Longoria Returns


Evan Longoria returns to action tonight for the Tampa Bay Rays.  Tuesday will mark the first game the third baseman has played since April 2nd.

Longoria suffered an oblique injury during the team’s second contest of the season against the Baltimore Orioles.  The All Star initially felt some soreness during a batting practice session and was later removed during the 6th inning of the game.

Originally hoping to only miss a week, the Rays have been without their third baseman for 26 games.  Over that stretch they have managed a very respectable record of 15-11 and come into Tuesday’s game 3 games out of first place in the AL East.

Longoria has stated that he feels about 100% coming into tonight’s game.  The biggest issue he had to overcome was his hesitancy to take full cuts at the plate.

At the onset of Longoria’s injury, the outlook was not positive for the Rays.  They started the year going 0-6, not claiming their 2nd victory until April 11th.

From that point on, the Rays have taken off, winning 14 of their last 19 games and bringing their overall record to 15-13.

Tampa Bay’s resurgence can be attributed to solid pitching as well as several contributors on the offensive end.  Players who have stepped up their play at the plate in Longoria’s absence include Matt Joyce, Sam Fuld and Ben Zobrist.