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Friday, Apr 20, 2018
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Rays notes: Jennings named AL Player of Week

— Tampa Bay Rays CF Desmond Jennings said during spring training his word for this season is “consistency,” and that has shown up in his at-bats.

Jennings, who hit .355 (11-for-31) last week with three doubles, three homers, three RBIs, eight runs and three stolen bases, was named the American League player of the week.

“I feel good right now,” Jennings said Sunday after going 3-for-4 with a double and a run scored in the Rays' 5-1 win at Yankee Stadium. “I'm not really going to let that one bad at-bat get me down. As long as I'm feeling good, having good at-bats, regardless of the result, I'm going to keep the same approach.”

Hitting coach Derek Shelton said that is the biggest change to Jennings' game this season.

“I think he's had a really good plan,” Shelton said. “Even when he's had at-bats that weren't the at-bat he wanted, you never see it in the next at-bat. He's not carrying over at-bats, good, bad or indifferent.”

In his past 16 games, Jennings is batting .333 with three doubles, a triple, three home runs and six RBIs.

“I think he's used his game differently,” Shelton said. “He's squared around to bunt, he's driven the ball to the other side of the field. I think that's the most important thing. He's not only using the whole field, he's using his whole game.”

Mind games for Archer

RHP Chris Archer sailed into the fifth inning against the Red Sox in his last outing when suddenly his game fell apart. Archer walked the bases loaded, then forced in a run when he hit Shane Victorino with a pitch.

What happened? Archer, who faces the Orioles Tuesday night, said he briefly stopped being aggressive.

“And it was only for like two hitters, and I put myself in a bind,” he said. “So I learned to just stick with my consistent thoughts. Don't get outside of my consistent thoughts against any team. Things can turn quickly. So as long as I stay within myself, stay within my thoughts, I'll be fine. And last game, I didn't do that in the fifth inning. And whenever I brought that back together, it was a tough situation.”


RHP Brad Boxberger likely will be added to the roster Tuesday to fill the spot vacated by RHP Heath Bell, who was designated for assignment Sunday. This will be Boxberger's fourth stint with the Rays. He has allowed two hits, walked five and struck out seven in six scoreless innings over four games. ... RHP Alex Colome, who is serving a 50-game suspension for failing the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program during spring training, began his rehab assignment Monday with Class A Charlotte. He pitched two innings and allowed two hits, three walks and three runs. He also threw two wild pitches. ... Archer and LHP David Price will appear at 11 p.m. Tuesday on “Off the Bat From the MLB Fan Cave.” They will play “Splash Pong.” The show airs on MTV2. ... Rays senior adviser Don Zimmer will be inducted July 20 to the Shrine of Eternals at the Pasadena (Calif.) Central Library. Dizzy Dean and Rachel Robinson, widow of Jackie Robinson, also will be inducted.

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