 2016, earned a promotion to the Minors' highest level after slashing .287/.352/.490 with six homers and 10 doubles in 40 games with Double-A Mobile.

Thaiss' second homer

Astros' No. 9 prospect Corbin Martin racked up a season-high nine strikeouts and allowed just two hits as he completed a career-best 7 2/3 scoreless frames in a no-decision for Double-A Corpus Christi against Springfield. He threw 88 pitches, 63 for strikes in the outing and generated eight ground-ball outs. The 2017 second-round pick has given up just two earned runs over his last 22 innings (three starts/four appearances) since allowing six earned runs on five hits and lasted just 1/3 innings in his Double-A debut.

Martin's ninth strikeout

• After striking out 18 batters over 9 2/3 innings in two big league starts, Brewers No. 9 prospect Freddy Peralta returned to Triple-A Colorado Springs and struck out eight over five scoreless innings to earn the win against Nashville. He permitted as many hits as walks (three), while throwing 57 of his 94 pitches for strikes. The 21-year-old righty is 6-1 in eight Triple-A starts, during which he's pitched to a 3.18 ERA with 54 strikeouts in 39 2/3 innings.

• Starting for Springfield opposite of Corpus Christi's Martin, Cardinals' No. 19 prospect Jake Woodford took a no-decision despite completing eight scoreless frames during which he scattered six hits, walked two and struck out five. The 21-year-old righty owns a 3.98 ERA in 54 1/3 innings and has finished five innings in eight of his 10 starts, including six straight.

Marlins' No. 21 prospect Pablo Lopez allowed five hits and struck out five over six scoreless innings in another lights-out start for Double-A Jacksonville. The 22-year-old right-hander lowered his ERA from 0.28 to 0.24 with the performance, extending his lead over the field on the Southern League leaderboard. Lopez has not allowed an earned run in six of his seven turns this season, posting a 0.82 WHIP with 42 strikeouts and seven walks in 37 2/3 innings.

Mets' No. 1 prospect Andres Gimenez extended his hitting streak to nine games with a 3-for-3 performance that included a double in Class A Advanced St. Lucie's 4-2 win over Daytona. He also worked a walk, scored a pair of runs and stole three bases, giving him 15 steals on the season, second-most in the Florida State League. Overall, the 19-year-old shortstop owns a .287/.356/.441 batting line with 15 extra-base hits through 40 games in the pitcher-friendly league.

Red Sox No. 11 prospect Josh Ockimey hit a three-run homer and reached base four times, going 2-for-3 with a double, two walks and two runs scored in Double-A Portland's 12-2 win over Hartford. It was the fifth home run and second straight two-hit game for the 22-year-old first baseman, who's slashing .255/.381/.445 through 32 games.

• Twins' No. 8 prospect Brent Rooker went deep twice for Double-A Chattanooga in his first career multihomer game. The 23-year-old first baseman hit a two-run blast in his first at-bat and added a solo shot in his third trip to the plate, finishing 2-for-5 with three RBIs. He's homered six times in 43 games this season after totaling 18 homers in 62 games across two levels during his pro debut.

Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero.

Oblique strain forces Faria to disabled list

Nuno's contract selected; Eovaldi transferred to 60-day DL
MLB.com @wwchastain

ST. PETERSBURG -- As expected, the Rays placed right-hander Jake Faria (left oblique strain) on the 10-day disabled list and selected the contract of left-hander Vidal Nuno from Triple-A Durham.

To make room for Nuno on the 40-man roster, the Rays shifted right-hander Nathan Eovaldi to the 60-day DL, which means he's eligible to return on Monday, when Tampa Bay begins its upcoming nine-game trip in Oakland. He is expected to rejoin the team and pitch at some point on the road.

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ST. PETERSBURG -- As expected, the Rays placed right-hander Jake Faria (left oblique strain) on the 10-day disabled list and selected the contract of left-hander Vidal Nuno from Triple-A Durham.

To make room for Nuno on the 40-man roster, the Rays shifted right-hander Nathan Eovaldi to the 60-day DL, which means he's eligible to return on Monday, when Tampa Bay begins its upcoming nine-game trip in Oakland. He is expected to rejoin the team and pitch at some point on the road.

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Faria is expected to miss at least six to eight weeks.

"He got it pretty good, so he's going to miss some time," Rays manager Kevin Cash said.

Faria, who started Tuesday night's game against the Red Sox, had just struck out Andrew Benintendi for the second out in the third before cringing following his third pitch to the next hitter Hanley Ramirez. That prompted a mound visit from Cash and head athletic trainer Joe Benge. After talking to Faria, they stood next to the mound as he threw a practice pitch. Faria then left the game.

"Any kind of pulling movement doesn't feel very good," said Faria, who told reporters he had trouble sleeping. "I was up a lot last night."

Faria underwent an MRI on Wednesday, which confirmed that he had severely strained his oblique.

"The biggest thing Joe told me yesterday, it's such a delicate injury that you just have to be patient, which is hard for me," Faria said. "I'm not patient whatsoever. So it's going to be a test of my patience. But as long as I do what they tell me to do, I should come back fine."

Nuno went 3-1 with a 3.57 ERA in eight appearances (seven starts) for the Bulls.

"I'm excited he's here," Cash said. "A guy with plenty of experience. He's done a lot of roles. He's started. He's provided length in the bullpen. He's been a left-on-left specialist.

"So we're going to use him in different ways. He's thrown the ball well. Our thoughts on him are pretty high right now. He's good against left and right. He should be a nice addition to our bullpen."

Nuno last pitched in the Major Leagues last year, when he finished 0-1 with a 10.43 ERA in 12 games for the Orioles.

"First and foremost, it's an honor and a privilege to be here," Nuno said. "I'm honored and humbled. I've been working every day to get this chance. I have to prove myself every day. It's all about staying healthy and doing what I've been doing down there."

Worth noting
The Rays have not yet announced their starters for the weekend series against the O's at Tropicana Field.

"I don't know what we're going to do quite yet," Cash said. "... We're going to announce something for the Baltimore series, we just don't have it yet. I would imagine we'll be revisiting Sergio [Romo] starting again. Maybe he'll start all three games this time, who knows?"

Ryan Yarbrough, Anthony Banda and Austin Pruitt will be earmarked to cover the bulk of the innings over the weekend, as per the unconventional way in which the Rays now manage their staff.

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.

Tampa Bay Rays, Jake Faria, Vidal Nuno

9th-inning miscues cost Rays after pitchers' duel

MLB.com @wwchastain

ST. PETERSBURG -- Willy Adames stood out in the field. And then he didn't.

After making two outstanding defensive plays, the rookie shortstop's throwing error opened the door for the Red Sox to score three times in the ninth as the Rays fell, 4-1, on Wednesday night at Tropicana Field.

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ST. PETERSBURG -- Willy Adames stood out in the field. And then he didn't.

After making two outstanding defensive plays, the rookie shortstop's throwing error opened the door for the Red Sox to score three times in the ninth as the Rays fell, 4-1, on Wednesday night at Tropicana Field.

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The Rays took their third consecutive loss -- scoring a combined five runs in the process -- while dropping to 3-9 on the season against the Red Sox.

Rays closer Alex Colome entered the game in the ninth with the score tied at 1. J.D. Martinez led off the inning and grounded to Adames at short. Playing in just his second Major League game, Adames fielded the ball cleanly then skipped his throw to first baseman C.J. Cron, who couldn't make the pick.

"As soon as you make an error, especially in that inning, there's going to be some trouble," said Adames, who told reporters he was unable to get a good grip on the ball. "You know, I have to take the responsibility. I have to make the routine play. At this level, you have to make the routine play."

Video: BOS@TB: Martinez reaches second on Adames' error

Seizing the opportunity, Xander Bogaerts doubled down the left-field line to drive home Martinez. Colome then walked Rafael Devers before uncorking a wild pitch to move the runners to second and third. Eduardo Nunez's sacrifice fly drove home Bogaerts. Jesus Sucre's passed ball then allowed Devers to score, capping Boston's three-run inning and sealing the Rays' fate.

"It's my fault, the [top] of the ninth, making that error," Adames said. "It was a tough night for me making that error and getting the 'L' for the team."

Video: BOS@TB: Devers races home to score on passed ball

Earlier in the game, Adames served as the relay man when he took a throw from center fielder Johnny Field and sent a strike to Sucre to nail Nunez at the plate. And the next inning, he started a nifty 6-4-3 double play that helped Rays starter Chris Archer escape a jam. Still, what happened in the ninth stung the Rays' No. 2 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline.

"You have to take the responsibility when you do something good and when you do something bad, too," Adames said. "You have to be a grown man."

Video: BOS@TB: Rays combine to throw out Nunez at the plate

Rays manager Kevin Cash didn't sound too worried about Adames turning the page on what happened in the ninth.

"Hopefully he forgets about it, because he's going to be playing tomorrow," Cash said. "I don't say anything. He knows. Whether you're A ball, Double-A, Triple-A, now the big leagues, he carries himself so well. I'm sure he's frustrated, but he'll move past it. That's what makes him special. And he'll be right back out there making plays for us tomorrow."

Adames managed a smile when told of his manager's faith in him.

"Tomorrow, we're going to come back and try to get the win," Adames said. "I'll do my best tomorrow to try to help the team to win."

Neither team could generate any offense in the early going against Red Sox starter David Price or Archer. Both recorded five scoreless innings before each permitted a run in the sixth. Neither returned to pitch the seventh.

The score remained tied at 1 until the Rays' collapse in the ninth. Colome came away with his fifth loss of the season.

Video: BOS@TB: Archer K's 6 over 6 IP in ND vs. the Red Sox

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Archer encountered trouble in the sixth. Christian Vazquez singled to open the inning before Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi drew walks to load the bases. Archer then got to work limiting the damage. Hanley Ramirez grounded into a 6-4-3 double play that scored Vazquez, and Martinez grounded out to third to end the inning with the Red Sox up 1-0.

"Our margin for errors is very small, so I was thankful to limit the damage," Archer said. "But I would've rather not given up any runs. I threw well, but not well enough."

Video: BOS@TB: Ramirez hits into DP, scoring Vazquez

SOUND SMART
Archer did not surrender a home run for the second consecutive start. He hasn't allowed a homer in four of his last five starts since the start of May.

HE SAID IT
"Alex comes in and Willy goes to his right, makes a pretty good play grabbing it, and then he might have rushed his throw a tick, made it a little challenging. And it unfolded from there." -- Cash, on the ninth inning

UP NEXT
The Rays wrap up their three-game series with the Red Sox at 7:10 p.m. ET on Thursday at Tropicana Field. Left-hander Blake Snell will start for the Rays. He has yielded two runs or fewer in eight starts this season, which trails just Houston's Justin Verlander (10) and Washington's Max Scherzer (9). Rick Porcello will start for the Red Sox.

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.

Tampa Bay Rays, Chris Archer, Alex Colome

Adames calls homer off Sale in debut 'amazing'

MLB.com @wwchastain

ST. PETERSBURG -- Willy Adames didn't take long to make an impression in The Show during the Rays' 4-2 loss to the Red Sox on Tuesday night.

The highly touted shortstop, who is ranked as the organization's No. 2 prospect per MLB Pipeline, homered in his second at-bat, taking Boston ace Chris Sale deep to left field in the fourth inning to get Tampa Bay on the board and cut the Red Sox's lead to 3-1. Wearing No. 1, Adames started at shortstop, batting fifth.

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ST. PETERSBURG -- Willy Adames didn't take long to make an impression in The Show during the Rays' 4-2 loss to the Red Sox on Tuesday night.

The highly touted shortstop, who is ranked as the organization's No. 2 prospect per MLB Pipeline, homered in his second at-bat, taking Boston ace Chris Sale deep to left field in the fourth inning to get Tampa Bay on the board and cut the Red Sox's lead to 3-1. Wearing No. 1, Adames started at shortstop, batting fifth.

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"It was amazing," Adames said. "When you see all those guys on TV, then you come here and hit a bomb against Sale. Amazing. I can't tell you how happy I am right now, other than not getting the win."

Tweet from @RaysBaseball: Same, @willya02. Same.#RaysUp pic.twitter.com/G5JiEuRQZT

And it almost didn't happen -- Adames arrived about 30 minutes before game time. 

"They told me at 1:20 that I had a flight at 2:50, so I missed the first flight," Adames said. "I took the other [flight] at 3:30, and it was pretty crazy -- I got here late, too."

Willy Adames missed his first flight

Adames became the fifth Rays player to homer in his Major League debut, joining Brandon Guyer, Elijah Dukes, Delmon Young and Brent Abernathy.

"That was pretty special for him," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "The home run, the at-bats, the intensity. ... That's the second guy here recently who has come up between him and Christian Arroyo, who have definitely looked the part with the confidence and it's good to see."

Adames was acquired in the trade that sent left-hander David Price to the Tigers in July 2014. On Wednesday night, Adames will be in the lineup to face Price, who is Boston's scheduled starter.

"I'm really excited about it, because that's the guy I got traded for," Adames said. "I wanted to face him as soon as I got traded. So tomorrow's the day."

Video: Must C Classic: Adames hits HR off Sale for first hit

In 40 games at Triple-A Durham this season, Adames hit .311/.387/.466 with four home runs. In '17, he hit .277/.360/.415 with 10 homers and 11 steals in 130 games for Durham. Cash told reporters that Adames will likely return to Durham after several days with the team. Adames said he understood.

"That's part of the business, I guess," Adames said. "I'm just trying to do my thing over here. Trying to do my job, trying to do my best, trying to help the team win."

At 22 years and 262 days, Adames became the youngest positional player to make his Major League debut for the Rays since outfielder Wil Myers on June 18, 2013, in Boston and the youngest infielder since Reid Brignac on July 4, 2008, against Kansas City. Adames is the third-youngest active player in the American League behind Gleyber Torres (21 years, 160 days) and Rafael Devers (21 years, 210 days).

Video: BOS@TB: Cash and Adames discuss his MLB debut

Adames allowed that the home run "calmed me down a little bit."

"Because I was a little nervous in the first inning," he said.

Other than the home run, Adames had three strikeouts swinging. He played well in the field, starting two double plays and turning the pivot on another.

Video: BOS@TB: Adames starts the 6-4-3 double play

Tuesday's move became necessary when Joey Wendle was put on the paternity list as he and his wife, Lindsay, became the parents of a baby boy.

"Well, first and foremost, congrats to Joey and Lindsay Wendle, baby boy, all good from what we're understanding, that's exciting," Cash said. "I think kind of the perfect time. Joey's a smart player. He ducks out when Sale and Price were pitching. That was a great idea on his part.

Video: BOS@TB: Robertson turns, Adames fires to first for DP

"But it presented an opportunity for Willy to come up here. He's going to play two or three of the next days. I'm not sure how long Joey's going to be gone, but anticipate definitely today and tomorrow. And then we'll kind of see where we go from there. And then Willy's going to go back."

Rays starting shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria is also unavailable, as he landed on the 10-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring sustained in a game against the Angels last Thursday.

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.

Tampa Bay Rays, Willy Adames

Rays rally, but come up short against Sox

MLB.com @wwchastain

ST. PETERSBURG -- Prior to Tuesday night's 4-2 Rays loss to the Red Sox, manager Kevin Cash told reporters that the Yankees and Red Sox "should be" a measuring stick for how the Rays stand.

Cash then added: "They're ahead of us in the division. We have to play better."

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ST. PETERSBURG -- Prior to Tuesday night's 4-2 Rays loss to the Red Sox, manager Kevin Cash told reporters that the Yankees and Red Sox "should be" a measuring stick for how the Rays stand.

Cash then added: "They're ahead of us in the division. We have to play better."

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On Tuesday night, the Rays played a close one, but once again they didn't quite measure up to their American League East rivals. The loss gave Boston an 8-3 advantage over Tampa Bay this season. Meanwhile, the Rays were unable to reach the .500 mark, dropping to 22-24 on the season.

Mookie Betts hit a three-run homer off Jake Faria in the third to stake the Red Sox to a 3-0 lead.

Video: BOS@TB: Betts launches his league-leading 16th HR

Willy Adames, who was making his Major League debut, answered for the Rays with a solo shot in the fourth and Daniel Robertson had a sacrifice fly in the fifth to cut the lead to 3-2. But Rafael Devers hit a solo home run off Austin Pruitt in the sixth to give the Red Sox a two-run cushion they would maintain.

Video: BOS@TB: Faria leaves the game with injury in the 3rd

Chris Sale claimed the win to move to 5-1 on the season. Faria, who had to leave the game in the third inning with a left oblique strain, took the loss to fall to 3-3.

The Rays loaded the bases in the ninth vs. Boston closer Craig Kimbrel, but Mallex Smith grounded into a forceout to end the rally.

Video: BOS@TB: Cash on Adames' debut, Faria's injury in loss

"It turned out to be a better game than we were looking at when Jake came out of the ballgame," Cash said. "Obviously, we did some frustrating things out on the field. I think overall you have to be fairly impressed with the guys. Put the pressure on Kimbrel, but even Chris Sale."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Making his Major League debut, Adames stepped to the plate with one out in the fourth. The high-regarded shortstop, who is ranked the club's No. 2 prospect by MLB Pipeline, struck out in his first at-bat, then watched a changeup for ball one before sending an 89.6-mph changeup from Sale into the left-field stands for his first Major League hit, and home run.

SOUND SMART
At 22 years, 262 days, Adames became the youngest positional player to make his Major League debut for the Rays since outfielder Wil Myers on June 18, 2013, in Boston and the youngest infielder since Reid Brignac on July 4, 2008, against Kansas City. Adames is the third-youngest active player in the AL behind Gleyber Torres (21 years, 160 days) and Devers (21 years, 210 days).

HE SAID IT
"I told him, I said, 'I have to be there before 6:30, so please hurry up.' And he was [going] fast. … He didn't know anything about baseball. I was explaining everything, about the bases and everything." -- Adames, on his cab ride from the airport

UP NEXT
Chris Archer will start Wednesday night when the Rays host the Red Sox in a 7:10 p.m. ET contest at Tropicana Field. He did not allow a run in 6 2/3 innings in his last start, Thursday against the Angels. Archer is 2-12 with a 5.49 ERA in 20 starts against the Red Sox. David Price will start for the Red Sox.

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.

Tampa Bay Rays, Willy Adames, Jake Faria, Wilson Ramos