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Thursday, Sep 20, 2018
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Tampa Bay Rays

Myers' comfort level gives Maddon many options

BOSTON - Manager Joe Maddon juggled the top of his order Wednesday, which is how RF Wil Myers found himself batting cleanup for the third time this season.
Maddon moved 3B Evan Longoria to second in an effort to shake him from his slump and dropped 1B James Loney to seventh against Red Sox LHP Felix Doubront.
Maddon said he felt comfortable putting Myers in the four-hole because the rookie entered the game as the Rays' hottest hitter and because Maddon said Myers appears comfortable no matter where he bats.
"Wil not being negatively affected by hitting four really matters a lot," Maddon said. "He kind of digs it a lot. The fact that he's able to go out there and not think differently and try to be anybody different matters a lot."
Myers is on an 18-for-35 tear and has at least two hits in six consecutive games, breaking the team rookie record for consecutive multihit games held by with Delmon Young (2007).
Myers put the Rays on the board in the third inning Wednesday, dumping a two-run single to center field with the bases loaded to give Tampa Bay a 2-0 lead.
Longoria was on second base at the time, having reached on a single that extended his hitting streak to seven. But, Longoria was batting .136 during the first six games of the streak.
"He's doing better. It's not like he's doing badly," Maddon said. "He's hitting his home runs. His last seven days his numbers have gotten better, but overall that consistency we're accustomed to, just give him a different look and see how it works out."
Guerrieri has surgery
RHP Taylor Guerrieri, the Rays' top pick in the 2011 draft, underwent Tommy John surgery Wednesday. The surgery was performed by James Andrews in Pensacola.
Guerrieri will need 12 months of rehab before returning to the mound.
The Rays would like him to pitch in a game or two near the end of next season to give him the peace of mind of pitching in a game before he goes into the offseason. He's not expected to return to the mound full-time until the 2015 season.
Guerrieri was 6-2 with a 2.01 ERA in 14 starts this season for Single-A Bowling Green.
Cobb update
RHP Alex Cobb could have his rehab schedule delayed by a couple of days because of the blister on his right index finger.
Cobb, scheduled to start Sunday in Tampa for Single-A Charlotte, was to throw his between-starts bullpen today had he been able to continue to pitch Tuesday. But that bullpen will be pushed back at least two days while the blister heals, and that in turn will push back his next start.
Torres on rare run
LHP Alex Torres has allowed only eight hits in 99 at-bats this season. According to Elias, he is about to join Cincinnati's Aroldis Chapman as the only pitchers in the past 50 years to allow less than 10 hits in their first 100 at-bats.
Maddon said this is a byproduct of Torres using his curveball less and relying on his fastball and change-up.
"I think he's learned to identify what he does best and he's doing it more consistently," Maddon said. "And then you take it out of the bullpen, so he knows one or two innings he can approach it mentally differently as opposed to having that five, six, seven outlook as a starter. It's been fun to watch, man."
Inconsistent work hurting Farnsworth
RHP Kyle Farnsworth said his arm is healthy and that he felt the best he's felt all season Tuesday when he allowed three runs on a season-high four hits in the eighth inning. His struggles this season, he said, stem from inconsistent work.
Farnsworth has appeared in 34 games. Opponents are batting .303 against him, compared to .216 last season and .211 in 2011.
"I keep myself mentally and physically prepared the best I can," he said. "It's tough. You can throw all the bullpens you want but it's totally different getting in that atmosphere and the competition of the game. It's always good to get in a good rhythm, and that's one thing I haven't been able to get into this year."
RHP Brandon Gomes (strained right lat) allowed three runs on four hits (two home runs) in two-thirds of an inning Tuesday for Charlotte. He is scheduled to pitch one inning and start another Friday. . Loney recorded his 1,000th career hit Tuesday, joining Carl Crawford and Carlos Peña as the only players to reach that milestone in a Tampa Bay uniform. "I'm a third of the way to 3,000," Loney said.
Roger Mooney
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