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MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at Tampa Bay Rays

Pinch hitter Ramirez lifts Rays over Pirates in 10

June 25, 2022, 2:58 AM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Pinch hitter Harold Ramirez grounded a walk-off single in the 10th inning Friday night to lead the Tampa Bay Rays to a 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Placed on second base in the bottom of the 10th, Vidal Brujan stole third base with one out. Ramirez came off the bench to bat for Brett Phillips and drove a 1-0 pitch from Yerry De Los Santos (0-1) through the Pirates' drawn-in infield for his third career walk-off RBI.

In the top of the inning, Pittsburgh wasted a promising first-and-third, no-out situation against Jason Adam (1-2), who sandwiched two strikeouts around a foulout to keep it 3-3.

In their first games for Tampa Bay, Luke Raley and Jonathan Aranda each had an RBI single as the club produced just seven hits -- all singles.

Michael Chavis (2-for-5), Diego Castillo and Hoy Park (2-for-4) notched homers. Oneil Cruz was 2-for-4 for Pittsburgh.

Tampa Bay's Jeffrey Springs (six innings) and Pittsburgh's Mitch Keller (five innings) both received no-decisions after each allowed three runs in their starts.

The left-handed Springs surrendered seven hits and three solo homers, while Keller spotted the Rays a big early lead in a three-run second frame.

The Rays moved to 7-3 in extra innings, while the Pirates dropped to 2-3.

In the two teams' first matchup in Florida since 2014, the Rays' two newcomers gave them an early 2-0 lead.

After Josh Lowe singled and stole second base, Raley -- who debuted last season with the Los Angeles Dodgers -- grounded a base hit in his first Tampa Bay plate appearance to score Lowe.

Aranda slashed Keller's 0-2 curveball into right field in his first major league at-bat to score Raley, who had advanced to second on a walk to Taylor Walls.

Walls trotted home when Keller flinched slightly from the stretch, committing a balk to send the third run across the plate.

In the fourth, Pittsburgh trimmed the lead to one by flexing its muscle on a pair of solo home runs off Springs changeups. Chavis lobbed a high homer to left, his eighth, on a 2-1 pitch, then two batters later Castillo belted his at-bat's ninth offering a Statcast-estimated 411 feet for his sixth deep shot.

Park ripped a high fastball 411 feet to right-center for his second homer, tying the game with the leadoff shot in the fifth.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Pittsburgh Pirates

Rays, Pirates look to escape June doldrums

June 24, 2022, 11:09 AM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

After losing their series with their American League East rival, the New York Yankees, the Tampa Bay Rays will host a relatively unfamiliar foe -- the Pittsburgh Pirates -- in a three-game series in St. Petersburg, Fla., starting Friday night.

Most recently, the Pirates won two of three at home against Tampa Bay in 2017, but their last visit to the domed stadium was eight seasons ago. They hold a 9-6 all-time mark against the defending AL East champions.

The only familiarity between the teams is their spring proximity before the season, as both train and face each other on Florida's Gulf Coast. The Pirates hold their spring training in Bradenton, while the Rays are an hour south in Port Charlotte.

But this weekend's matchup isn't a spring training game where the starters play half a game and prospects trot over from the back fields to get an at-bat in the final few innings. And both teams certainly would enjoy a boost on the scoreboard.

Pittsburgh trailed 10-1 at home against the Chicago Cubs Wednesday night, resulting in second baseman Diego Castillo finishing the 14-5 blowout by mopping up on the mound in the ninth inning to save the bullpen.

"We've talked about this a lot, but this group continues to play hard," Pirates manager Derek Shelton said. "That game got out of hand a little bit today, but our effort level did not. We continued to still go after it."

Pittsburgh beat the Cubs 8-7 in 10 innings on Thursday, but the club is just 5-12 in the past 17 games.

The Rays let a victory against the first-place New York Yankees slip away from them Wednesday in the finale of a three-game set. The culprit proved to be a lack of quality pitching depth.

Starter Shane Baz lasted just 4 2/3 innings before being lifted, and six relievers failed to hold a three-run lead in the hope of giving the club a series win over the Yankees.

Instead, Jose Trevino cracked a go-ahead, two-run homer off seldom-used reliever Ralph Garza Jr. to propel the AL East leaders to a 5-4 win -- their 51st victory.

The right-hander allowed just one hit in two innings -- Trevino's shot -- but issued three of the Rays' eight walks, including Isiah Kiner-Falefa's leadoff walk that came home as the tying run.

Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash took part of the blame, having failed to call on Garza more often in recent situations.

"That ain't on Garza, not at all. That's on me as much as anybody," Cash said. "We optioned him, he comes back, so he had a layoff there just waiting for that spot. It kind of caught up on us."

Winners of just three of their past 12 games, the Rays have slipped into fourth in the division -- much closer to last-place Baltimore than to the Yankees.

In need of bullpen arms, the Rays acquired right-hander David McKay from the Yankees for cash considerations on Thursday.

Both teams will send out starting pitchers Friday who will make their first career appearances against the opposition -- Pirates right-hander Mitch Keller (2-5, 4.72 ERA) and Rays lefty Jeffrey Springs (3-2, 2.00).

--Field Level Media

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at New York Yankees

Yankees trade RHP David McKay to Rays

June 23, 2022, 6:45 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees traded David McKay to the Tampa Bay Rays for cash considerations on Thursday and added fellow right-hander Albert Abreu to the active roster.

The Yankees claimed Abreu off waivers from the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday.

McKay, 27, made just two appearances for the Yankees this season, striking out one in two scoreless innings.

Abreu, 26, was 0-0 with a 3.46 ERA in 11 appearances this season with the Royals and Texas Rangers. The Royals acquired Abreu from Texas on June 3.

The Yankees also optioned right-hander Clarke Schmidt to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after Wednesday night's game.

--Field Level Media

MLB: New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays

Rays place OF Manuel Margot, Kevin Kiermaier on IL

June 21, 2022, 6:47 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Rays officially placed outfielders Manuel Margot (knee) and Kevin Kiermaier (hip) on the 10-day injured list Tuesday.

Margot is expected to miss significant time with what the team is calling a sprained right knee. The Athletic reported the team fears Margot tore his ACL after his crash into the wall Monday night.

In corresponding moves, the Rays recalled outfielder Luke Raley and infielder Jonathan Aranda from Triple-A Durham.

Center fielder Kiermaier exited Monday night's game against the New York Yankees after the second inning because of left hip inflammation. Kiermaier is batting .229 with seven homers and 17 RBIs in 56 games this season.

Margot attempted to make a leaping catch on an RBI triple by Aaron Hicks that snapped a 2-2 tie. He crashed into the wall, fell on his back at the warning track and was carted off the field a few minutes later. Margot is batting .302 with three homers and 27 RBIs in 51 games this season and batted .397 in May.

The losses leave the Rays without five of their regular position players.

Raley, 27, batted .182 with two home runs and five runs in 33 games with the Rays in 2021. He has yet to appear in a game this season. He is batting .299 with seven home runs and 25 RBIs at Durham.

Aranda's first appearance would be his major league debut. He's batting .310/.386/.512 with 11 home runs and 40 RBIs at Durham this season.

--Field Level Media

MLB: San Diego Padres-Media Day

Pirates acquire LHP Eric Stout from Cubs for cash

June 21, 2022, 4:36 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Pirates acquired left-hander Eric Stout from the Chicago Cubs for cash considerations on Tuesday.

The Pirates optioned the 29-year-old reliever to Triple-A Indianapolis.

Stout allowed two runs on three hits in 3 2/3 innings in two relief appearances this season for the Cubs.

He previously pitched for the Kansas City Royals in 2018 and posted a 23.14 ERA in three games (2 1/3 innings).

Stout's career numbers in the minors include a 23-18 record with a 4.39 ERA and 17 saves in 202 games (19 starts) since 2014.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Baltimore Orioles

Rays OF Kevin Kiermaier (hip inflammation) exits game vs. Yankees

June 21, 2022, 12:48 AM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier exited Monday's game against the visiting New York Yankees because of left hip inflammation.

Kiermaier was replaced by Brett Phillips after striking out against Gerrit Cole for the second out of the second inning.

Kiermaier was injured in a game against the Yankees for the second time in less than a week. In Wednesday's 4-3 loss at New York, he exited after the second inning because of a sore left calf and Achilles and sat out the next two games.

Kiermaier is batting .229 with seven homers and 17 RBIs in 56 games this season.

--Field Level Media

MLB: San Francisco Giants at Pittsburgh Pirates

Pirates put RHP Zach Thompson (forearm) on 15-day IL

June 20, 2022, 7:28 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Pirates placed right-hander Zach Thompson on the 15-day injured list Monday with right forearm nerve inflammation.

The Pirates also optioned shortstop Liover Peguero to Double-A Altoona. Peguero, 21, notched his first major league hit on Saturday.

In corresponding moves, the team recalled shortstop Oneil Cruz and selected the contract of outfielder Bligh Madris, both from Triple-A Indianapolis.

Thompson, 28, is 3-5 with a 4.47 ERA in 13 appearances (12 starts) this season, his first in Pittsburgh.

Cruz, 23, will make his season debut in his first appearance with the Pirates. He went 3-for-9 over the last three games of the 2021 season with a homer and three RBIs.

Madris, 26, will be making his major league debut. He has posted a .304 average with 15 doubles, two triples, five home runs and 20 RBIs in 46 games for Indianapolis this season.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Tampa Bay Rays

Rays place C Mike Zunino on 10-day injured list

June 10, 2022, 6:31 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Rays placed Mike Zunino on the 10-day injured list Friday and recalled fellow catcher Rene Pinto from Triple-A Durham.

Zunino, 31, is dealing with left shoulder inflammation.

He is batting .148 with five homers and 16 RBIs in 36 games this season.

A career .200 hitter, Zunino has 146 homers and 361 RBIs in 850 games with the Seattle Mariners (2013-18) and Rays.

Pinto, 25, went 3-for-15 with one homer and two RBIs in five games with Tampa Bay this season. He is batting .266 with six homers and 18 RBIs in 36 games this season with the Bulls.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Tampa Bay Rays

Rays RHP Andrew Kittredge (elbow) to miss month

June 9, 2022, 8:07 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay Rays closer Andrew Kittredge will undergo a procedure to remove a loose body from his elbow and miss at least a month.

The Rays placed Kittredge on the 15-day injured list Thursday and recalled Calvin Faucher from Triple-A Durham in a corresponding move.

The Rays polished off a three-game sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday afternoon. Jason Adam earned his second save of the season.

Kittredge, 32, is 3-1 with a 3.15 ERA and five saves this season. The 2021 All-Star had an IL stint earlier this season due to lower back tightness. Kittredge also had a UCL sprain in his right elbow in August 2020.

The Rays also lost right-handed reliever J.P. Feyereisen last week to the IL with a right shoulder impingement.

--Field Level Media

MLB: New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays

Quad injury puts Rays’ SS Wander Franco on IL

May 31, 2022, 9:28 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Just as he had pulled out of an extended hitting slump, Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Wander Franco was placed on the 10-day injured list Tuesday due to a strained quadriceps.

Franco left Monday's game in Texas in the ninth inning after rounding first base, pulling up when he felt his right quad tighten. He had been dealing with several quad and hamstring injuries in recent weeks and had missed a couple game to rest.

Franco had three hits and a walk in five plate appearances Monday, seemingly ending a slump in which he had six hits and two RBI in 61 at-bats (.107) across a 16-game stretch. Before that slump, Franco started the season strong, batting .331 with 15 RBI in 28 games.

In all, Franco is hitting .270 this season, with 48 hits in 45 games. The 21-year-old finished third in Rookie of the Year voting last season.

The Rays selected the contract of veteran right-handed relief pitcher Shawn Armstrong from Triple-A Durham to replace Franco on the active roster, and designated lefty Ben Bowden for assignment to open a spot on the 40-man roster for Armstrong.

Armstrong signed with the Rays earlier in May after being released from the Miami Marlins. In eight major-league seasons, Armstrong has been with five teams, including the Rays for part of last season, and has a 5-2 career record with a 4.87 ERA. In seven appearances with the Marlins this season, he had a 10.80 ERA in 6 2/3 innings of work.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Seattle Mariners

Rays reinstate OF Manuel Margot from IL

May 25, 2022, 6:12 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Rays reinstated outfielder Manuel Margot from the 10-day injured list Wednesday and optioned right-hander Dusten Knight to Triple-A Durham.

Margot, 27, has not played since May 14, when he went 2 for 3 against the Toronto Blue Jays to extend his hitting streak to 11 games. He missed time with a hamstring injury.

In 27 games with the Rays this season, Margot is batting .348 with three home runs and 21 RBIs. Over seven career seasons with the San DIego Padres and Rays, Margot is a .255 hitter over 627 games with 47 home runs and 219 RBIs.

Knight, 31, was 0-1 with a 1.59 ERA in three relief appearances with the Rays. Over 10 career appearances in two seasons with the Baltimore Orioles and Rays, he is 0-1 with a 6.28 ERA.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Oakland Athletics

Rays place All-Star closer Andrew Kittredge (back) on IL

May 22, 2022, 4:58 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Rays placed All-Star closer Andrew Kittredge on the 15-day injured list Sunday due to lower back tightness.

The move is made retroactive to May 19.

The Rays also promoted Dusten Knight from Triple-A Durham and shuffled fellow right-hander JT Chargois (left oblique tightness) to the 60-day disabled list.

Kittredge, 32, owns a 3-1 record with a 3.00 ERA and five saves in 15 relief appearances this season. The right-hander was named as an All-Star replacement last July.

Kittredge is 16-7 with a 3.67 ERA and 14 saves in 165 career relief appearances (15 starts) with Tampa Bay.

Knight, 31, is 0-1 with a 3.24 ERA in 12 appearances (one start) this season with Triple-A Durham.

Chargois, 31, struck out one batter in two-thirds of a scoreless inning of work in his lone appearance this season.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Game One-Pittsburgh Pirates at Cincinnati Reds

Pirates C Roberto Perez to have season-ending surgery

May 18, 2022, 8:56 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Pirates catcher Roberto Perez will undergo season-ending surgery on his injured hamstring, putting a premature end to his first season in Pittsburgh after just 21 games.

The Pirates said the surgery will likely take place later in the week. Perez was put on the 10-day injured list May 7 before the team transferred him to the 60-day IL.

Perez signed a one-year deal worth $5 million with Pittsburgh ahead of the lockout. He was to be the replacement for Jacob Stallings in 2022.

Perez, 33, was batting .233 with two home runs and eight RBIs in 60 at-bats. He spent the first eight seasons of his career in Cleveland. He is a two-time Gold Glove winner and career .207 hitter.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Tampa Bay Rays

Rays 2B Brandon Lowe (back) out at least one month

May 17, 2022, 11:23 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay Rays standout second baseman Brandon Lowe will be sidelined at least one month due to a stress reaction in his lower back, the team said Tuesday.

Lowe was placed on the 10-day injured list on Monday after struggling with back soreness all season. The team will re-evaluate him in three weeks and then hope to establish a timeline for his return.

Lowe, who set career highs of 39 homers and 99 RBIs last season, is batting just .212 with five homers and 12 RBIs this season.

"It's a hit, there's no doubt," Rays manager Kevin Cash said of the loss of Lowe. "He's a big part of our club -- offense, defense. ... We're just going to have to make do without him."

The 27-year-old Lowe went 3-for-8 with two triples over the last two games but knew after Sunday's 3-0 win over the Toronto Blue Jays that the situation couldn't continue.

"I didn't want to take at-bats that weren't 100 percent," Lowe said. "I want to be able to give these guys everything I have, and just going up there and not being able to swing and do what I can do -- it was frustrating.

"I'm glad to know what it is and to be able to come back and get back to that 100 percent mark. ... Pressuring it and pushing it past the mark isn't a smart thing to do. So hopefully we caught it at the right time, and we're going to have no more issues with it."

Vidal Brujan was in the lineup at second base for Tuesday's home game against the Detroit Tigers. Brujan entered the contest with a .143 average (3-for-21) with one RBI in seven outings.

Taylor Walls also will see time at second during Lowe's absence. He is batting .174 with one homer and three RBIs in 31 games.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Tampa Bay Rays

Rays place 2B Brandon Lowe (back) on IL

May 16, 2022, 10:49 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Rays placed second baseman Brandon Lowe on the 10-day injured list Monday with lower-back discomfort and recalled infielder Isaac Paredes from Triple-A Durham.

Lowe, 27, had been dealing with back discomfort since last week and met with a doctor Monday for a further examination.

After hitting 39 home runs with 99 RBIs last season, Lowe was batting .212 with five home runs and 12 RBIs this season, with 34 strikeouts in 118 at-bats. A career .251 hitter over five seasons with the Rays, Lowe has hit 81 home runs with 224 RBIs.

The Rays placed outfielder Manuel Margot (hamstring) on the injured list Sunday.

Paredes, 23, was batting .263 with two RBIs in six games for the Rays earlier this month before he was optioned. He was acquired in a trade with the Detroit Tigers just before the start of the season and is a .220 career hitter in 63 games with the Tigers and Rays, with two home runs and 13 RBIs.

--Field Level Media