Roger Mooney covers the Tampa Bay Rays for The Tampa Tribune, TBO.com and News Channel 8. He has covered the Rays since their first season in 1998, including 11 years for the Bradenton Herald. Roger has also covered Florida, South Florida and Florida State football, the Bucs and the Lightning.
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Longoria takes hamstring for a test drive
Posted Feb 26, 2013 by Roger Mooney
Updated Feb 26, 2013 at 07:11 PM
PORT CHARLOTTE Evan Longoria took his left hamstring for a test drive Tuesday in his Grapefruit League debut by running around the bases during the first two innings of the Rays 7-2, rain-shortened, 6-inning victory against the visiting Astros.
Longoria, who singled in each of his two plate appearances, tried to score from second in the first inning but was tagged out at home plate and scored all the way from first in the second inning on a triple by Leslie Anderson.
“I definitely got my base running in,” Longoria said. “That’s always the way it works. The first day out I got tested. I’m glad I got it out of the way early. I feel great. I definitely covered all ends of the spectrum.”
Longoria missed 85 games in 2012 with a partially turn left hamstring that required offseason surgery. The plan, he has said since he arrived in camp this spring, is to be ready by Opening Day on April.
Running at what manager Joe Maddon estimated to be 80 percent Tuesday, Longoria proved to himself and the team that his hamstring is not an issue.
“I felt good. I felt like it was normal,” Longoria said. “I don’t know how it looks, but I know it feels and looks like it feels 100 percent better than it did at the end of the season last year, and that’s all that matters.”
Longoria blooped a single into right field in his first at-bat, ran hard to second to break up a double play had the need arose when Anderson grounded to third, ran home from second on Shelley Duncan’s single and tried to avoid the tag with a slide, singled past the shortstop in his next at-bat and circled the bases when Anderson double into the right-center field gap.
“All in all,” Longoria said, “it was a good day.”