Wednesday, September 19, 2018


Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

Marc Topkin has covered baseball for the Times since 1987 — from the lengthy effort to secure a team, to the awarding of the Tampa Bay franchise in 1995, and through each of the Rays seasons starting in 1998. He has traveled throughout the United States with the team, as well as to Canada, Venezuela, Mexico and Japan, and has covered All-Star Games and the World Series, as well as Super Bowls and the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece.

The Rays' C.J. Cron, left, and Joey Wendle score as Rangers catcher Carlos Perez looks on during the second inning Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018. [Associated Press]

Rays keep pressure on, beat Rangers 9-3 for fifth straight win

ARLINGTON, Texas – The Rays still have a long way to go, and they are going to need a lot of help to get there.But they continue to do their part to try to make it a race for the final American League playoff spot, beating the...
Updated: 12 minutes ago
Austin Meadows, playing for the Pirates, is tagged out by the Rays' Willy Adames during a spring training game in 2017 in Port Charlotte. [Times files]

Rays calling up Meadows, plus Hu, Milner, Pruitt but not Wong

UPDATE, 1:14: Cash said this is expected to be the extent of the callups, so that sounds like a no for Wong and the others. … Meadows is understandably of the most interest and Cash said he is excited to see him, but...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Rays pitcher Diego Castillo works against the Braves in the first inning on Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018. [Associated Press]

For starters: Rays at Rangers, playing for something

UPDATE, 1:09: The Rays are talking a little bit more about the possibilities of making it to the playoffs, RHP Tyler Glasnow sharing a view similar to Snell: "Everybody in this clubhouse is getting ready for  a wild-card...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Rays ace Blake Snell delivers against the Rangers during the first inning Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018. [Associated Press]

Blake Snell wins major-league-leading 20th in 4-0 win over Rangers

ARLINGTON, Texas — One of the things that has made Blake Snell so good this season for the Rays is his refusal to be satisfied with anything he does.No matter how well he pitches, he finds flaws in his performance and...
Published: 09/19/18
Rays pitcher Blake Snell puts his arm around batterymate Jesus Sucre during a game last season, knowing full well how valuable the catcher has been to him. [Times photo 2017]

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Tuesday’s Rays-Rangers game

LHP Blake Snell certainly gets the bulk of the credit for his remarkable season, and there's definitely some due to pitching coach Kyle Snyder. But don't ignore C Jesus Sucre, who Snell likes throwing to and has been both a...
Published: 09/19/18
Ethan Fontanelli, 10, sporting a Rays cap (though not necessarily a fan), plays catch from the stands in Arlington, Texas, with Rays pitcher Jake Faria on Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018. [MARC TOPKIN  |  Times]

Rays journal: Ji-Man Choi impresses fellow South Korean major-leaguer

ARLINGTON, Texas — DH Ji-Man Choi has impressed a lot of people with his increasing offensive production since joining the Rays in July.That includes fellow South Korean Shin-Soo Choo, the Rangers' veteran outfielder/DH who has...
Published: 09/18/18
Updated: 09/19/18
Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell delivers against the Mets on July 7, 2018. (Associated Press)

For starters: Rays at Rangers, with Snell going for No. 20

UPDATE, 6:53: Cash said he and others around the team are excited about the possibility of Snell getting his 20th win, and also that they obviously want to win the game. Cash showed it by starting C Jesus Sucre, who Snell likes...
Published: 09/18/18
Rays Ji-Man Choi celebrates after homering for the Rays against the Marlins on July 21, 2018. (JIM DAMASKE   |   Times)

Rays morning after: Choi on an impressive pace

Ji-Man Choi doesn't want to get caught up in the numbers game.In leading the Rays to a 3-0 win over the Rangers on Monday, Choi hit his eighth homer in 43 games/146 at-bats since getting called up.That projects over a full season...
Published: 09/18/18
Blake Snell (19-5) seeks to join David Price as the only 20-game winners in Rays history. [JIM DAMASKE   |   Times]

Blake Snell goes for a Rays’ rarity, his 20th win Tuesday

ARLINGTON, Texas — Blake Snell is still focused on smaller numbers that can have a larger impact, specifically the 61/2 games his Rays are behind the A's for the final American League playoff spot after  a 3-0 victory over the...
Published: 09/17/18
Rays starter Tyler Glasnow has another impressive outing as he picks up his first victory. [Associated Press]

Rays journal: Tyler Glasnow strong in victory over Rangers

ARLINGTON, Texas — RHP Tyler Glasnow finally got his first win as a Ray Monday night.And he flirted with — or at least winked at — a no-hitter along the way.With six solid innings (and only two infield hits...
Published: 09/17/18