It took awhile, 128 games into the season, before former Tampa Bay Rays star Ben Zobrist received his Don Zimmer Most Valuable Player Award for the 2014 season, his last with the club.
It came down to Brad Boxberger, as so many games have recently. The Tampa Bay Rays’ struggling closer protecting a one-run lead in the ninth inning. And this is what Boxberger did: strikeout, strikeout, strikeout.
The disappointing season for LF Desmond Jennings continued when he returned to the 15-day disabled list with another left knee injury.
C/1B J.P. Arencibia, who hit 74 home runs over five big league seasons, is back in the big leagues, having joined the Rays after C Curt Casali was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring.
The scoreboard said the opportunity to gain ground on the Twins and climb back to .500 for the season was lost in the seventh inning when the Twins turned a leadoff walk, two bunt singles against Archer, a broken-bat single and a sacrifice fly into a pair of runs that proved to be the difference.
Left fielder Desmond Jennings left Tuesday’s game with a bruised left knee, the same knee that underwent arthroscopic surgery in June and kept him on the disabled list for 96 games.
Rays 1B James Loney received a one-game suspension and was fined Tuesday for bumping home plate umpire Paul Nauert after being ejected Saturday in Oakland. Loney has appealed the suspension.
Nathan Karns had a poor start, and Matt Andriese, who replaced him in the fourth inning, was not much better as the Rays lost to the Twins — and also lost Desmond Jennings and Curt Casali to injury.
The Rays may have lost their most potent bat Tuesday when catcher Curt Casali suffered a strained left hamstring while rounding first base after hitting a home run in the 11-7 loss to the Twins.
Hickey, the Rays’ pitching coach, takes his information and combines it with the hours of prep work by bullpen coach Stan Boroski and scouting reports compiled by the baseball ops crew and relay it to the pitching staff.