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Wednesday, Aug 15, 2018
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Rays Journal: Beating Blue Jays took three comebacks

ST. PETERSBURG — Monday wasn't all about Willy Adames joining Jake Bauers in the big leagues as the core of the Rays future.

Stepping up as they stepped down in class in facing the similarly struggling Blue Jays, the Rays rolled to an 8-4 win.

Ryan Yarbrough, getting to start rather than following an opener, overcame his own rough beginning, working six innings, retiring eight of his last nine.

"I thought Yarbs did a really nice job of settling in,'' manager Kevin Cash said. "They challenged him early on. We needed him to get as deep as possible given that the bullpen was pretty taxed going in. So I give Yarbs a lot of credit.''

Three times the Jays took a lead, and three times the Rays (30-35) answered.

Down 1-0, they pulled even in the first when Matt Duffy led off with a single, Bauers doubled and Joey Wendle delivered a sac fly.

Down 3-1 in the third, they got even again when Bauers walked and they rapped three straight two-out hits, by Wendle, Adames and Mallex Smith.
Down 4-3 in the fourth they went ahead to stay when Duffy singled and Bauers homered.

Though the kids brought energy, Cash said the resiliency to keep coming back, especially for a team that had lost nine of its previous 10, was a group effort.

"It's tough to go out every night, when you're one in your last 10 coming in, to do that,'' Cash said. "It's telling, the group that we have.''

Setback for Archer

So much for RHP Chris Archer making a quick return from an abdominal strain.

Archer had a setback that has put the next step of his recovery on hold, as a planned simulated game Tuesday was cancelled due to recurring soreness in the area. Had that gone well, Archer could have rejoined the Rays as soon as Sunday.

"Unfortunately Arch is now going to be sidetracked a little bit,"  Cash said. "Woke up (Monday) feeling not that great. So we're going to take a little bit more conservative approach. I don't think it's anything too alarming. But we want to make sure once we start that process of ramping him back up and getting him going that all those symptoms have subsided. And obviously they haven't."

Archer threw a 20-pitch bullpen session on Saturday and told Cash, and reporters, that he felt good at the time.

Archer (3-4, 4.24) last pitched on June 2 in Seattle, then saw a core muscle specialist and said he was told he had a mild strain and miss just a start or two.

More medical

INF Daniel Robertson said the left hamstring strain that landed him on the 10-day DL was the "mildest of the mild," the move was precautionary and he is confident he will be ready to come back when the Rays return from the next road trip June 22. … CF Kevin Kiermaier (right thumb surgery) said he was ready and eager to start a rehab assignment today with the Stone Crabs in Dunedin, having passed the final tests of taking live batting practice (off two minor league pitchers who came up from Port Charlotte) and throwing to bases at the Trop. Kiermaier plans to play two games with the Stone Crabs, three with Triple-A Durham this weekend, then two-three more with the Crabs next week and also be activated June 22. … SS Adeiny Hechavarria (right hamstring strain), who looks with Willy Adames' promotion to be out of a job and on the trade market, started his rehab with the Crabs on Monday, hitting second and playing shortstop. He is on a similar schedule to Kiermaier.

Draft breeze

Having agreed to terms shortly after the draft with top pick LHP Matthew Liberatore for a just-under slot deal of about $3.5 million, the Rays are expected to finalize and announce his signing as soon as today. …. Third-round draft pick INF Ford Proctor and fifth-round RHP Taj Bradley agreed to terms and were expected to sign officially Monday night. Proctor hit .356 with a .946 OPS at Rice, with a slot value of $613,000. Bradley starred at Redan (Ga.) High and at 17 is the first player drafted born in 2001, and decided to go pro rather than to college at South Carolina. "It wasn't difficult at all,'' he said . "I felt this would have been better for me, focus all my time on baseball. Really just a big lifestyle change.''

Miscellany

• The Rays will have RHP Ryne Stanek serve as the opener Tuesday, with RHP Austin Pruitt slated to cover the bulk of the innings. Jays manager John Gibbons said not knowing ahead of time was not a major concern.

• The Rays sent $2.2 million to the Brewers in Sunday's Brad Miller trade, covering all but $500,000 of the $2,709,677 still due on his $4.5 million salary, in getting back 1B Ji-man Choi, who was assigned to Durham. Choi makes $850,000 in the majors, $250,000 in the minors.

• RHP Sergio Romo on Monday reached the 10-year milestone of major-league service, honored by teammates with a video tribute and a cake, before working the ninth. "Officially beat the odds,'' he said.

• Toronto's Vlad Guerrero Jr., the game's top prospect, was at the Trop Monday, but just to visit as he is sidelined for at least a month with a left knee injury and rehabbing in Dunedin. "I'm not mad, stuff like that happens. I didn't think it was something serious but we're here now and hopefully it will get better soon,'' said Guerrero, hitting .407 with 11 homers and a 1.124 OPS at Double-A New Hampshire.

• DH C.J. Cron was hit by a pitch for the majors-most 12th time, including seven in his last 14 games.

Times staff writer Meagan Bens contributed to this report.

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