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Tuesday, Jun 19, 2018
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Rays notes: Longoria closing on team homer mark

BOSTON - 3B Evan Longoria reached two milestones Sunday when he lined a fastball into the right-field seats off Blue Jays starter R.A. Dickey - it was the 150th home run of his career and his 20th this season.
On No. 150, Longoria said, "It's a cool number. I hope to reach a lot more than that, and I hope I have a lot more years to play this game."
On No. 20, Longoria said, "Twenty is a good round number, and it's an accomplishment, but if we're going to continue to win I got to hit some homers here and there, so I'm hoping to definitely hit a few more."
Longoria, the first player in franchise history with five seasons of 20-plus home runs, needs 13 to tie Carlos Peña's franchise record of 163. Not bad for someone who doesn't consider himself a home run hitter.
"Not really," Longoria said. "Sometimes it's kind of baffling to me that I do hit as many home runs as I do, because I go into batting practice and I don't hit any home runs. . I kind of look at myself as one of those guys that needs the pitcher to supply the power, and I just kind of trust that the swings that I take will kind of allow the ball to travel like they do."
Manager Joe Maddon disagrees with Longoria's assessment of himself.
"I think what he's saying is he doesn't try to hit home runs, they just happen, but he is (a home run hitter)," Maddon said. "He definitely has that 30-home run power. He should definitely be around that on a yearly basis with good health."
Of Longoria's 20 home runs, 12 have been either to center field or to right field, something he owes to hitting the ball where it's pitched.
Myers sits again
RF Wil Myers missed his second straight game with a sore left wrist that he aggravated when he slide into second base Saturday in Toronto but injured away from the field.
"I think, honestly, I slept on it wrong," Myers said. "I don't know what really happened. It was a strange thing. It didn't have anything to do with putting my hand down (when sliding)."
Myers pointed to a knot on his wrist and said it has been a problem for a number of years and that he can aggravate it when sliding.
He did hit Monday and said the wrist was almost 100 percent and that he expects to be in the lineup tonight.
"He's good, he's made progress," Maddon said. "But I just felt it was the prudent thing to do to keep him out (Monday) and utilize him off the bench."
Cobb, Archer and Hernandez
RHP Alex Cobb (concussion) makes his first rehab start tonight for Class A Charlotte and could return to the rotation as soon as the Giants series on the upcoming homestand if he follows LHP David Price's comeback trail and makes two rehab starts.
That means the Rays are nearing a decision on who leaves the rotation when Cobb returns - RHP Roberto Hernandez or rookie RHP Chris Archer.
When asked before his last start about pitching for his job, Archer said he hasn't thought about that and is more eager to see Cobb return to the rotation.
Maddon said he hasn't noticed Hernandez pressing as if he was pitching to keep his spot in the rotation.
"I don't think he feels that way," Maddon said. "I haven't said anything to him about any of that. I think he and Archie have been going about their business very professionally, pitching well, so it's just benefited us and them. We'll just wait and see when Cobber is ready."
The Rays could send Hernandez to the bullpen or send Archer to Triple-A Durham until the rosters expand Sept. 1.
"It's a great problem, and I don't have any answers," Maddon said. "We'll just have to see how it plays out."
RHP Brandon Gomes (strained right lat) is also scheduled to pitch tonight for Charlotte. . Navel Petty Officer Third Class Corey Loveless of New Port Richey was honored during Monday's game as part of the Red Sox's "Hats off to Heroes Program." . The Rays have won seven 4-3 games this season, tied with the Mets for most in the majors. . The Rays bullpen entered Monday's game holding opponents to a major league-low .210 batting average.
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