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Infielders take to the mound as Rays are clobbered

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Some race in the American League East, isn’t it? The first-place Tampa Bay Rays lost 16-4 on Tuesday night. The second place New York Yankees lost 12-2. For both teams, it was a struggle on the mound. How bad was it. It was so bad that the Washington National’s Wilson Ramos hit a home run off first baseman Jake Elmore. Then he hit a home run off second baseman Nick Franklin. It is easy to guess he wanted a crack at…

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Rays’ Joey Butler making up for lost time at plate

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St. Petersburg He would be forgiven if he said he told them. You would understand if he said he always had a bat. You would nod if he said that the scouts who looked at him and determined that he was lacking were all wrong. Instead, Joey Butler just smiles. And keeps on swinging. He has spend an eternity in the minor leagues, playing on fields where no one watches, in games no one remembers, and for a long time,…

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Chris Archer superb as Rays stifle Angels’ bats

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The bats were the same size. The strike zone had not been altered. The fences were not moved back. But when Chris Archer is on the pitcher’s mound, it can make a world of difference for the Tampa Bay Rays. Archer shut down the same potent bats from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, dazzling the opponents in a 6-1 victory Tuesday night. Archer struck out a record-tying 15 batters in eight innings, spreading six hits. For Archer, 6-4, it…

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Gary Shelton: Little guys provide the spark as Rays come back against Sox

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Sometimes, it is the bugle-sounder who leads the charge. Sometimes, it is the guy you least suspect. Brandon Guyer? Jake Elmore? Steve Geltz? Just between you and me: Who? It was the faceless ones, the support players, who were the ringleaders as the Tampa Bay Rays broke a small losing streak Wednesday night, beating the Boston Red Sox 7-5 and proving that a team has to rely on all available parts to get to the finish line. Those were the…

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