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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Rays @ Yankees: Good news from Longo
Posted Jun 6, 2012 by Roger Mooney
Updated Jun 6, 2012 at 04:52 PM
NEW YORK 3B Evan Longoria delivered some good news this afternoon when he announced he is close to beginning a minor league rehab assignment and could return to the Rays lineup by the middle of the month.
Longoria, who hasn’t played since May 1 when he partially tore his left hamstring, ran accelerations in the outfield this afternoon with Rays strength and conditioning coach Kevin Barr. Those drills and running the bases are the last two hurdles Longoria has to clear before he heads to the minor leagues to begin playing in games.
“The next couple of days are going to be the big tests days for me,” Longoria said.
He’s hoping to begin his rehab assignment during this road trip and called reports of his returning by the end of the month “a very conservative estimation.”
The Rays are 16-16 with Longoria on the shelf. While his defense wasn’t exactly Gold Glove material – he made six errors in 23 games – he was hitting .329. The Rays lineup could use some of that juice since they haven’t received a home run out of the cleanup spot since May 9 and haven’t had a home run from the third hole since May 19.
As for tonight, the Rays hope to play better than Tuesday when they managed four hits and committed three errors in a 7-0 loss to the Yankees at Yankee Stadium. The loss dropped them into a tie with the Orioles for first place, a half-game head of the Yankees.
Alex Cobb faces Ivan Nova. This is Cobb’s first start at the stadium. Nova is 3-0 with a 3.26 ERA in five career starts against the Rays.
Here are the lineups.
Cobb RHP (2-1, 3.71)
Nova RHP (6-2, 5.60)