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Rays make Hechavarria trade official

Here is the release from the team ...

 The Rays have acquired shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria from the Miami Marlins for two pros­pects, right-handed pitcher Ethan Clark and outfielder Braxton Lee. Hechavarria remains on the Rays 10-day disabled list, retroactive to May 10, with a left oblique strain. To make room on the 40-man roster, the Rays have transferred right-handed pitcher Diego Moreno (right shoulder bursitis) from the 10-day to the 60-day disabled list.

Hechavarria (etch-ah-vah-REE-yah), 28, is a six-year veteran of the Marlins (2013-17) and Toronto Blue Jays (2012). He owns a career .255 batting average (573-for-2,248) with 78 doubles, 31 triples, 15 home runs, 183 RBI and 26 stolen bases. Since 2014, his 23 triples are tied for 5th most in the National League. He has started 572 games at shortstop since being acquired by the Marlins prior to the 2013 season, which ranks 2nd in the NL behind Brandon Crawford of the San Fran­cisco Giants (623). He has a career .979 fielding percentage at shortstop, and in 2015 was one of three finalists for the NL Rawlings Gold Glove Award at shortstop, along with Crawford and Andrelton Simmons of the Atlanta Braves.  …

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UPDATE: Rays finalizing deal to get SS Hechavarria for 2 minor-leaguers

Adeiny Hechavarria is a two-time Gold Glove finalist who could help settle the Rays sometimes leaky infield defense.

Getty Images

Adeiny Hechavarria is a two-time Gold Glove finalist who could help settle the Rays sometimes leaky infield defense.

UPDATE, 4:27: In making the deal, the Rays add an elite-level defender to an infield that could use the help. But it also raises a number of questions, such as will they now move Tim Beckham to 2B? Does this mean Matt Duffy is not coming back this season? Is Daniel Robertson or Taylor Featherston going to AAA? And what of Brad Miller, who was the starting second baseman but has been on the DL with a groin strain?

UPDATE, 3:37: The teams are in agreeemenrt on the trade, pending a final review of medicals and other details. The Rays get Hechavarria in return for Class AA OF Braxton Lee and Class A RHP Ethan Clark. The Rays would pay the $2.25-million left on Hechavarria's contract, and have control for 2018 when he is again eligible for arbitration.

Though Hechavarria has been on the DL for more than a month with an oblique strain, the Rays are confident he is ready to play.

Lee is hitting .318 with a .778 OPS and 12 steals for Montgomery. He was a 2014 12th round-pick. Clark, who was just named Midwest League pitcher of the week, is 3-2, 3.11 for Bowling Green. He is 22 and was a 15th-round pick in 2015, …

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Snell to rejoin rotation Wednesday

Blake Snell is headed back to the big leagues.

The lefty will join the Rays in Pittsburgh on Tuesday and start Wednesday’s game against the Pirates, taking Erasmo Ramirez’s spot in the rotation. Ramirez heads to the bullpen.

“We asked him to go down there, work on a couple of things, improve on some things,” manager Kevin Cash said. “He went and did that. We're happy where he's at.”

Ramirez was not pleased about heading back to the bullpen and declined this morning to talk about it.

Snell made eight starts with the Rays and completed six innings once. That was his first start of the season. He as 0-4 with a 4.71 ERA.

At Triple A Durham, Snell as 5-0 with a .266 ERA in seven starts, averaging more than six innings over those seven outings.

 

The Rays will make a corresponding move Wednesday.

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For starters: Rays lineup vs Orioles

Once again the Rays find themselves in the final game of a three-game series needing a victory to win the series. They’ve been quite good in these rubber matches, too.

Today it’s Jake Odorizzi vs. Chris Tillman of the Orioles.

Tim Beckham gets the day off as Taylor Featherston gets the start at second and Daniel Robertston moves over to shortstop.

No O’s lineup yet.

Here is the Rays lineup:

Smith CF

Dickerson LF

Longoria 3B

Morrison 1B

Souza RF

Plouffe DH

Robertson SS

Featherston 2B

Sucre C

 

Odorizzi RHP

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For starters: Ramos joins Rays and is catching today vs. Orioles

The day the Rays have been waiting for since they signed C Wilson Ramos on Dec. 12 has finally arrived. The player affectionately known as “The buffalo” to his teammates has been activated and is in this afternoon’s lineup against the Orioles.

Ramos is catching, too, which is a further sign the Rays feel there are no longer any issues with his surgically repaired right knee. We’ll find out later this afternoon from manager Kevin Cash as to what kind of schedule we can expect for Ramos. It’s doubtful he will jump in and take over the No. 1 catching duties.

Derek Norris was designated for assignment after Friday’s 15-5 thumping of the Orioles, leaving Jesus Sucre as the backup.

Also, hearing RHP Brad Boxberger (right flexor strain) will not be activated today. Boxberger, who completed his minor league rehab assignment earlier this week, said Friday he expected to be activated any day.

As for today’s game, rookie RHP Jacob Faria looks to extend his impressive start to this career against the O’s. He’s allowed exactly one hit and pitched exactly 6 1/3 innings in each of his three starts, earning wins against the White Sox, Blue Jays and Tigers.

Here are the lineups:

 

O's

Smith RF

Machado 3B …

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Rays morning after: Being aggressive key to Faria's early success

  Jake Faria has pitched 6-1/3 innings and has allowed one run in each of this first three starts.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Jake Faria has pitched 6-1/3 innings and has allowed one run in each of this first three starts.

Rookie RHP Jacob Faria looks to extend his impressive run at the big league level this afternoon when he makes his fourth career start, facing the Orioles in the middle game of this three-game set.

Faria has pitched 6-1/3 innings and has allowed one run in each of this first three starts.

His key to success is simple: trust his stuff and pound the strike zone.

It’s a simple, yet often difficult task for a young pitcher facing big league hitters like Josh Donaldson, Jose Abreu and Migeul Cabrera for the first time. Yet Faria’s success has added validation to his approach.

“You’re not going to get it unless you throw it in there,” Faria said. “If you come up and try to do something different than what you’re used to or capable of and the results don’t go your way, then you’re just going to hurt yourself from the beginning. It’s been huge for me to go out there and do my game and if it doesn’t work then my game doesn’t work. That’s the only way I’m going to figure out if it does or it doesn’t.”

Rays manager Kevin Cash said Faria is doing nothing more than sticking with the approach he used to his benefit this season at Triple A Durham.

  …

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For starters: Ramus to DL, Peterson back, no further moves

Colby Ramus is on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to June 19 with left hip tendinitis.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Colby Ramus is on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to June 19 with left hip tendinitis.

We were expecting a flurry of roster moves this afternoon and we got one. OF Colby Ramus is on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to June 19 with left hip tendinitis.

The Rays selected OF Shane Peterson from Durham, and he is in tonight's lineup.

RHP Brad Boxberger (right flexor strain) is with the team and said he is waiting to be told when he's coming off the disabled list.

"Any Day," he said.

C Wilson Ramos (left knee surgery) is also with the team. He is expected to come off the DL on Sunday.

"I'm ready," he said. "As soon as they tell me I'm able."

As for the rest of the team, the Rays hope to move four games above .500 with a win tonight against the Orioles. If so, it will be the first time they have been four games over since July 2015.

Chris Archer, who has had his struggles against the Orioles, is on the mound.

SS Tim Beckham returns to the lineup after missing the last two games with a bruised left hand.

The Orioles have lost 13 of their last 19 games, allowing at least five runs in all 19 games.

Here are the lineups:

O's

Smith DH

Machaso 3B

Jones CF

Trumbo RF

Schoop 2B

Mancini 1B

Castillo C

Kim LF

Tejada SS

Jimenez RHP

RAYS

Smith CF

Dickerson DH

Longoria 3Bb

Morrison 1B

Souza RF

Peterson LF …

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Rays series preview: Who are the Orioles?

Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Chris Tillman, left, has posted the highest ERA of his career this season, while catcher Welington Castillo, center, has slumped recently.

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Chris Tillman, left, has posted the highest ERA of his career this season, while catcher Welington Castillo, center, has slumped recently.

After an off day Thursday, the Rays remain at Tropicana Field for a three-game series against the AL East rival Orioles. Here's the information you need to know about Baltimore before the action kicks off.

Record: 35-37, tied for fourth place in AL East

Record vs. Rays this year: 2-1

Record since last facing Rays: 21-31

After starting the season 22-10, the Orioles have entered a stupor, winning just 13 of their past 40 games. Their pitching staff has allowed at least five runs in 19 straight games, the longest streak in nearly 100 years. On offense, the team's power — it ranks eighth in the majors with 103 home runs — hasn't compensated for a glut of strikeouts and a dearth of walks. It's a dramatic fall from grace for the team that had the AL's best record from 2012 to 2016.

"I'm not sure I admire any team more: The Orioles — outmanned, outspent but rarely outmaneuvered — have won the most games in the American League since the start of the 2012 season. ... Alas, they're headed straight into a ditch." (Ken Rosenthal, Fox Sports) …

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Morning after off day: Rays ready for slumping O's

The Rays expect Evan Longoria to be back in the lineup for tonight's game.

CHARLIE KAIJO | Times

The Rays expect Evan Longoria to be back in the lineup for tonight's game.

The Rays will attempt tonight to do what so far has been impossible this season: climb four games above .500.

The last time the Rays sniffed that rarified air was July 1, 2015 when they were 42-38.

They currently sit at 39-36, three games above .500 for the third time this season.

Their opponent this weekend: The Orioles, who appear to have run off the rails.

Thursday's 6-3 loss at home to the Indians was the O's 13th loss in their last 19 games. What's more, they have allowed at least five runs in each of those games.

Other than that glass ceiling at three games above .500, this series bodes well for the Rays.

They are 23-16 at the Trop, having won nine of their last 12 under the roof.

They are scheduled to face three right-handed starters this weekend, and they are 30-20 against righties.

On the other hand, they are only 14-17 inside the division.

Yet, they face a struggling Orioles squad that is without 1B Chris Davis (strained right oblique) and SS J.J. Hardy (broken wrist.)

Also, 3B Manny Machado is batting .228. …

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Some minor comings, including UTL Martinez opting for free agency

UTL Michael Martinez, acquired from the Indians for cash on May 18 when 2B Brad Miller was placed on the DL for the first time this season, cleared waivers Thursday and elected free agency.

Martinez played 13 games for the Rays and hit .077 after getting two hits in 26 at-bats.

Martinez was designated for assignment Monday when the Rays added INF Trevor Plouffe to the roster.

 

The Rays also signed minor league RHP Mike Broadway, who was released June 2 by the Nationals. He was assigned to Double A Montgomery. Broadway pitched in 25 games during the last two seasons for the Giants. He was 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA. He had an 11.81 ERA in 5 1/3 innings this season.

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For starters: Rays vs. Reds, with no Longoria, Rasmus, Beckham

Erasmo Ramirez, who may be pitching to keep his job in the rotation, is on the mound for the Rays.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Erasmo Ramirez, who may be pitching to keep his job in the rotation, is on the mound for the Rays.

UPDATE, 10:37: Cash said Rasmus has been dealing with "a little bit of a sore hip,'' which explains why he hasn't been in the lineup for three straight games. Cash said he is available, but the bigger concern is not making it worse and losing him for a longer period. ... Cash sald this is a planned day off for Longoria, that there is nothing wrong or any injury (foot) issue. ... Cash said there is no good reason or excuse for the poor outfield play, and that playing in the dome is not one.

DEVELOPING: The Rays are looking to make it two straight and a series win over the Reds today, but will be doing so without several frontline players.

Among those not in the lineup are 3B Evan Longoria (getting the benefit of two days off_, OF/DF Colby Rasmus (who hasn't played since Sunday) and SS Tim Beckham (hit on the hand by a pitch Monday).

RHP Erasmo Ramirez, who may be pitching to keep his job in the rotation, is on the mound for the Rays. RHP Tim Adleman is starting for the Reds.

Here is the Rays lineup: …

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For starters: Rays vs. Reds, with no Beckham

Alex Cobb will be on the mound for the Rays.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Alex Cobb will be on the mound for the Rays.

UPDATE, 5:07: Beckham didn' have much of an update except to say he hoped to be back within a couple days; Cash said that he hopes to not have to use hin tonight or in Wednesday's matinee and then get him back Friday. ... Cash said Ramos and Boxberger both remain on track to return later this week. ... 2B Brad Miller (groin strain) and RHP Diego Moreno (shoulder) are shut down from any baseball activit.

Here is the Reds lineup:
Hamilton cf
Gennett 2b
Votto 1b
Duvall lf
Suarez 3b
Schebler rf
Mesoraco dh
Barnhart c
Peraza ss
Garrett p


 …

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Jose Alvarado has improved his control. Now he needs better command.

Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Jose Alvarado delivers against the Oakland Athletics at Tropicana Field on Saturday, June 10, 2017.

LOREN ELLIOTT | Times

Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Jose Alvarado delivers against the Oakland Athletics at Tropicana Field on Saturday, June 10, 2017.

As the only lefty currently in the Rays bullpen, Jose Alvarado frequently enters the game to retire left-handed hitters. He's struggled to start the 2017 season, though, with a 5.29 ERA in 17 innings. While his peripheral statistics are more encouraging — he has a 3.66 FIP, based on his rates of strikeouts, walks and home runs allowed — he hasn't put up the sort of dominating numbers you'd expect from someone with his ability.

This year, Alvarado has averaged 98.52 mph on his four-seam fastball, according to Brooks Baseball. That's incredible for anyone, but especially for a left-hander — among the 93 southpaws with at least 100 four-seamers this year, only the Yankees' Aroldis Chapman (99.98) and the Pirates' Felipe Rivero (98.53) have thrown theirs harder. …

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Rays morning after: Rookie Jose Alvarado has right perspective, wrong result

Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Jose Alvarado (46) delivers in the sixth inning of the second game of a doubleheader between the Oakland Athletics and Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg on Saturday, June 10, 2017.

LOREN ELLIOTT | Times

Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Jose Alvarado (46) delivers in the sixth inning of the second game of a doubleheader between the Oakland Athletics and Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg on Saturday, June 10, 2017.

LHP Jose Alvarado has pitched at times like a veteran since his unexpected promotion from Double-A, and after giving up the eighth-inning hits that led to Monday's 7-3 loss to the Reds, he sounded like one.

"I don't feel that frustrated at all, it's part of baseball,'' he said in Spanish. "Just have to take the good days and the bad days. It's a learning experience and move on, try to do better next time. ... Things are going to happen.''

The Rays had just rallied in the seventh to tie the game 3-3 when manager Kevin Cash summoned Alvarado for a tough task, knowing he would face Joey Votto, the lefty swinger who is one of the game's best.

Alvarado got off to a bad start, falling behind Scooter Gennett - the Sarasota High product of the recent four-homer fame - 1-0 before giving up the leadoff double.

Then he did the same to Votto, who followed with an RBI single that put the Reds ahead to stay.

"Joey Votto, he's as good as anybody in baseball,'' Cash said. "The only thing and it'd probably be nitpicking, but he fell behind those guys. Saying that, tip your cap. Scooter, he hits a double down the line and then Joey doesn't waste any time and hits a base hit up the middle to regain the lead."

After Alvarado walked Adam Duvall, Cash went to Danny Farquhar, who eventually gave up a bases-loaded two-run single to Jesse Winker that expanded the lead to 6-3.

With Alvarado the only lefty in the pen, Cash said that was the right spot for him to face the toughest lefty hitters.

"You only have one lefty, you've got one bullet, you basically try to save it for that spot,'' Cash said.

As impressive as Alvarado has been at times, he has failed the Rays twice in key situations in the last week and has a 5.29 ERA. The return of Brad Boxberger, potentially as soon as Friday, could help as the veteran righthander can be very effective against lefties. …

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Tim Beckham leaves game with bruised left hand after HBP

UPDATE, 9:04: Rays say x-rays were negative so it's a bruise for Beckham and "day to day" status.

DEVELOPING: SS Tim Beckham left Monday's game shortly after being hit on the left hand by a pitch.

Beckham was hit on the fat part of his left hand, near the pinky, by a Scott Feldman pitch in the fourth innung and was obvious pain. He was checked by head athletic trainer Ron Porterfield and stayed in to run the bases, but was checked again after the Rays made three outs and left the game, with Danial Robertson sliding over to short and Taylor Featherston taking over at second.

Beckham, who has been filling in all season for injured Matt Duffy, has been a key part of the Rays success, going into play Monday hitting .280 with 10 homers and 31 RBIs, both third most in the AL among shortstops.

 

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