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News » Tampa Bay Rays Inside Pitch 2009-05-02

Tampa Bay Rays Inside Pitch 2009-05-02

Tampa Bay Rays Inside Pitch 2009-05-02
Evan Longoria doesn't play like a 23-year-old who is the youngest Ray and barely into his second season.

Longoria continues to show the Rays that he not only has excellent talent but also an unusual ability to use it in the most clutch situations.

"He's got that "it" factor," said teammate Carl Crawford. "He lives for those moments. Some guys have it and some guys don't. He's one of those guys who has it. He seems to thrive on those types of moments."

"Longo is the kind of player that likes the big moment," manager Joe Maddon said.

Longoria tries to downplay his success and credit his teammates for putting him in such situations, but did acknowledge that he likes the big opportunities.

Thus far he has prospered as he leads the American League with 28 RBIs (including seven that tied or put the Rays ahead in a game) to go along with seven homers, a .368 average and a 1.159 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentages).

"As the guy who's in the third slot, that's where you want to be," he said. "If I'm going to be hitting there, I've got to be driving in runs. ...I think your senses get a little bit heightened and you get locked in a little bit more in those situations. I enjoy it a lot -- especially when you come through."

RAYS 6, RED SOX 2: Evan Longoria hit a grand slam and Carlos Pena followed with a solo shot as the Rays came from behind to beat the Red Sox. Andy Sonnanstine delivered a much steadier start to break an 11-start regular winless streak. And the Rays won back to back games for the first time since April 12-13.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 2, 2009

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