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For starters: Rays at Rangers, with Archer looking to go deep

Chris Archer  has the ability and the experience to work deep into the game.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Chris Archer has the ability and the experience to work deep into the game.

UPDATE, 5:38: The Rays have Norris catching Archer, which has been a good combination.

Rays lineup:
Dickerson DH,
Kiermaier cf,
Longoria 3b,
Morrison 1b,
Souza RF,
Rasmus lf,
Beckham SS,
Norris c,
Robertson 2b,
Archer p

And the Rangers lineup:
Choo rf
Andrus ss
Mazara lf
Beltre DH,
Odor 2b
Lucroy c
Gallo 3b
Napoli 1b
Hoying cf
Bibens-Dirkx p …

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More Rays shuffling: Matt Andriese headed to DL, Austin Pruitt, Mallex Smith, Ryan Garton called up

Pitcher Austin Pruitt, who was on the opening day roster, will be one of the pitchers added, the Times has learned.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Pitcher Austin Pruitt, who was on the opening day roster, will be one of the pitchers added, the Times has learned.

UPDATE, 6:38: Cash said the reports are that Pruitt pitched better at Triple-A, looking more like he did in spring training, and that Smith will help with his speed and defense.

It's been 12 roster moves for the Rays over the last three days. Here, just to review, is the latest round:

Called up:
RHP Ryan Garton
RHP Austin Pruitt
OF Mallex Smith

Optioned to minors:
RHP Chih-Wei Hu
RHP Hunter Wood

Placed on DL:
RHP Matt Andriese

UPDATE, 5:36: Garton was indeed the third callup.

UPDATE, 3:35: Smith is also on the way to join the Rays, the Times has learned, which restores the Rays to having a four-man bench. And 2B Brad Miller is slated to start what could be a short rehab tonight with the Stone Crabs, …

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Rays morning after: Bullpen mess was days in the making

Rookie Chih-Wei Hu, called up Tuesday morning didn't arrive at the stadium in Arlington, Texas, until after six and hadn't had a chance to get loose yet when he was summoned to replace Matt Andriese.

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Rookie Chih-Wei Hu, called up Tuesday morning didn't arrive at the stadium in Arlington, Texas, until after six and hadn't had a chance to get loose yet when he was summoned to replace Matt Andriese.

The bullpen mess the Rays found themselves in Tuesday night started two days earlier.

Go back to Sunday, when starter Alex Cobb lasted only five innings in what, due to some later drama, turned into their 15-inning affair in Minnesota. Add in what we now have the benefit of hindsight to know was a bad idea to stick with Erasmo Ramirez after he was used to close out Sunday's game as the starter on Monday, and he lasted only 2 1/3 innings. Then factor in what happened Tuesday, as starter Matt Andriese felt something pull in his groin at the start of the second inning, forcing his early departure.

Which is how they ended up - thanks to third-inning homers by Daniel Robertson and Steven Souza Jr - trying to piece together enough pitching to protect a 4-2 lead.

Rookie Chih-Wei Hu, called up Tuesday morning to replace up-and-down Jose De Leon, didn't arrive at the stadium in Arlington, Texas, until after six and hadn't had a chance to get loose yet when he was summoned to replace Andriese, and did quite well to the get the Rays through the fourth. …

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Rays continue bullpen shuffle, sent Chih-Wei Hu, Hunter Wood back to minors

The Rays contined their bullpen shuttle on Tuesday, calling up RHP Chih-Wei Hu from Triple-A and RHP Hunter Wood from Double-A, using both in relief and then sending both back to the minors after the game.

Two more fresh arms will be added for Wednesday, with RHP Austin Pruitt, who was unavailable Tuesday after working three innings on Sunday, expected to be one. LHP Blake Snell, who is slated to start for Durham, could be another.

Hu joined the Rays for the third time this season, so outside of not getting to Texas and then to the stadium until after six, and getting pressed into duty in the second when starter Matt Andriese left with a groin strain, it wasn't too big a deal.

Wood was toally surprised to get a 9 a.m.-ish wakeup call from Biscuits manager Brady Williams with the news, and had a bit of a more hectic day getting to Arlington, as some family from Arkansas were able to be there for his unexpected debut.

"It was a big, big shock; words can't describe how I felt,'' Wood said. "I'm glad I got the opportunity to be in the big leagues. ...It was nice to get my feet wet, to get on the mound in front of all those people. It was an awesome experience.''

 

 

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Rays roster shuffle: Hunter Wood, Chih-Wei Hu called up; Peter Bourjos to DL

The Rays added two fresh arms to their bullpen Tuesday, calling up RHPs Hunter Wood from Double-A and Chih-Wei Hu from Triple-A.

To make room, the Rays put OF Peter Bourjos on the DL with tennis elbow. Last night they sent RHP Jose De Leon back to Triple-A.

Wood was summoned since it was his start day and he could be available to provide length if needed, similar to what De Leon did on Monday. The Rays didn't have a pitcher at Triple-A on the 40-man roster available to do so; RHP Austin Pruitt seemed most likely but he threw three innings on Sunday and was not ready, but could be by Wednesday or certainly Friday.

Hu had been converted to relief after his April and early May stints with the Rays.

The moves leave the Rays short a position player, though Michael Martinez can play outfield if needed. OF Mallex Smith could be an option once the Rays get their bullpen back in order.

 

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For starters: Rays at Rangers, with Andriese eyeing win No. 6

Matt Andriese, the Ray's top winner, will be on the mound, coming off an impressive eight-inning outing against the Angels.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Matt Andriese, the Ray's top winner, will be on the mound, coming off an impressive eight-inning outing against the Angels.

UPDATE, 6:53: The four roster moves left the Rays with two fresh arms in the bullpen (Hunter Wood and Chih-Wei Hu) but down aman on the bench with Bourjos on the DL. Cash said Michael Martinez can be used in any of the outfield spots. ... Dickerson begins play today leading the AL in hitting at .345. ... Longoria goes into play tonight one homer shy of 250 for his career. ...

Here is the Rangers lineup:
Choo rf
Andrus ss
Mazara dh
Beltre 3b
Odor 2b
Lucroy c
Gallo 1b
Rua lf
DeShields cf
Martinez p

UPDATE, 4:40: The Rays have Jesus Sucre behind the plate, figuring his strong arm will help with Andriese's issues holding runners on base.

Here is the Rays lineup:
Dickerson dh,
Kiermaier cf,
Longoria 3b,
Morrison 1b,
Souza rf,
Rasmus lf,
Beckham ss,
Sucre c,
Robertson 2b,
Andriese p

DEVELOPING: After coming back twice to beat the Rangers on Monday coming off their 15-inning win on Sunday in Minnesota, the Rays will look for a third straight win tonight in Texas, first pitch at 8:05. …

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Rays morning after: An up-and down day for Jose De Leon

Jose De Leon follows through in the sixth inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas, on May 29, 2017.

[Getty Images]

Jose De Leon follows through in the sixth inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas, on May 29, 2017.

Rays RHP Jose De Leon had a busy Monday - getting called up to join the Rays for the first time and making his way from Pawtucket, R.I., to Boston and the flying to Texas, working 2 2/3 eventful innings to get the W in the 10-8 victory over the Rangers, and then getting optioned back to Triple-A.

For the highly touted pitching prospect, acquired from the Dodgers for 2B Logan Forsythe, it is part of the developmental process.

"We knew coming in with Jose his early part of this season has been a bit detailed by injuries,'' manager Kevin Cash said. "He picked us up in a big way. The 2 2/3 we didn't have another candidate down there to do that and he did it. Extremely appreciative of that. We know he's a better pitcher than what he showed today, but he did enough to help us win.''

De Leon was slowed by a flexor issue at the end of spring training after pitching for Puerto Rico in the WBC, then worked his way back through extended spring and with the Stone Crabs and had made one start at Durham, and was slated for his second on Monday until the call-up. …

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Jose De Leon sent back to minors after helping Rays win

RHP Jose De Leon worked 2 2/3 innings to get the win in his Rays debut Monday and then was optioned back to Triple-A Durham.

De Leon was brought up to provide length and depth in the bullpen after the Rays played 15 innings on Sunday, and he did that, allowing three runs on four hits while throwing 69 pitches.

With the bullpen needing another boost, the Rays sent him down and will summon a fresh arm on Tuesday, with RHP Austin Pruitt and Chih-Wei Hu seemingly the most likely candidates.

 

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For starters: Rays at Rangers, with Erasmo on the mound again

UPDATE, 6:36: Cash said the Rays will "be smart" in deciding whether to use Farquhar, Hunter and Colome tonight, so it could be a closing combo of the Blaze Brothers, Alvarado and Stanek, with Whitley another option. ... Cash said De Leon provides depth for tonight, and mentioned that some of the other relief options they would have considered were unavailable. ....  Cash said there is no pre-determined pitch limit for Ramirez, who is the first since Cleveland's Steve Farr in 1984 to start the day after getting a save. ... As expected the Rangers activated Beltre.

Here is the Rangers lineup:
Choo rf,
Andrus ss,
Mazara lf,
Beltre 3b,
Odor 2b,
Lucroy dh,
Gallo 1b,
Chirinos c,
Hoying cf,
Perez p

 …

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Rays call up Jose De Leon to add depth to bullpen tonight

The Rays have recalled Jose De Leon from Triple-A Durham.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

The Rays have recalled Jose De Leon from Triple-A Durham.

The Rays decided that after playing 15 innings Sunday they could use some depth and length in their bullpen after all and are calling up RHP Jose De Leon from Triple-A.

RHP Erasmo Ramirez is still slated to start tonight, even after throwing 12 pitches to get the final three outs - and the save - in Sunday's marathon.

But with three relievers throwing more than 30 pitches - Tommy Hunter, Danny Farquhar and closer Alex Colome - the Rays opted to add De Leon, who was scheduled to start today for the Bulls at Pawtucket,

De Leon, the touted prospect acquired this winter from the Dodgers for 2B Logan Forsythe, went on the DL at the end of spring training, after pitching for Puerto Rico in the WBC, with a flexor issue,, and has made only three starts, two for advanced Class A Charlotte, and one for the Bulls on Tuesday, allowing four runs on eight hits in four innings.

The Rays will have to make room on the active roster for De Leon; assuming no injuries they would seem likely to send down RHP Ryan Garton, who struggled on Sunday in his first outing since being called back up.

 

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Rays morning after: A lot that went into a marathon win

Kevin Kiermaier of the Rays celebrates as teammate Michael Martinez slides safely into home plate to score a run against the Minnesota Twins during the 14th inning.

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Kevin Kiermaier of the Rays celebrates as teammate Michael Martinez slides safely into home plate to score a run against the Minnesota Twins during the 14th inning.

Rays manager Kevin Cash had a simple strategy when Fox Sports Sun's Alex Corddry asked him how the team would move on from Sunday's marathon win and get ready to face the Rangers tonight in Texas:

"Get on a flight and maybe have a beer, then no BP and be ready to play.''

To win a 6 1/2 hour, 15-inning game was, Cash said was "very satisfying,'' and obviously takes multiple contributions.

"A lot of people played pretty important roles and that was good to see,'' Cash said.

Among some moments that stood out:

* The relief work by Danny Farquhar (especially after Cash put a man on to load the bases). Tommy Hunter and Alex Colome over six innings. "The job they did providing six innings of work was really impressive to allow our offense some time just to figure out how to get a run or two across the board.'' …

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For starters: Rays at Twins, with Cobb pitching with a purpose

UPDATE, 12:34: Cash said he has been pleased with Sucre's work and is trying to find playing time for him. ... Cash also said after reading Farquhar's comments about having trouble re-focusing after getting out of a jam and then going back out for a second inning he will factor that in to how he uses him. ... Cash said this is a good matchup against Gibson for INF Michael Martinez. ...  RHP Brad Boxberger (flexor) is slated to throw live batting practice in Port Charlotte on Monday with C Wilson Ramos (knee surgery) behind the plate and 2B Brad Miller (abdominal strain) and SS Matt Duffy (left heel) hitting against him.

Here is the Twins lineup, without Miguel Sano again:
Dozier 2b
Polanco ss
Mauer 1b
Vargas dh
Kepler rf
Escobar 3b
Rosario lf
Buxton cf
Castro c
Gibson p

UPDATE, 11:06: Here is the Rays lineup, with Sucre catching and Martinez at 2b:

Dickerson dh,
Kiermaier cf,
Longoria 3b,
Morrison 1b,
Souza rf,
Rasmus lf,
Beckham ss,
Martinez 2b,
Sucre c,
Cobb p

  …

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For starters: Rays at Twins, looking for another with Odorizzi starting

UPDATE, 12:45: Cash said Robertson was taking better swings Friday and so he wanted to move him up today, liking the idea of having three straight right-handers vs. a LHP they don't know much about. ... Souza was still smiling this morning about his failed dive attempt last night, and the reaction it got. .. The Twins have ex-Rays C Chris Gimenez in their lineup today:

Here is the lineup:
Dozier 2b
Mauer 1b
Grossman rf
Keplelr cf
Vargas dh
Escobar 3b
Gimenez c
Rosario lf
Adrianza ss
Mejia p

UPDATE, 11:01: No Dickerson today as the Rays go with seven right-handers.

Here is the lineup:

Beckham ss,
Robertson 2b,
Longoria 3b,
Morrison 1b,
Souza rf,
Kiermaier cf,
Weeks dh,
Norris c,
Bourjos lf,
Odorizzi p …

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Video: Rays Souza on that oh-so-bad dive, and reaction from Twins fans

What was Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. thinking when he made that oh-so-bad dive for a ball in the seventh inning Friday? Well, we'll let him tell you ...

 

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What was Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. thinking on that comically bad dive?

What could Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. been thinking in the seventh inning Friday when he dove for a ball and came up yards short?

Actually, he insisted after all the laughing, teasing and standing ovation from the Twins fans was done, it was a matter of self-preservation.

"What really happened was the ball went in the lights immediately and I couldn't find it, I just saw it in the gap in the general direction,'' Souza said.

"I just hit the deck hoping it wasn't going to hit me in the face. I had no idea where it was and when I looked up it was about 40 feet away from me. I put my head down and I was just hoping I didn't get hit in the face.

"It looks really bad. It was one of those moments you've just got to laugh it off - look like a fool and get back up and try and play.''

Centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier was laughing as he watched the replay from the field, and the Rays were yucking it up pretty good in the dugout. …

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