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

Tampa Bay Rays Inside Pitch 2009-05-05

Tampa Bay Rays Inside Pitch 2009-05-05
Five weeks into the season, it's still not clear what kind of season the Rays are going to have.

But it seems very clear what kind of season third baseman Evan Longoria is headed for.

Longoria, the reigning A.L. Rookie of the Year, is off to a tremendous start in his sophomore season, and Monday he was named A.L. Player of the Week for the second time this season after hitting .379 (11-for-29) with an league-best 14 RBI.

Longoria, 23, downplayed the achievement. "I guess if we keep winning and the team's doing well and I'm winning awards, everybody's going to be happy," he said.

But manager Joe Maddon said it's extremely well deserved.

"The thing is, he's been so consistent in his approach. I think maybe between five and 10 times I've seen him expand the strike zone this year," Maddon said. "And if he's not doing that, he's going to hit to a very high level, and at big moments. He likes the big moment. And that's good for us."

ORIOLES 8, RAYS 4: LHP Scott Kazmir put the Rays in an early hole by walking the first two batters, then allowing a three-run homer to Nick Markakis, and the Rays never recovered. 3B Evan Longoria homered for the Rays, who failed to build momentum after taking three of four from the Red Sox over the weekend.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 5, 2009

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