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News » Tampa Bay Rays Notes, Quotes 2009-04-18

Tampa Bay Rays Notes, Quotes 2009-04-18

Tampa Bay Rays Notes, Quotes 2009-04-18
--3B Evan Longoria returned to the Rays lineup Friday after missing two games to return to California following a death in his family, and extended his season-long hitting streak to nine games. "Everybody has their own stuff that they're going through, whether it's family or within their own heads or whatever," Longoria said. "We all have to deal with it. It's just something that I really don't like to bring to the baseball field."

--LHP Scott Kazmir goes for his third straight win Saturday, feeling better than he has in a while. Not only is his arm healthy, but his off-season conditioning program has allowed him to maintain better balance and consistency in his delivery. "I just saw a better, more compact delivery, and everything is now going more toward the catcher as opposed to falling off," manager Joe Maddon said. "This has been over a month now that I think he's been very consistent throwing the baseball."

--Manager Joe Maddon was ejected Thursday for arguing when the umpires decided a foul ball hit Chicago's Jermaine Dye's front foot. It was the 10th time Maddon has been ejected in his three-plus seasons with the Rays.

--The Rays' streak of 12 consecutive successful stolen-base attempts to start the season ended Wednesday when backup C Michel Hernandez was caught by Yankees LHP Andy Pettitte. The streak was the fifth longest in the last dozen years, topped by Baltimore, which swiped 20 straight in 2006.

--1B Carlos Pena received his Gold Glove award before Wednesday's game, the first won by a Ray. "He deserved it," manager Joe Maddon said. "Last year he was spectacular."

--Veteran OF Gabe Kapler had an interesting and honest take on being struck out Monday by Yankees infielder/outfielder-turned-reliever Nick Swisher: "I've always been lost when a reporter asks me what my most embarrassing moment was because I never know what to say. Now I have my most embarrassing moment," Kapler said. "So to me that's the silver lining, my positive spin on it."

BY THE NUMBERS: 17 -- Runs scored on home runs, of the team's first 29 overall, an imbalance that manager Joe Maddon said has to be corrected.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "We expect that these two banners are the first of many." -- Team President Matt Silverman, on the hanging of the AL East and AL championship banners at Tropicana Field.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 18, 2009

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