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Date:   09-04-19 01:34   >>> Répondre à ce message

ST. PETERSBURG , Fla. (AP) — Heightened expectations don’t scare the Tampa Bay Rays.Winning 90 games a year ago not only established them as a team on the rise, but one that’s undaunted by the challenge of closing the gap between themselves and the big-spending Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees.The Rays won more games any team that didn’t make playoffs in 2018 and are confident they have what it takes to end a five-year postseason hiatus.The quest begins March 28 at home against the Houston Astros, and manager Kevin Cash understandably is optimistic.The Rays bolstered a pitching rotation led by Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell by signing right-harder Charlie Morton this winter and feel good about adding catcher Mike Zunino, infielder Yandy Diaz and outfielders Avisail Garcia and Guillermo Heredia to the roster, too.“This is a new group. It’s a little bit more established group. We’ve brought in some new additions, and we kind of want to create something even more special going forward,” Cash said.“When you have a young club that just won 90 games it’s easy to have a lot of optimism about what’s ahead. But it’s also hard to win 90 games. A lot of things went our way to help us get there,,” general manager Erik Neander said. “I think this group will stay humble and will be motivated to come out and prove last year, and certainly the last couple months of the season, weren’t a fluke,”Tampa Bay overcame a slow start by going 41-25 after the All-Star break Glenn Hubbard Jersey , including 19-9 in September, to finish third in the tough AL East — 18 games behind the world champion Red Sox and 10 in back of the Yankees, who won 108 and 100 games, respectively.Not bad at all for a team that overhauled the roster with a series of salary-lashing moves both before and during the season to launch a youth movement that spawned for a brighter future.Cash is confident increased expectations would faze the Rays.“I don’t look at it as pressure,” the manager said. “I think our guys should feel good about what they accomplished, but also we all recognize we came up short, so we have to improve. Knowing the way these guys carried themselves in the last couple of months of the season, they are going to embrace whatever pressure there is.”Some other things to know about the 2019 Rays:NEW FACESMorton was an All-Star for the first time last season, when he went 15-3 with a 3.13 ERA for the Astros. The Rays gave him a two-year, $30 million contract and is plugging him into a three-man rotation with Snell and Tyler Glasnow.Zunino helps defensively and hit 20 homers in 113 games with the Mariners last year. An All-Star two years ago with the White Sox, looks to rebound after injuries contributed to a .236 batting average with 19 homers and 49 RBIs in 93 games in 2018.OPENERSCash plans to continue use of “openers” — relievers who start games and generally get three to six outs — to fill the fourth and fifth turns through the rotation. The Rays used traditional starters 84 times last season, and the team went 32-23 in 55 games started by openers. The remaining 23 starts were filled with “bullpen days” started by a relievers who usually worked deeper into games than openersENCOREThe success of Tampa Bay’s openers grabbed the attention of several teams that have tried a variation of the creative strategy that was a big part of Tampa Bay’s success a year ago. The Rays’ 3.50 ERA after May 19 Rickey Henderson Jersey , when Cash used an opener for the first time, was third-best in the majors. The strategy has drawn criticism, too, with some pitchers from other other teams suggesting it devalues traditional starting pitching.“It’s different. It’s unique,” Cash said. “There’s no doubt baseball has done one thing for many consecutive years kind of one way, and it changed a lot of thoughts, perceptions and a lot of debate.”ROOKIES TO WATCHRight-handler Brent Honeywell missed all of last season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. The top prospect is back and, barring a setback, could be ready to make his major league debut as early June. Catcher Michael Perez, infielder/outfielder Brandon Lowe, reliever Ian Gabault and first baseman Nate Lowe could help at some point.RARE COMPANYThe Rays have won 90 or more games six times since 2008, tied with the Yankees. Only the Red Sox and Dodgers Catfish Hunter Jersey , with seven each, have more over that span. ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Willy Adames‘ winning drive landed high in the left-field seats. According to Statcast, it measured 434 feet, the longest of the rookie’s five homers.“That’s all I’ve got,” Adames said. “I went for it and I got it.”Big time.Adames’ solo homer with two out in the ninth inning lifted the Tampa Bay Rays to a 4-3 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday night.Adames connected against Miguel Castro (2-6). Sergio Romo (2-2) got the win after retiring two batters in the ninth, helping Tampa Bay break a three-game losing streak.Tim Beckham and Trey Mancini homered for Baltimore, and Alex Cobb pitched seven strong innings.Cobb, attempting to win consecutive starts for the first time with the Orioles, gave up only two hits after the first inning and retired his last 10 batters against his former team.“Every time out there I walk off the mound and I feel like that I’m that much closer to regaining the form that I’ve been looking for,” said Cobb, who lost his first three starts against the Rays.Cobb is 3-14 in his first season with Baltimore. But he has allowed one earned run in three of his four starts since the All-Star break.Cobb left with a 3-1 lead Rollie Fingers Jersey , but the Rays tied it in the eighth without getting a hit. Three walks and a wild pitch by Evan Phillips and a throwing error on first baseman Chris Davis helped the Rays score two unearned runs.Jake Bauers drove in the only run off Cobb with a third straight single in the first inning, following hits by Mallex Smith and Matt Duffy.Tyler Glasnow struck out nine in four innings in his second start for the Rays after being acquired from Pittsburgh on July 31. He was lifted after 61 pitches.“They’re trying to build me up and not rush me, and that’s probably a better decision than going out there and rushing things,” Glasnow said.One of the two hits off Glasnow was a homer by Beckham, his fifth of the season.Mancini’s 16th homer came off Jaime Schultz and put the Orioles ahead 2-1 in the fifth.Mark Trumbo drove in another Baltimore run with a single in the sixth, extending his hitting streak to nine games.A ONE-RUN KIND OF SEASONThe Rays’ last four games (including three losses to the Chicago White Sox) have been decided by one run. They have played a major league-leading 47 one-run games, losing 26 of them.TRAINER’S ROOMOrioles: Davis was back in the lineup after missing two games. Manager Buck Showalter said the slugger sat out because he was “banged up.” … OF Craig Gentry (broken left rib) started a rehab assignment at Double-A Bowie.Rays: INF Daniel Robertson had what is expected to be season-ending surgery to repair a torn left thumb ligament. He was hurt Saturday sliding into second base on a double. … Reliever Chaz Roe (left knee) could start a rehab assignment Thursday.UP NEXTTampa Bay will start reliever Ryne Stanek (1-3) and have left-hander Jalen Beeks (1-1) follow Wednesday night against Orioles right-hander Andrew Cashner (3-10). Cashner’s 15-5 win over the Rays on July 27 is his only win since May 21.


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