Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
The Official Site of the Tampa Bay Rays

news

Rays News

Chirinos earns promotion to Rays' starting 4

MLB.com @wwchastain

ST. PETERSBURG -- Yonny Chirinos is no longer a "Bullpen Day" starter for the Rays. Manager Kevin Cash told reporters on Saturday that the rookie right-hander is now a member of the starting rotation, with his first assignment coming in Sunday's series finale.

"I just think where he got built up with his pitch count, he's comfortable now that he can provide right around that 100-pitch count," Cash said. "We've been going back and forth with it. It's not the easiest thing in the world to build these guys up. ... I think we're in a better spot now with Yonny in the rotation. Right now, we've got him penciled in to pitch every fifth day for us when that spot comes up."

View Full Game Coverage

ST. PETERSBURG -- Yonny Chirinos is no longer a "Bullpen Day" starter for the Rays. Manager Kevin Cash told reporters on Saturday that the rookie right-hander is now a member of the starting rotation, with his first assignment coming in Sunday's series finale.

"I just think where he got built up with his pitch count, he's comfortable now that he can provide right around that 100-pitch count," Cash said. "We've been going back and forth with it. It's not the easiest thing in the world to build these guys up. ... I think we're in a better spot now with Yonny in the rotation. Right now, we've got him penciled in to pitch every fifth day for us when that spot comes up."

View Full Game Coverage

The Rays' rotation in order is now as follows: Chris Archer, Blake Snell, Chirinos, Jake Faria, and "Bullpen Day."

Chirinos did not allow a run in his first three outings (14 1/3 innings), but he allowed six in 5 2/3 innings his last time out, against the Rangers.

Video: TB@CWS: Chirinos stifles White Sox over 5 1/3 innings

"I started off well, and that bad outing, all you can do is learn from it," Chirinos said, through Rays interpreter Manny Navarro. "I'm going to come out there prepared and hope for the best in my next start, then just learn from it. And always stay positive."

Cash felt as though Chirinos was "out of sync mechanically" in his last outing, but didn't sound worried about Chirinos getting back into the groove.

"Couldn't find the strike zone with his fastball -- the four-seamer or the two-seamer," Cash said. "With a bullpen session in between that he got the other day, he'll be good to go [Sunday]."

Worth noting
Matt Duffy (right hamstring strain) took ground balls and ran in the outfield at 60 percent prior to Saturday night's game, and the Rays' third baseman said he had "no issues."

Video: TEX@TB: Duffy exits after awkward slide

Duffy felt tightness in his hamstring during Monday's game against the Rangers and went on the 10-day disabled list. Duffy is hopeful he'll be ready to be activated the first day he's eligible to come off the DL, Friday at Boston.

"I certainly think it's possible," Duffy said.

Cash said Duffy would not travel with the team on Sunday for the upcoming road trip, but he added, "I hope to see him at some point on the trip."

Nathan Eovaldi (10-day DL, loose bodies in right elbow) continues to make progress.

"Another good day," Cash said. "[Pitching coach] Kyle [Snyder] said his progress has been pretty remarkable. He said he'd almost compare it to a scraped elbow, and then coming back and throwing. He threw off the mound a little bit today, so he's probably as much on schedule if not ahead of it."

After Eovaldi had surgery to remove the loose bodies from his elbow, the timetable for his return was eight to 10 weeks.

Brandon Snyder cleared waivers and will accept an outright assignment to Triple-A Durham. Snyder made two recent starts for the Rays before he was designated for assignment on Friday to make room on the 25-man roster for Brad Miller.

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2004.

Tampa Bay Rays

Hustling Span helps Rays walk off in 10th

Archer returns to form; bullpen bailed out by late heroics
MLB.com @wwchastain

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays never quit Friday night, and the reward came via an 8-7 walk-off win over the Twins at Tropicana Field.

But it wasn't your everyday walk-off win.

View Full Game Coverage

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays never quit Friday night, and the reward came via an 8-7 walk-off win over the Twins at Tropicana Field.

But it wasn't your everyday walk-off win.

View Full Game Coverage

Denard Span beat out a two-out ground ball to first base, and pinch-runner Johnny Field raced home from second with the winning run. Rays players rushed from the dugout onto the field to celebrate, only to have to wait until an official review confirmed that they had in fact won.

"Agonizing," said Rays manager Kevin Cash when asked about having to wait for the review results before knowing if his team had won. "Pretty agonizing. And even after the replay came, I don't think it gave us any clarity. I know New York sees different angles and closer versions than what we see on the Jumbotron, but pretty agonizing."

Twins pitcher Zach Duke was given an error on the play as he could not find first base with his foot, which allowed Span to be safe.

"I mean, it felt like I got a piece of the bag, but apparently they didn't see it on the replay, so it doesn't matter that much," Duke said.

Wilson Ramos doubled with one out in the 10th to start the winning rally. Field was inserted to pinch-run. After Mallex Smith struck out, Adeiny Hechavarria was intentionally walked to bring Span to the plate and trigger the wild finish.

The Rays saw a 6-2 lead disappear in the eighth thanks to Eddie Rosario's grand slam off Sergio Romo. Max Kepler then homered off Ryan Yarbrough in the top of the ninth to give the Twins a 7-6 lead.

But the Rays came back.

Fernando Rodney hit Carlos Gomez with two outs in the ninth. With Brad Miller at the plate, Gomez stole his first base of the season, and Miller singled home Gomez to tie the game at 7.

Chris Archer allowed two runs on four hits and a walk while striking out five in 6 2/3 innings, and he appeared to be well on his way to his second win of the season. Then the bullpen struggled.

"I thought Arch was really good," Cash said. "I know that shouldn't get lost in the game just the way it ended there the last couple of innings."

Span supplied most of the offense early on, going 2-for-5 and driving home three against his former team.

Video: MIN@TB: Span lines a two-run double to right field

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Miller stepped to the plate to face Rodney with two outs in the ninth and Gomez on second base representing the tying run. When the count reached 2-1, Miller swung at a 94-mph two-seamer and ripped the ball back through the middle. After ricocheting off the mound, the ball deflected off the top of shortstop Eduardo Escobar's glove into center for a game-tying single.

Video: MIN@TB: Miller hits game-tying RBI single in the 9th

"That was sick," said Miller when asked about his ball hitting the mound.

SOUND SMART
Hechavarria extended his errorless streak to 68 games and 228 chances, longest in Rays club history for a shortstop by games, and third-longest by chances (club record is 242).

Video: MIN@TB: Hechavarria makes a diving backhanded stop

HE SAID IT
"We feel sexy about it. It's not how old you are, it's how you feel. And every day I feel hot." -- Gomez, on veteran players, including himself and Span, getting the job done.

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
The Twins challenged in the bottom of the 10th when Span was ruled safe at first, which allowed the winning run to score. Span grounded to Joe Mauer on the play, and the Twins' first baseman flipped to Duke covering first. But the left-hander struggled to touch the bag with his foot, and Span appeared to win the race to the base. After a 2 minute, 16 second review, the call on the field was upheld.

"Off the bat I saw Joe Mauer dive for the ball," Span said. "I think out of frustration -- I rolled over a ball -- so I was like, 'I'm going to hustle, bust my butt down the line.' And when he flipped it, I could definitely tell that Zach Duke missed the bag. So I just kept running. And I saw him try to reach for the bag again, and I felt like I beat him there."

Video: MIN@TB: Field scores winning run on error in 10th

Twins manager Paul Molitor said they couldn't tell from the dugout if Duke got the bag.

"Obviously, with the game on the line you can challenge and see what they find," Molitor said. "I'm not sure if they confirmed it or just didn't have enough to overturn it. Tough play to lose on a [pitcher covering a base]."

UP NEXT
Blake Snell will try and build on his last performance when the Rays host the Twins Saturday in a 6:10 p.m. ET contest at Tropicana Field. On Monday, Snell picked up the win when he allowed just one run, on five hits and no walks in 6 1/3 innings, striking out nine. The left-hander has seemingly gotten better in each of his last two starts. Kyle Gibson will take the mound for the Twins.

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

Tampa Bay Rays, Chris Archer, Denard Span

Miller activated from disabled list, Snyder DFA'd

Cash plans to use infielder's versatility to plug holes
MLB.com @wwchastain

ST. PETERSBURG -- Brad Miller returned to the Rays' lineup for Friday night's wild 8-7, 10-inning win against the Twins, after he was activated from the 10-day disabled list. Miller had been out of action with a left groin strain since April 8. He finished with one hit, a game-tying RBI single in the bottom of the 9th. 

In a corresponding roster move, the Rays designated infielder Brandon Snyder for assignment.

View Full Game Coverage

ST. PETERSBURG -- Brad Miller returned to the Rays' lineup for Friday night's wild 8-7, 10-inning win against the Twins, after he was activated from the 10-day disabled list. Miller had been out of action with a left groin strain since April 8. He finished with one hit, a game-tying RBI single in the bottom of the 9th. 

In a corresponding roster move, the Rays designated infielder Brandon Snyder for assignment.

View Full Game Coverage

When a player's contract is designated for assignment -- often abbreviated "DFA" -- that player is immediately removed from his club's 40-man roster, and 25-man roster if he was on that as well. Within seven days of the transaction (it was previously 10 days), the player must either be traded, released or placed on irrevocable outright waivers.

"Obviously excited to be back here, to be active," Miller said. "Join the guys and contribute."

"Good to have him back," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "We've kind of missed having that extra left-handed bat. His timing was good the last two days in Port Charlotte [playing for Class A Advanced Charlotte]. ... Everything was good. Ran hard. No issues whatsoever with the groin. So he's a full go."

Miller was hitting .222 with one home run and five RBIs prior to the injury. He played in two Minor League rehab games with Charlotte on Wednesday and Thursday.

With Matt Duffy on the 10-day DL with a strained right hamstring, Miller's return comes at a good time for the Rays. Cash said he plans to take advantage of Miller's positional flexibility and will primarily use him at first and second.

"I think right now it's going to be more first and second," Cash said. "[Joey Wendle has] played third, [Daniel Robertson] obviously plays third and short, so if we get in a bind with Duff being out over the next seven to ten days, [we'll have some coverage for] however long he's out. We'll mix and match. But we know Brad can play some second base and get over there for us."

Miller said he's comfortable with wherever Cash wants to play him.

"I think it's something I'm definitely capable of," Miller said. "My focus is, number one being healthy. Just excited for that. Number two, whatever position I have to play, go out there and make an impact defensively as well."

Synder was called up to the Major Leagues when Duffy went on the DL earlier this week. He started two games at third base, batting 1-for-6 with a double and two strikeouts in his first Major League action since 2016 with the Braves.

The 31-year-old journeyman -- who has spent time in the Orioles, Rangers, Red Sox, Braves and Nationals organizations -- signed with the Rays as a free agent in December.

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

Tampa Bay Rays, Brad Miller, Brandon Snyder

McKay among top prospect performers

Cubs' No. 1 makes impressive Triple-A debut
MLB.com @wboor

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

Adbert Alzolay's 2018 season got off to a late start, but his debut with Triple-A Iowa was certainly worth the wait.

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

Adbert Alzolay's 2018 season got off to a late start, but his debut with Triple-A Iowa was certainly worth the wait.

After suffering an ankle injury in Spring Training, Alzolay began the 2018 campaign in extended spring training, but he was added to the Iowa roster on Friday and was lights out in a win over Nashville.

The 23-year-old, who fired 50 of his 75 pitches for strikes, was perfect through four innings and carried a no-hitter into the sixth before giving up a solo homer. However, Alzolay was able to limit the damage as that was the only run he surrendered.

Video: Top Prospects: Adbert Alzolay, RHP, Cubs

The right-hander finished the sixth and was lifted after striking out six and giving up the one run on two hits.

Other top prospect performances from Friday's action:

No. 3 overall prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (Blue Jays' No. 1) and No. 13 Bo Bichette (Blue Jays' No. 2) provided all of the offense for Double-A New Hampshire in a loss to Reading. Guerrero went 0-for-4 at the plate, but he drove in two runs via groundouts, while Bichette, who also drove in a pair, collected two hits a day after his 10-game hitting streak came to a close.

• No. 25 overall prospect Brendan McKay (Rays' No. 3) broke out of his slump and collected a career-high four RBIs in Class A Bowling Green's win over Lake County. McKay, who had been hitless over his past four games (11 at-bats), went 2-for-4, including RBI hits in the seventh and eighth.

Video: Top Prospects: Brendan McKay, 1B, Rays

• No. 55 overall prospect Matt Manning (Tigers' No. 2) got off to a particularly fast start in his 2018 debut with Class A West Michigan. Manning, a first-round pick from the 2016 Draft, struck out nine batters over the first three innings, including eight in a row, and ultimately finished with 10, a career high. However, after cruising through three innings, Manning ran into trouble in the fourth and was lifted after giving up three runs on two hits and three walks in 3 2/3 innings.

Manning notches 10th K

• No. 62 overall prospect Jo Adell (Angels' No. 2) and Brandon Marsh (Angels' No. 5) were at the center of Class A Burlington's offensive explosion in a 28-7 win over Quad Cities. The duo, hitting third and fourth in the Bees' lineup, combined to go 6-for-11 with 15 RBIs and six runs scored. Adell went 4-for-6 with a double, a grand slam and eight RBIs, while Marsh drove in seven and also hit a grand slam in a 2-for-5 effort.

Athletics' No. 6 prospect Austin Beck hit his first homer of the season and posted another multi-hit performance, going 2-for-5 with three RBIs for Class A Beloit. Beck, the A's first-round pick from 2017, has an RBI in three straight games and five hits in his past 10 at-bats.

Brewers No. 4 prospect Lucas Erceg pushed his average to .362 and set a season high with four hits (4-for-5) in Double-A Biloxi's win over Mobile. The 22-year-old also drove in four runs via a solo homer in the first, a two-run single in the fifth and a base hit in the eighth.

Video: Top Prospects: Lucas Erceg, 3B, Brewers

Cardinals No. 25 prospect Johan Oviedo spun his best start of the season for Class A Peoria. After giving up nine runs in five innings over his first two starts, Oviedo threw six scoreless in a win over Wisconsin. The right-hander struggled with command -- walking five -- but notched eight strikeouts and gave up just three hits.

Indians No. 20 prospect Eric Haase extended his hitting streak to five games with his first homer of the season, a three-run blast, in the first inning of Triple-A Columbus' loss to Rochester. Haase, who is batting .341 through 11 games, added a pair of singles later in the game, finishing 3-for-4.

Nationals No. 4 prospect Erick Fedde lowered his ERA to 1.80 with his second scoreless start for Triple-A Syracuse. Fedde, who yielded just two hits, retired 11 of the first 12 batters he faced as he cruised through five scoreless frames. The 25-year-old threw 40 of his 75 pitches for strikes, walked one and struck out seven.

Video: Top Prospects: Erick Fedde, RHP, Nationals

Marlins No. 11 prospect Brian Miller matched his career high with four hits for Class A Advanced Jupiter. Batting atop the Hammerheads order, Miller, who went 4-for-5, has hits in 11 of the 13 games he's played and is slashing .311/.354/.361.

Phillies No. 23 prospect McKenzie Mills put together another strong start for Class A Advanced Clearwater. The 22-year-old lefty gave up one run on three hits over seven innings and has now fanned 10 and given up two runs over his past 13 frames (two starts).

William Boor is a reporter for MLB Pipeline. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor.

AL East: Checking in on the new guys

MLB.com @IanMBrowne

In April, everything is magnified. The numbers that are on the scoreboard and in box scores represent a small sample size, but they are still the numbers fans fixate on, because there is nothing else to go off yet. This is particularly true for the key newcomers for each team.

Here is a look at how it is going for five newbies in the American League East.

In April, everything is magnified. The numbers that are on the scoreboard and in box scores represent a small sample size, but they are still the numbers fans fixate on, because there is nothing else to go off yet. This is particularly true for the key newcomers for each team.

Here is a look at how it is going for five newbies in the American League East.

Blue Jays
Who's the new guy?
Right fielder Randal Grichuk

How's it going so far? Grichuk had just three hits in his first 42 at-bats before he homered and hit a key double against the Royals in Game 1 of Tuesday's doubleheader. Grichuk entered play on Thursday with 19 strikeouts over 61 plate appearances, and he has yet to live up to the hype as Jose Bautista's replacement in right field.

Video: KC@TOR: Grichuk rips a 114.1-mph three-run homer

What's on deck? Grichuk has a pair a 20-plus homer seasons on his resume, so there's a reasonable expectation that he should be able to turn things around. It needs to happen soon, because Teoscar Hernandez will push him for playing time in right.

Number to know: The offensive production hasn't been there, but Grichuk was credited with two defensive runs saved in his first 14 starts in right field this season.

Orioles
Who's the new guy?
Starting pitcher Andrew Cashner

How's it going so far? After a rocky debut, Cashner has had three consecutive quality starts. Cashner credits fellow newcomer Alex Cobb for helping him with his breaking ball. After giving up three homers in his first start, Cashner has allowed a total of two in his past three starts. To this point, he looks to be the solid No. 2 starter the Orioles thought they were getting.

Video: BAL@DET: Cashner fans Goodrum for his fifth K

What's on deck? Cashner faces a tough test on Sunday in the Indians, who have won the AL Central title the past two years. Though Cleveland got off to a slow start at the plate, manager Terry Francona's team has plenty of firepower in the lineup.

Number to know: While he's not a big power pitcher, Cashner has 21 strikeouts in his first 24 innings.

Rays
Who's the new guy?
Right-hander Yonny Chirinos

How's it going so far? Chirinos became the first Rays pitcher to begin his career without allowing a run in the first two starts. Thus far, he has only started games that were designated as "bullpen days" under the Rays' new pitching plan.

Video: TEX@TB: Chirinos fans Guzman to end the frame

What's on deck? Chirinos' performance to date has fueled speculation that the Rays will slide him into the rotation in the near future.

Number to know: 14 1/3. That's the number of scoreless innings Chirinos logged to start the season.

Red Sox
Who's the new guy?
Designated hitter/outfielder J.D. Martinez

How's it going so far? The slugger is off to a modest start, but that shouldn't be a surprise. Martinez's career homer total in March/April is by far his lowest of any month. He has made some contributions, most notably a grand slam against the Yankees on April 11. Martinez has come through in many of the RBI opportunities he's had, and he has fit in well with his teammates. There's no reason to think the Red Sox didn't get the right guy when they signed Martinez.

Video: BOS@LAA: Martinez notches four hits, RBI in 9-0 win

What's on deck? More home runs, and soon. It should only be a matter of time before Martinez starts clearing the fences on a regular basis. Away from the chilly conditions of Boston for the next week -- the Red Sox play at Anaheim, Oakland and Toronto (where the roof is likely to be closed) -- Martinez has a good chance to get hot.

Number to know: .992. That is Martinez's OPS in his first nine home games for the Red Sox, which is a sign of how quickly he has gained comfort at Fenway. As Martinez promised, he has not shifted away from his all-fields approach.

Yankees
Who's the new guy?
Outfielder Giancarlo Stanton

How's it going so far? Not exactly how Stanton or the Yankees would have anticipated after his terrific debut, slugging two homers on Opening Day at Toronto. Stanton has heard frequent boos at Yankee Stadium, though he said that he understands why he is being singled out by his new fan base, given the expectations that accompanied his arrival.

Video: Must C Classic: Stanton hits two HRs in Yanks debut

What's on deck? Manager Aaron Boone has batted Stanton third in each of the Yankees' 16 games to this point, and said on Tuesday that he is considering lowering the slugger in the lineup -- "but not too far." Boone believes that Stanton's track record is too solid for this to continue forever, and when he does play to his career norms, opponents will pay for these early struggles.

Number to know: .086. Stanton's batting average through eight games at Yankee Stadium, where he is 3-for-35 with 20 strikeouts. Stanton is hitting .323 (10-for-31) in eight road games.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

New York Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays, Boston Red Sox, Baltimore Orioles, Tampa Bay Rays, Andrew Cashner, Yonny Chirinos, Randal Grichuk, J.D. Martinez, Giancarlo Stanton

Rays break through in 6th as Faria gets 1st win

Club gets aggressive on basepaths; bullpen holds off Rangers' rally
MLB.com @wwchastain

ST. PETERSBURG -- Tampa Bay is 5-13 on the season, yet the Rays' effort has not waned.

Never was that effort -- from young and old -- more prevalent than in the sixth inning of their 4-2 win over the Rangers on Wednesday afternoon at Tropicana Field. In victory, the Rays claimed a much-needed series win, and they showed what type of team they need to be to continue to win.

View Full Game Coverage

ST. PETERSBURG -- Tampa Bay is 5-13 on the season, yet the Rays' effort has not waned.

Never was that effort -- from young and old -- more prevalent than in the sixth inning of their 4-2 win over the Rangers on Wednesday afternoon at Tropicana Field. In victory, the Rays claimed a much-needed series win, and they showed what type of team they need to be to continue to win.

View Full Game Coverage

Trailing 1-0 in the sixth, Johnny Field nudged a single through the right side against Cole Hamels. One out later, Daniel Robertson doubled to left and Field scored from first.

"Honestly, I was just thinking first to third and that [Rangers left fielder Nomar Mazara] would cut it off and there would be a play at third, so I was booking it trying to go first to third," Field said. "As I was going to third base, I see Q [third-base coach Matt Quatraro] waving me home, so I tried to turn it on from there."

Video: TEX@TB: Cash discusses offensive effort in 4-2 win

Robertson noted that's how Field plays the game.

"I've played with him a couple of years and he plays all out," Robertson said. "He's obviously a good baserunner. A quick guy. That time of the game, that was huge for us for him to score from first on that."

Field represented the young in the sixth inning. Carlos Gomez represented the more seasoned.

Video: TEX@TB: Rays take the lead on Cron's RBI single

Gomez got hit by a pitch on the right hand to put runners at the corners for C.J. Cron, who blooped a single into center to score Robertson. Gomez wasn't content to stop at second on the play, and managed to hustle into third.

"First of all, you need to see when you're on base where they play," Gomez said. "In that situation, [the outfielders] were not playing in. It was a big guy [in Cron], and they didn't want to give up a double. I was looking at the outfield and said, 'Base hit, and I'm going to third.' But it's a looper, so I shuffle, shuffle, and when I see he's not going to get it, I put my head down and go all the way to third."

Gomez's effort represented a big play because reaching third allowed him to score on Adeiny Hechavarria's sacrifice fly to put the Rays up 3-1.

Video: TEX@TB: Hechavarria extends the lead with a sac fly

Denard Span doubled home Joey Wendle in the seventh to push the lead to 4-1.

"Things aren't going like we want to right now," Gomez said. "It's not only me, this is the game we're going to play. But the last 2 1/2 weeks, we're not performing like we want to, but it's a game that everybody is going to see us going from first to third on every base hit."

Jake Faria gave the Rays a quality start, allowing one run on five hits with an intentional walk and six strikeouts in six innings to claim his first win of the season, and his first win since July 25, 2017.

Video: TEX@TB: Faria strikes out six in a one-run outing

Faria's effort bridged the gap to Chaz Roe and Jose Alvarado, who notched scoreless frames in the seventh and eighth innings, before Alex Colome pitched the ninth and had to navigate some problems -- facing the potential tying run before getting a game-ending double play.

"Yeah, it's been a rough stretch," Robertson said. "But we show up to the field every day enthused and ready to play, and ready to compete. If it doesn't go our way, we can't knock our effort or our energy. It's baseball. Teams go through stretches. It happened to us early. But last couple of games, last couple of days, we've been able to pull out some wins."

MOMENT THAT MATTERED
The Rangers almost rallied from a 4-1 deficit in the ninth against Colome, who put himself in trouble by walking Adrian Beltre and Joey Gallo to lead off the inning. Colome struck out Robinson Chirinos, but Drew Robinson lined a single to left to bring home Beltre. Texas then had Ronald Guzman pinch-hit for Renato Nunez, and he hit a grounder to the second baseman Wendle for a game-ending double play.

Video: TEX@TB: Wendle and Hechavarria turn game-ending DP

"I'm really glad [Colome] got through that and we didn't have to make a decision there at the end," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "But give him credit, I think he'd be the first to admit that he's not totally locked in. But he's going to continue to try and find it. And when he does, he'll get on a good run."

SOUND SMART
Cron was credited with his first game-winning RBI since hitting a go-ahead pinch-hit homer off Adam Kolarek on July 16, 2017, against the Rays.

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Mazara led off the Rangers' sixth and popped into foul territory. Brandon Snyder gave chase. Approaching Texas' bullpen, Tampa Bay's third baseman made a backhanded grab just before reaching the stands.

 Video: TEX@TB: Snyder makes a backhanded grab in foul ground

HE SAID IT
"I thought it was a great play." -- Cash, on the fan interference call that turned Renato's home run into a double

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
Nunez may have had a home run taken away from him by a fan in the fifth. The third baseman drove one over the padded part of the right-field wall, but there was some doubt whether it would have cleared the yellow line. That's because a fan reached out and caught the ball. Nunez was held to a double. The Rangers received a crew chief review, and the call stood upon review.

Video: TEX@TB: Umpires review Nunez's double, call stands

UP NEXT
The Rays will welcome the Twins to Tropicana Field on Friday to open a three-game series beginning with a 7:10 p.m. ET contest. Chris Archer will make his fifth start of the season. He has allowed homers in all four starts. Lance Lynn will start for Minnesota.

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

Tampa Bay Rays, Jake Faria, Johnny Field, Carlos Gomez, Daniel Robertson

Cash not worried about Archer's early struggles

Rays' ace 'feeling good' ahead of Friday's start vs. Twins
MLB.com @wwchastain

ST. PETERSBURG -- Chris Archer is off to a slow start. But the Rays' ace and his manager both see better days ahead.

Archer will start against the Twins on Friday night at Tropicana Field. He'll carry a 1-1 record with a 7.84 ERA into the start after allowing seven earned runs in four innings against the Phillies.

View Full Game Coverage

ST. PETERSBURG -- Chris Archer is off to a slow start. But the Rays' ace and his manager both see better days ahead.

Archer will start against the Twins on Friday night at Tropicana Field. He'll carry a 1-1 record with a 7.84 ERA into the start after allowing seven earned runs in four innings against the Phillies.

View Full Game Coverage

"I thought the other day in the Philly game, there might have been a little of, not letting it loose for whatever reason early on," manager Kevin Cash said. "Good pitchers get to being good through different avenues. Some are location guys. Some are athletic and power guys. I think Arch probably falls more into that be athletic, be powerful. I'm confident we're going to see his next start where he's going to go out there and let it go from pitch one."

Archer told reporters he's flushed his last start.

"It's already gone," Archer said. "It's been gone. Been gone since the second inning of that game. If you make a couple of hundred starts in the big leagues, you're going to have ones that are really, really good and ones that are no good.

"I've had other tough starts. Just understand it's a long season. And after all that [stuff] happened in the second inning, I actually threw pretty well. I understand coming out of the game because of a high volume of pitches. But I wish I could have stayed out there, because I kind of started getting into a groove. And that's continued, like in my bullpens and throwing sessions. So I'm feeling good going into Friday."

Archer has historically been close to neutral against righties and lefties. For example, last season lefties hit .263 against him and righties hit .232. This season, righties are hitting .178 while lefties are hitting .450.

Archer didn't read anything into the disparity.

"I haven't put too much thought into it, because it is only a couple of games," Archer said. "I think just making higher quality pitches. You go back and look, and it's not like the pitches that have been capitalized have been good pitches. So [the answer is] making higher quality pitches to both hands."

A popular line of dialogue regarding Archer has been the opinion that he needs to throw his changeup more often to offset his fastball-slider combination. Cash isn't buying that Archer needs to throw more changeups.

"I don't agree with that," Cash said. "He's a fastball-slider pitcher. He can use it as he wants. But I certainly don't agree with the fact that the changeup needs to be in place of his fastball or slider. And he doesn't either.

"I think [the changeup is] a nice pitch to have. Especially when he's facing lineups that see him over and over. That's a great pitch to mix in. But Chris Archer has made a career with a fastball-slider. He's going to continue to have a good career with the fastball-slider."

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

Tampa Bay Rays, Chris Archer

Chirinos struggles for 1st time in loss to Texas

MLB.com @wwchastain

ST. PETERSBURG -- Yonny Chirinos is human, after all. The Rangers drove home that point in a 7-2 win over the Rays on Tuesday night at Tropicana Field.

Until Tuesday night, the rookie right-hander had not been scored upon in 14 1/3 innings spread over three outings. But the Rangers quickly ended any suspense about whether Chirinos could extend his scoreless streak when they took a 1-0 lead in the first.

View Full Game Coverage

ST. PETERSBURG -- Yonny Chirinos is human, after all. The Rangers drove home that point in a 7-2 win over the Rays on Tuesday night at Tropicana Field.

Until Tuesday night, the rookie right-hander had not been scored upon in 14 1/3 innings spread over three outings. But the Rangers quickly ended any suspense about whether Chirinos could extend his scoreless streak when they took a 1-0 lead in the first.

View Full Game Coverage

The Rangers scored again in the second, but the way Chirinos had limited the damage to that point gave the Rays a chance to climb back into the game. He survived a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the first, then surrendered three Rangers hits in the second, yet he trailed only 2-0.

Chirinos followed with scoreless frames in the third and fourth innings -- including a nine-pitch fourth, and the Rays trailed just 2-1 after four.

But the dam burst for Chirinos in the fifth, when he needed 25 pitches to get three outs and got touched for three runs, including Ronald Guzman's two-run double. Shin-Soo Choo finally chased the righty with a solo home run in the sixth.

"I was attacking the hitters too early," Chirinos said. "And that got me into trouble a little bit. I tried a little too hard. But I learned from that and I'll be ready to go in my next outing."

Rays manager Kevin Cash cited a lack of command.

"When he came out of the bullpen, I asked [pitching coach] Kyle [Snyder] how he warmed up," Cash said. "And he said he was a little erratic, more than what we've seen in the past.

"He's young, he's allowed to have a little hiccup there. I thought he did a nice job battling up until about the fifth inning, until his pitch count got up and they made some adjustments on him. Got some big hits."

Video: TEX@TB: Cash on Rays' 7-2 loss to the Rangers

The rookie's line showed six earned runs on seven hits and three walks with three strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings. His immaculate ERA went from 0.00 to 2.70. Along the way, he threw a career high 89 pitches.

"In theory, now we have him built up," said Cash, which should fuel speculation that Chirinos will soon officially be a part of the rotation. "[It depends] on what route we take with the fourth starter. He's capable on five days of going 100-plus pitches."

Former Ray Matt Moore silenced the Rays' bats for seven innings. Tampa Bay's only run against the left-hander came in the third on a throwing error by Rangers shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa.

"I thought Matt threw the ball well," Cash said. "He got in a rhythm. We let him kind of get into a rhythm. We put some pressure on him early. He made some big pitches to get out of innings. A couple of double plays that really favored him.

"But Matt's done this a long time. He's pitched well at this ballpark. It's probably a comfort for him. He threw the ball well. It's good to see, other than the fact it came against us."

Wilson Ramos' solo home run in the bottom of the ninth equaled the final margin.

Video: TEX@TB: Ramos hits his first home run of the season

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Chirinos' luck runs out: Chirinos had dodged crooked numbers the entire game, and he appeared like he might do so again in the fifth when he retired Adrian Beltre on a sacrifice fly for the second out. That brought Joey Gallo to the plate, and the Rangers slugger walked on six pitches. Guzman followed with a two-run double.

"That was a tough part in the game, facing Gallo," Chirinos said. "I had a tough time locating the sinker as well as I usually have been. But that definitely was a tough part of the game that got me where I was."

SOUND SMART
Tuesday night's start by Chirinos marked the third time this season a Rays pitcher yielded six earned runs or more, following Chris Archer on Saturday against the Phillies and Jake Faria on April 7 at Boston.

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Robertson loses grip: Rays leadoff hitter Daniel Robertson had the Rangers up in arms in his first at-bat of the game. Not once but twice, Robertson lost the grip on his bat swinging at pitches. Both times the bat sailed in the direction of the Rangers dugout. Nobody was hurt, but Martin Perez suggested that Bartolo Colon put on a helmet.

Video: TEX@TB: Robertson's bat lands by Rangers dugout twice

"It's all fun and games," said Robertson of the Rangers' reaction. "That's what's going to happen whenever that stuff happens. I just try to laugh it off. Done it my whole life, so it's really no story, or answer, or question why I do it."

HE SAID IT
"We don't like to pitch him in that situation. He wanted to pitch. We needed him to pitch. Hopefully, that's a little bit of a confidence boost. I don't think Alex is lacking too much confidence, being the type of pitcher he's been the past couple of years. But it's always good to go out there and get three outs with nobody scoring." -- Cash, on using struggling closer Alex Colome in a non-save situation

UP NEXT
The Rays close out their three-game series with the Rangers on Wednesday afternoon with a 1:10 p.m. ET contest at Tropicana Field. Facing Cole Hamels, Faria will start for the Rays, hoping to build in his last outing against the Phillies, when he allowed one run on two hits, walking two and striking out seven in 5 1/3 innings.

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

Tampa Bay Rays, Yonny Chirinos

Sanchez, Linares among prospect performers

MLB.com @wboor

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

When things are going well offensively, more at-bats are certainly welcomed. That being the case, Wednesday's doubleheader came at a good time for Nick Gordon and LaMonte Wade as the duo helped lead Double-A Chattanooga to a pair of wins over Jacksonville.

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

When things are going well offensively, more at-bats are certainly welcomed. That being the case, Wednesday's doubleheader came at a good time for Nick Gordon and LaMonte Wade as the duo helped lead Double-A Chattanooga to a pair of wins over Jacksonville.

Gordon (No. 81 overall, Twins' No. 4) and Wade (Twins' No. 13) combined to go 7-for-12 (.583) with two homers and four RBIs over the two games.

Gordon, who went 2-for-4 and 2-for-3, has been swinging a particuarily hot bat lately. The 22-year-old is in the midst of a five-game hitting streak and has two or more hits in five of his past seven games. Gordon also has a homer in two of his past three contests, including Game 2 of the doubleheader.

Wade, who went deep in Game 1 and finished 2-for-3 and 1-for-2, is hitting .300 through 12 games this season and has multiple hits in three of his past five games.

Other top prospect performances from Wednesday's action:

• No. 3 overall prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (Blue Jays' No. 1) bounced back from Tuesday's 0-for-5 effort with a 2-for-2 day at the plate. Guerrero singled in the first inning, drove in a run via a sacrifice fly in the third, was hit by a pitch in the sixth and capped his day with a double in the seventh.

Video: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. named No. 3 prospect

• No. 33 overall prospect Alex Verdugo (Dodgers' No. 2) is on an absolute tear with Triple-A Oklahoma City. After going 2-for-5 with a double and two RBIs against Round Rock, the 21-year-old outfielder is hitting .643 (9-for-14) with three homers and nine RBIs over his past five games.

• No. 57 overall prospect Jesus Sanchez (Rays' No. 4) put together his fourth straight multi-hit game and extended his hitting streak to six for Class A Advanced Charlotte. Sanchez, who is batting .370 through 12 games, went 4-for-5 with a homer -- his third in the past four games.

• No. 97 overall prospect Austin Riley (Braves' No. 8) pushed his average to .370 with his third straight multi-hit performance. Riley went 3-for-4 with a pair of triples and has nine extra-base hits in 13 games for Double-A Mississippi.

Video: Top Prospects: Austin Riley, 3B, Braves

• No. 99 overall prospect Blake Rutherford (White Sox No. 7) and Micker Adolfo (White Sox No. 10) combined for six hits as Class A Advanced Winston-Salem cruised past Down East. Rutherford, who has hits in five straight, went 3-for-5 with three doubles, while Adolfo went 3-for-6 with two RBIs.

Dodgers' No. 15 prospect Connor Wong hit his sixth homer of the season and turned in another two-hit game for Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga. Wong, who finished 2-for-4, has multiple hits in four of his past five games and has raised his average from .250 to .364 in that span.

Giants' No. 29 prospect Jordan Johnson extended his scoreless streak to 13 innings as he cruised through seven frames for Double-A Richmond. The right-hander, who picked up his second win of the season, threw 53 of his 76 pitches for strikes, gave up six hits and struck out five. Johnson also didn't issue a walk and has walked just one batter over his past two starts after giving out five free passes in his first outing.

• Mets prospects David Peterson (No. 2) and Quinn Brodey (No. 28) -- both members of the 2017 Draft class -- led Class A Columbia to a win over Greenville. Peterson, making his season debut, gave up one run on four hits over six innings, while Brodey extended his hitting streak to seven games with his first career two-homer effort. Brodey, who hit three homers in 63 games last season, went deep in both the eighth and ninth innings, finishing 2-for-4 with three RBIs.

Video: Top Prospects: David Peterson, LHP, Mets

• Rangers prospects Pedro Gonzalez (No. 10) and Anderson Tejeda (No. 12) each homered as part of multi-hit efforts for Class A Hickory and Class A Advanced Down East, respectively. Gonzalez hit his second homer of the season, a two-run blast, in the fifth to highlight a 2-for-3, two-RBI day. Tejeda, who also went 2-for-3, hit a three-run homer off of Dylan Cease (No. 61 overall, White Sox No. 5).

• Rays No. 28 prospect Resly Linares was nearly perfect in his second start for Class A Bowling Green. The 20-year-old lefty gave up seven runs in 3 2/3 innings in his first outing of the season, but this time around he threw 52 of his 85 pitches for strikes, struck out seven and allowed just two baserunners -- via a hit batter and an error -- over seven scoreless frames.

• Yankees prospects Thairo Estrada (No. 10) and Trevor Stephan (No. 15) did their part as Class A Advanced Tampa routed Daytona, 12-0. Estrada, who was making his season debut after recovering from a gunshot wound sustained in the offseason, wasted no time getting back into the swing of things. The 22-year-old doubled in his first at-bat on his way to a 3-for-5 game. Stephan strung together six zeros for the second straight start, lowering his ERA to 1.13. The right-hander walked two, gave up a pair of hits and struck out eight, bringing his season total to 22 punchouts through 16 innings.

William Boor is a reporter for MLB Pipeline. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor.

Rays place Duffy on DL with hamstring strain

MLB.com @wwchastain

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays have placed third baseman Matt Duffy on the 10-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring.

To take Duffy's place, the Rays selected Brandon Snyder from Triple-A Durham. Kevin Kiermaier (torn right thumb ligament) was moved from the 10-day DL to the 60-day DL to create a spot for Snyder on the 40-man roster.

View Full Game Coverage

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays have placed third baseman Matt Duffy on the 10-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring.

To take Duffy's place, the Rays selected Brandon Snyder from Triple-A Durham. Kevin Kiermaier (torn right thumb ligament) was moved from the 10-day DL to the 60-day DL to create a spot for Snyder on the 40-man roster.

View Full Game Coverage

After hitting a single to lead off the Rays' first Monday night, Duffy stole second and appeared to jam his right leg when sliding into the bag. When he was not able to score on C.J. Cron's single to right, Duffy was lifted.

Video: TEX@TB: Duffy exits after awkward slide

Duffy called his injury a "mild strain."

"Actually not very serious, thankfully, but it is something that's going to take about five days to a week [to heal]," Duffy said. "So a DL trip is probably the safest thing. Hopefully we'll get this thing figured out and be ready to come off when I'm ready, ideally."

Duffy said the diagnosis following his MRI was "kind of what I had anticipated.

"But I always try to keep an open mind, in case I get terrible news," Duffy said. "My gut feeling was how it felt just walking around, it didn't feel like somebody punched me in the back of the leg. I've heard of other guys' strains, [there are] bigger issues where they feel it getting out of bed. I have none of that. Minor. Unfortunate, but it's part of the game. I just have to get back out there."

Duffy allowed that his leg felt better on Tuesday than it did Monday night.

"Yeah, honestly it does," Duffy said. "It's not something I feel walking around or just doing basic stuff. I have to try and find it, but obviously running at 100 percent, if we keep doing, it we're going to be asking for something to pop, which we don't want. So this is probably the safest thing."

Rays manager Kevin Cash said that they wanted to make sure Duffy's leg did not get worse.

"A hamstring tweak this early in the season is something that can really snowball," Cash said. "And we want to make sure we kind of nip it as soon as possible. Could he come back in a week? Potentially. But we have to be smart and keep Matt healthy. He's had a long road to get back [from heel surgery that forced him to miss all of 2017]. The last thing we want to do is jeopardize that by forcing him to play through something.

"I know he'd want to. But the smartest thing for us right now is to let him have his full 10 days. And hopefully he's ready to come back then."

Snyder arrived Tuesday and was in the lineup at third base against the Rangers on Tuesday night.

Video: BOS@TB: Snyder hits a two-run home run to left

"Brandon did a good job for us during Spring Training," Cash said. "He played all over the field. I think he'll probably primarily play third base while he's here."

Cash pointed out that the Rays like Snyder's flexibility as he can play the corner-outfield spots and catch, too.

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

Tampa Bay Rays, Matt Duffy, Brandon Snyder

Gomez tried to throw Beltre out on single

Adrian Beltre is funny. Carlos Gomez is funny. When they were on the same team last year, it was basically a traveling comedy show.

And on Tuesday night, the two friends were facing off against one another during the Rangers-Rays game. In the seventh inning, Beltre hit a single to right field -- where Gomez was playing -- and, of course, Gomez tried to throw him out at first. Beltre reacted like somebody had just touched his helmet.

Kiermaier needs thumb surgery, out 3 months

MLB.com @wwchastain

ST. PETERSBURG -- Kevin Kiermaier knew something was wrong with his right thumb. Monday morning, his concerns were validated when it was learned he had a torn ligament.

The Rays placed their star center fielder on the 10-day disabled list on Monday before moving him to the 60-day DL on Tuesday to make room on the 40-man roster for Brandon Snyder, who was recalled to replace the injured Matt Duffy. Kiermaier is expected to be out three months.

ST. PETERSBURG -- Kevin Kiermaier knew something was wrong with his right thumb. Monday morning, his concerns were validated when it was learned he had a torn ligament.

The Rays placed their star center fielder on the 10-day disabled list on Monday before moving him to the 60-day DL on Tuesday to make room on the 40-man roster for Brandon Snyder, who was recalled to replace the injured Matt Duffy. Kiermaier is expected to be out three months.

"It's disappointing," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "We talk daily about how valuable he is to our lineup, to our clubhouse."

Mallex Smith started in center field for the Rays on Monday night against the Rangers. Going forward, he will be asked to anchor center field on most nights.

"Mallex has played a lot of center field in his Minor League career," Cash said. "In theory, he's the one who can cover the most ground out there. Give him that opportunity and hope that he can run with it until K.K. comes back."

Kiermaier's surgery is scheduled for Friday morning. To take his place on the active roster, Tampa Bay recalled right-hander Chih-Wei Hu from Triple-A Durham.

"Yesterday, I was preparing for the worst, hoping for the best, and then this morning got confirmation of what was wrong," Kiermaier said. "I kind of expected it. But hearing those words that I'm going to be out for months at a time, it's really hard to take right now."

X-rays of Kiermaier's thumb were taken on Sunday, and those were negative. Kiermaier had an MRI on Monday that diagnosed the problem.

"I knew how my thumb was feeling, and the angle that it could go to that I've never felt or seen before," Kiermaier said. "I knew there was something that was extremely wrong."

Video: PHI@TB: Kiermaier checked by trainer, leaves later on

Kiermaier singled to left with one out in the first inning of Sunday's 10-4 loss to the Philles and broke for second after left fielder Rhys Hoskins bobbled the ball. Kiermaier slid headfirst into the base, and he came up shaking his right hand.

"The hand just kind of got caught in the ground," Kiermaier said. "Thumb went in a weird angle. Just one of those things where I felt like I had the chance to over slide the bag, like I've done a couple of times in my career. And I was just trying to hold on.

"I don't know if that's what made my thumb go in the angle that it did. I thought I jammed it right from that moment, but I didn't like the way my thumb felt after that."

Last season, Kiermaier missed 61 games with a right hip fracture. In 2016, he missed 48 games with a fractured left hand.

"He's going to miss some time, 10 to 12 weeks, whatever it is speculated," Cash said. "This is year three, we should be getting used to it now. The broken wrist, the hip injury and now the [torn thumb ligament]. It probably stings the more it happens. As early as we are, the way we're playing right now, we need him in the lineup. But we'll have to make an adjustment."

Kiermaier told reporters he hates for people to label him as injury prone.

"I'm stubborn and I'm still going to say I'm not injury prone," Kiermaier said. "But at the same time, there's no doubt about it. This will be my third long stint on the DL, and it's hard for me to say that. ... It's hard for me to admit that."

Kiermaier pointed out that each of his three injuries were freakish and "could have been avoided easily."

"You're talking about a matter of inches on some of these plays," Kiermaier said.

Kiermaier said he plans to stay in good spirits, and he had a message for those wishing him well.

"I want to thank all the fans who reached out to me and sent their well wishes my way," Kiermaier said. "And I will be back this season. I promise you that. I'm going to work my butt off and get to that day as soon as possible."

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

Tampa Bay Rays, Chih-Wei Hu, Kevin Kiermaier