7/20/2014 7:12 P.M. ET
Molina gets day off amidst hot streak
By Bill Chastain / MLB.com
MINNEAPOLIS -- Jose Molina is in the midst of a season-long seven-game hitting streak. In Saturday night's 5-1 win over the Twins, the Rays' catcher posted his first multi-RBI game since Aug. 27 against the Angels. And he has driven in a run in three consecutive games.
So why did Curt Casali start at catcher Sunday afternoon against the Twins? According to Rays manager Joe Maddon, it's all about the long haul. And the fact that Casali played well in his Major League debut Friday night "had something to do with it."
"Part of it is just Ja-Mo in general," Maddon said. "[Ryan] Hanigan, I don't know how long he's going to be out. So you don't want to press Ja-Mo to the point of breaking him either -- day game after night game. If it was another night game, it could have been Ja-Mo quite frankly. But the way it all played out with David [Price] pitching yesterday and Ja-Mo getting another day off, he'll be nice and fresh again.
"He looked really good yesterday, man. So I think the fresher we keep him, the better he's going to play."
Longo sets franchise 2B record, ties RBI mark
MINNEAPOLIS -- Evan Longoria claimed a piece of the Rays' record book on Sunday when he passed former Tampa Bay outfielder Carl Crawford for the club's career doubles record with 216 and tied Crawford's career RBI record at 592.
"I'm proud to be there amongst good company," Longoria said. "Carl was a great ambassador for the Rays and obviously one of the guys this franchise will always remember. I'm pretty much here for the rest of my career, so I guess at some point I expected to be there. Today being the day, just a proud day."
Longoria led off the third inning of Sunday's game against the Twins at Target Field by hitting an 0-2 pitch from Kevin Correia into the left-field corner for a double. That tied Crawford.
Longoria added an RBI double in the sixth off right-hander Samuel Deduno to set the career doubles mark, and the RBI pulled him into a tie with Crawford.
"No big surprise," said Rays manager Joe Maddon about Longoria's accomplishment. "He's going to set a lot more records here. Good for him."
Odorizzi to get first at-bat since high school
MINNEAPOLIS -- Jake Odorizzi will be the next in line among Rays pitchers to try and get a hit this season when he starts against the Cardinals Tuesday night in St. Louis.
When asked for a scouting report on Odorizzi, fellow hurler Chris Archer allowed: "He has a quiet, compact swing. His bat drags a little. So he's probably going to hit the ball the other way, but it's been awhile. And 90 mph is a lot different than hitting 55 mph BP from Hick [pitching coach Jim Hickey]."
When a reporter pointed out to Archer that not only will Odorizzi not be facing Hickey, he'll be facing Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright, Archer smiled.
"Maybe he'll pipe him one," Archer joked. "He might pipe him one, you never know."
Odorizzi noted that he has no idea what to expect when he steps into the batter's box Tuesday night.
"I haven't seen live pitching in six years," Odorizzi said. "So I don't know what it's going to look like. I'll be swinging, I guess."
Odorizzi said his last at-bat came in high school in his state baseball tournament.
"So it's been awhile," Odorizzi said. "That's the last time I've seen live pitching from anybody other than a coach. When you see somebody like Wainwright compared to a high school kid, it's going to be like night and day."
Esteban Yan remains the only pitcher in Rays history to hit a home run. When Odorizzi was asked if he was prepared to hunt down the "Great Estaban," he first had to learn about Yan's feat. He then smiled.
"I think that's going to be about the last thought I'll be thinking after I see one pitch," Odorizzi said. "... I'll be happy to make contact. I've got my own bats, you better believe that."
Hitting coach Derek Shelton was asked if he was enthused about having Odorizzi in the order Tuesday night.
"Oh, yeah," Shelton said. "Ecstatic."
Rays pitchers are 0-for-11 this season.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.