MLB Team Report - Tampa Bay Rays - INSIDE PITCH


BALTIMORE -- The Tampa Bay Rays are keeping a very close eye on newly-acquired starter Drew Smyly, especially when it comes to innings.

Smyly, a major part of the recent David Price trade, gave up one run on just two hits in seven innings during Tampa Bay's 3-1 victory over the Orioles on Wednesday night. That moved the left-hander's innings count up to 141 1/3 for the season, a career-high.

Manager Joe Maddon said Smyly's moving closer to the innings limit the team will impose on him for this season.

"The most he's ever done is 126," Maddon said. "This is uncharted territory. In a perfect world, 150, 160 is like the magic number."

That likely means two to three more starts for Smyly if Maddon holds the left-hander to a limit of seven innings in a game.

Smyly's really been on a roll this month. He's 3-1 with a 1.50 ERA -- tied with teammate Alex Cobb for second-best in the American League -- during August.

In fact, Smyly needed just 86 pitches, about 12 per inning, in his seven frames against the Orioles. That comes after his 105-pitch, two-hit shutout against Toronto in his previous start, and Maddon likes how he's breezed the last two games.

"The way he did it ... without being stressed," Maddon said. "There's something to be said for that."

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MLB Team Report - Tampa Bay Rays - NOTES, QUOTES


RECORD: 65-69

STREAK: Lost one

NEXT: Red Sox (RHP Anthony Ranaudo, 2-0, 4.50 ERA) at Rays (RHP Chris Archer, 8-6, 3.09 ERA)

PLAYER NOTES:

--RHP Jeremy Hellickson struggled from the start Thursday against the Baltimore Orioles. He needed 30 pitches to make it through the first inning, giving up two runs, and lasted just 4 1/3 innings overall. Hellickson allowed four runs on eight hits and got a no-decision. "I didn't really have command of much tonight," he said.

--3B Evan Longoria drove in two more runs in Thursday's loss thanks to a solo homer and a sacrifice fly. He's always hit well against the Orioles and did it again in this series. After going 1-for-3 in this game, Longoria finished the series 6-for-15 with four RBIs.

--1B James Loney sliced an RBI double down the left-field line in the fifth inning. He's second on the team with 61 RBIs (behind Longoria's 76) and finished the game 2-for-4 with that RBI.

--LHP Jeff Beliveau threw 1 2/3 scoreless innings of relief in Thursday's game. Now, 14 of his last 16 appearances have been scoreless this season, and he's helped Tampa Bay at times.

--SS Yunel Escobar made two errors in this game, one of which helped the Orioles scored two runs in the fifth and tie the game at four. The Rays were trying for a double play on 3B Chris Davis' grounder to 1B James Loney with the bases loaded. He threw to Escobar, but his return throw from second was wild, and two Oriole runs were able to score. "He was on the first-base side of second base based on the defense with Davis, so it was a little bit of an awkward angle from the throw from (second)," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "But he practices all kinds of angles. I just think that he never really got set. I thought Loney gave him a good feed. He just didn't get set."

--LHP Drew Smyly ranks first in the major leagues in terms of opponents' batting averages this month. They're hitting only .150 against him, but Smyly's drawing closer to the team's shut-down point for him. Manager Joe Maddon said that's going to be at 150-160 innings, and Smyly's already at 141 1/3.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "We kind of gave that (game) to them. That's why we're in the situation we're in." -- Rays manager Joe Maddon after a loss to Baltimore on Thursday.

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MLB Team Report - Tampa Bay Rays - ROSTER REPORT


MEDICAL WATCH:

--DH David DeJesus (fractured left hand) went on the 15-day disabled list June 19. As of July 29, he still was unable to swing a bat. He began a rehab assignment in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League on Aug. 16, but he experienced some soreness. DeJesus restarted his rehab assignment with Class A Charlotte on Aug. 20.

--INF/OF Jerry Sands (strained tendon in left wrist) went on the 15-day disabled list June 23, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on Aug. 20. He underwent season-ending surgery July 22.

--LHP Matt Moore (left elbow surgery in April 2014) went on the 15-day disabled list April 8, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on May 27. He is out for the season.

ROTATION:

RHP Chris Archer

RHP Jake Odorizzi

RHP Alex Cobb

RHP Jeremy Hellickson

LHP Drew Smyly

BULLPEN:

LHP Jake McGee (closer)

RHP Joel Peralta

RHP Kirby Yates

RHP Grant Balfour

RHP Brad Boxberger

LHP Cesar Ramos

LHP Jeff Beliveau

CATCHERS:

Jose Molina

Ryan Hanigan

INFIELDERS:

1B James Loney

2B Logan Forsythe

SS Yunel Escobar

3B Evan Longoria

INF/OF Sean Rodriguez

OUTFIELDERS:

LF Matt Joyce

CF Desmond Jennings

RF Ben Zobrist

OF Wil Myers

OF Kevin Kiermaier

OF Brandon Guyer