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Rays morning after: Matt Andriese trying to put good finish on injury-marred season

Matt Andriese will have the chance to put a solid finish on his season Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium.

AP photo

Matt Andriese will have the chance to put a solid finish on his season Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium.

RHP Matt Andriese can't make up for the 2-1/2 months he missed due to a hip injury this season after getting off to a solid 5-1, 3.54 start.

But he can use his last few outings to remind the Rays, and himself, of how good he can be.

He did it the hard way Thursday, allowing three runs as four of the first five Orioles rapped hits, then settling down and settling in work six solid innings, allowing only two more hits and turning it into a quality start. …

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For starters: Rays at Orioles, meeting up with ex-mate Tim Beckham

Tim Beckham made a smashing debut with the Orioles, hitting .394 with six homers and 19 RBIs in August.

AP photo

Tim Beckham made a smashing debut with the Orioles, hitting .394 with six homers and 19 RBIs in August.

UPDATE, 6:05: Cash gave both CF Kevin Kiermaier and SS Adeiny Hechavarria a day off, noting they have been playing pretty much everyday. ... That also gave them a chance to look more at two of their younger position players, OF Mallex Smith and INF Daniel Robertson. ... Cash said he was happy for Beckham that he was doing wel, Beckham said it "will be fun" to face his former mates but didn't have much else to say about the Rays, that it was "in the past.'' ... LHP Xavier Cedeno, activated off the 60-day DL, is likely to get a couple appearances. ... Cash said starter RHP Matt Andriese is among the Rays that could benefit from a strong finish to the season. ... Though four games and fives teams back of the second wild-card, Cash said they just have to focus on playing well and winning games and hope other teams lose.

Rays lineup:

Smith cf,
Duda DH,
Longoria 3b,
Morrison 1b,
Souza RF,
Dickerson lf,
Sucre c,
Miller 2b,
Robertson SS,
Andriese P

And for the Orioles:
Hays rf
Machado 3b
Schoop 2b
Jones cf
Mancini lf
Davis 1b
Trumbo dh
Castillo c
Hardy ss
Ynoa p

  …

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Rays morning after: Zim's legacy felt on bunt play

Cesar Puello slides home to score off of a bunt single by Peter Bourjos during the second inning.

Getty Images

Cesar Puello slides home to score off of a bunt single by Peter Bourjos during the second inning.

How fitting that the Rays used the first-and-third bunt play Wednesday.

It was a play the late Don Zimmer taught former manager Joe Maddon. Zim’s grandson, Beau, threw out the first pitch before the game against the Cubs. Maddon, of course, was in the house. So was former Ray Ben Zobrist, who often had success with that play.

So, in the third inning with the Rays leading 2-0 with runners on first and third and one out, LF Peter Bourjos pushed a bunt to the right side of the mound.

Cubs pitcher Jon Lester, a lefty, was moving toward third after finishing his delivery, so he couldn’t get to the ball. And since Lester is not the best fielder, it might not have mattered if he did, given the speed of Bourjos.

“Everything was in place,” Maddon said. “Bourjos is such a good bunter. We knew it was coming, but you can’t stop it sometimes.”

Cubs 1B Anthony Rizzo fielded the ball but didn’t have a play as Rays DH Cesar Puello easily scored from third.

“Well done,” Maddon said.

The Rays had a 3-0 lead in a game they would win 8-1.  …

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For starters: Rays vs. Cubs, trying to get even with Joe Maddon

The Rays are starting young lefty Blake Snell.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

The Rays are starting young lefty Blake Snell.

After a tough 2-1 loss on Tuesday, the Rays take on the Cubs again tonight, looking to split the two-game series with former manager Joe Maddon.

The Rays are starting young LHP Blake Snell, and the Cubs are starting veteran LHP Jon Lester.

Here is the Rays lineup:

Kiermaier cf,
Souza RF,
Longoria 3b,
Morrison 1b,
Ramos c,
Hechavarria SS,
Puello DH,
Miller 2B,
Bourjos lf,
Snell P

 

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Rays morning after: At least Archer looked good

Chris Archer in his longest outing since he pitched seven Aug. 27 against the Cardinals in St. Louis.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Chris Archer in his longest outing since he pitched seven Aug. 27 against the Cardinals in St. Louis.

The only positive for the home side during the Rays 2-1 loss Tuesday to the Cubs was the pitching of RHP Chis Archer.

Archer allowed both runs but went six innings, turning in his longest outing since he pitched seven Aug. 27 against the Cardinals in St. Louis.

Archer failed to go more than four innings in his next three starts.

“It was good to see Arch bounce back,” manager Kevin Cash said. “He’s had some rough starts here.”

The first of those three occurred in Chicago when Archer faced only three White Sox batters and left with discomfort in his right arm. The injury did not turn into anything major, and he did not miss a start. But he allowed six earned runs in three innings in Boston and three in four innings against the Yankees in New York.

On Tuesday, Archer allowed only four hits. One was a home run to Kyle Schwarber in the second inning. Another was a run-scoring double by Javier Baez in the fifth.

His offense didn’t give much help, generating just one hit against four Cubs pitchers. That hit was a solo home run by Brad Miller in the sixth that broke up LHP Mike Montgomery’s bid for a no-hitter.

Archer said he felt there was a crispness to his pitches.

  …

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Rays video tribute to ex-manager Joe Maddon upon return with Cubs

Here is the Rays video tribute to former manager Joe Maddon, who returned to the Trop for the first time on Tuesday with his Cubs team:

 

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Joe Maddon on being back at Trop, need for new stadium, and praise for Cash (w/video)

Joe Maddon, right, speaks with Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey before Tuesday's game at Tropicana Field.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Joe Maddon, right, speaks with Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey before Tuesday's game at Tropicana Field.

More to come later, but a couple of quick early highlights from former Rays manager Joe Maddon's return to the Trop with the Cubs:

* He enjoyed the drive over from his Tampa home, chatted with parking lot guard Vinny Paolozzi and other stadium personnel and then headed past the Rays clubhouse that housed his office for nine years to the visiting clubhouse, where two inflated pink flamingo pool floaties (stocked with Bud Light) were waiting in his office. "It was very cool walking in,'' he said, noting he had been through a similar return going back to Anaheim with the Rays. "I was really looking forward to this when I saw it on the schedule. ... Eager to get back. It's good to get back.;;

* Noting he was free to comment since he no longer worked for the Rays, Maddon ripped on the Trop saying it's clear the Rays need "a better stadium in a better location,'' saying it would be very helpful to have a "more vibrant" building, and one that should be on the Tampa side. "For this organization to get to really where they want to on an annual basis you need a better building in a better spot. …

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For starters: Rays vs. Cubs in Joe Maddon's return to Trop

Joe Maddon returns to Tropicana Field tonight for the first time since leaving the Rays to become manager of the Cubs.

Getty Images

Joe Maddon returns to Tropicana Field tonight for the first time since leaving the Rays to become manager of the Cubs.

Joe Maddon's return to the Trop will be the main story tonight, but there is still a baseball game to be played, between a Cubs team surging toward another division title with six straight wins and a Rays team struggling to keep alive a longshot bid for the second AL wildcard spot.

RHP Chris Archer will be on the mound for the Rays, seeking to snap a three-game skid in which he has a 14.14 ERA, walking off the mound in the first inning of his Sept. 2 due to forearm tigthness and then having two rough and abbreviated outings.

The Cubs are starting LHP Mike Montgomery, a forrmer Rays minor-leaguer who has bounced between the rotation and the bullpen this season. He also has the notation of being the pitcher who got the final out of the 2016 World Series.

Logan Morrison is back in the lineup for the Rays, as they are are starting five lefties against Montgomery.

Here is the Rays lineup:

Kiermaier cf,
Souza rf,
Longoria 3b,
Morrison 1b,
Ramos c,
Duda dh,
Hechavarria ss,
Dickerson lf,
Miller 2b,
Archer p

And here is the Cubs lineup, with two ex-Rays:
Jay cf
Zobrist lf
Rizzo 1b
Contreras c
Schwarber dh
Happ 2b
Heyward rf
Russell ss
Baez 3b
Montgomery p

 

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For ex-Rays/now Cubs manager Joe Maddon, the legacy is in the jeans

"The only thing I've really focused on regarding my legacy to this point is that fact that I think I really altered dress codes,'' Joe Maddon said.

LUIS SANTANA | Times (2010)

"The only thing I've really focused on regarding my legacy to this point is that fact that I think I really altered dress codes,'' Joe Maddon said.

Joe Maddon has plenty of memories of his time at the Trop during nine years of managing the Rays. "Too many to count,'' he said. …

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Cubs bring some other ex-Rays to Trop such as Wade Davis, Ben Zobrist

Two-time Rays MVP Ben Zobrist is finishing strong after a slow start to his second season in Chicago.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times (2014)

Two-time Rays MVP Ben Zobrist is finishing strong after a slow start to his second season in Chicago.

Joe Maddon's first trip back to the Trop is getting most of the headlines tonight, but there are several other familiar faces among the eight former Rays now wearing Cubs uniforms. …

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Rays Evan Longoria, Kahwa Coffee brewing up help for charities

Evan Longoria and Kahwa are teaming up for a new blend — aptly called Signature Series No. 3 — that will be sold with proceeds to benefit Hurricane Irma relief efforts and then local charities.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Evan Longoria and Kahwa are teaming up for a new blend — aptly called Signature Series No. 3 — that will be sold with proceeds to benefit Hurricane Irma relief efforts and then local charities.

Rays 3B Evan Longoria and the Tampa Bay-based Kahwa coffee roasting company are teaming up for a new blend — aptly called Signature Series No. 3 — that will be sold with proceeds to benefit Hurricane Irma relief efforts and then local charities.

The blend, sourced from three high-quality beans, was selected by Longoria and will be introduced Tuesday.

Bags will be available at all 12 Tampa Bay Kahwa locations, at KahwaCoffee.com and at the Trop.

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For starters: Rays looking to avoid sweep against Red Sox

Jake Odorizzi, pictured, faces lefty Eduardo Rodriguez.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Jake Odorizzi, pictured, faces lefty Eduardo Rodriguez.

The Rays (72-77) begin the day five games below .500, 5-1/2 games behind the Twins for the final Wild Card spot and, according to FanGraphs, with a 0.3 percent chance of reaching the postseason.

So ...

They look to avoid a sweep this afternoon against the Red Sox. Jake Odorizzi faces lefty Eduardo Rodriguez.

Want more bad news? The Rays are an AL-worst 16-27 this season when facing a left-handed starter. They are currently riding a six-game losing streak against southpaws.

With the playoff chances basically at zero, the Rays will use the final two weeks making evaluations for next season. Today they will get a look at Cesar Puello in left field and will see more of Lucas Duda, a free agent after this season, at first.

The first-place Red Sox (85-63), meanwhile, begin the day with a three-game lead over the second-place (and AL wild Card-leading) Yankees.

Here are the lineups:

 

RED SOX

Bogaerts SS

Pedroia DH

Benintendi LF

Betts RF

Moreland 1B

Vazquez C

Devers 3B

Holt 2B

Bradley CF

Rodriguez LHP (5-5, 4.19)

 

RAYS

Kiermaier CF

Bourjos RF

Longoria DH

Duda 1B

Hechavarria SS

Plouffe 3B

Miller 2B

Sucre C

Puello LF


Odorizzi RHP (8-8, 4.52)

 

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For starters: Rays lineup vs. Red Sox

The Rays and Red Sox are back at it tonight for a 6:10 start, returning to the field they walked off this morning at 1:15 after Friday’s/Saturday’s 15-inning marathon.

The Red Sox won that 13-6 with a seven-run 15th.

The Rays (72-76) are 5.5 games behind the Twins for the final Wild Card spot in the AL. There 14 games remaining on their schedule. It looks bleak.

Speaking of bleak, tonight is likely the final start at Tropicana Field for Rays RHP Alex Cobb, who will be a free agent at the end of the season.

Here are the lineups:

 

RED SOX

Bogaerts SS

Vazquez C

Benintendi LF

Betts RF

Moreland 1B

Young DH

Devers 3B

Holt 2B

Bradley CF

Porcello RHP (9-17, 4.64)

 

RAYS

Kiermaier CF

Souza RF

Longoria 3B

Duda 1B

Ramos C

Dickerson DH

Hechavarria SS

Miller 2B

Smith LF

 

Cobb RHP (11-9, 3.59)

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Rays morning post: Kiermaier not concerned with back tightness

Kevin Kiermaier said he tweaked his back while making a throw to the plate in the top if the 15th inning.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Kevin Kiermaier said he tweaked his back while making a throw to the plate in the top if the 15th inning.

The Rays were down to their last out early Saturday morning in the 15th inning of a very long game when CF Kevin Kiermaier was lifted for a pinch-hitter.

The reason: his back had tightened up, which is understandable since he spent 15 innings standing on the Trop’s unforgiving turf and he threw his body around while making a diving catch in the ninth inning that nearly saved the day, but turned into a footnote in a 13-6, 15-inning loss to the Red Sox.

Kiermaier said he tweaked his back while making a throw to the plate in the top if the 15th.

“That’s probably from a six-hour game,” he said. “We’re all dealing with that out there. It’s just one of those things where I felt something grab a little hit. I’m not worried about it.”

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Thoughts on Joe Maddon returning to Trop? Please do tell ...

Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon stands in the dugout before a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh on Sept. 4, 2017.

Gene J. Puskar | Associated Press

Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon stands in the dugout before a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh on Sept. 4, 2017.

With former Rays manager Joe Maddon returning for the first time to the Trop this week with his Cubs team, we want to know what you'll think seeing him back there.

Tell us in 50 words or less via email at sports@tampabay.com and we'll print the best in Tuesday's Tampa Bay Times, and more online at tampabay.com.

 

 

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