Evan Longoria Could Return to Rays Next Week

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria could rejoin the team during a three-game series that starts Tuesday against Toronto.

Longoria has been sidelined since May 1 because of a partially torn left hamstring. His return could provide a power bat in the middle of the Rays’ struggling batting order.

“When he does come back, I think everybody’s going to expect the skies to part, it’s going to stop raining and all that other kind of stuff,” Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said before Friday night’s game against Baltimore. “He’s going to need to come back and be patient because major league players in August have been playing all year. This guy has not. He’s on a rehab assignment. He’s basically coming out of spring training with 1½ legs, so you’ve got to be patient and understand that there might be a little bit of a curve to be worked with here.”

Tampa Bay has used eight players at third base since Longoria was hurt. He likely will start off as a designated hitter.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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