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Rays charge back to .500 after slow start

The Sports Xchange
Rays charge back to .500 after slow start · Notes, Quotes · Roster Report

Given how the Rays started the season, going winless in their first six games and 1-8 through nine, it seemed it was going to take a lot just to get back to .500.

Actually, it took less than two weeks.

Wednesday's 4-1 win over the White Sox got Tampa Bay to the .500 mark at 9-9, making the Rays just the second of the 44 modern-day teams that started 0-6 to get even in the month of April, and just the 12th to make it at any point.

"That's a great feeling after the tough start that we had," outfielder Matt Joyce said. "That's really a testament to the talent on this team. ... The biggest thing was not panicking. I think a lot of managers and a lot of teams would really hit the panic button, but Joe (Maddon) is as calm as they come. I can't say enough about how great he's been."

Maddon is quick to credit the players, specifically the way they've played defense and pitched, but also the way the offense came around. The Rays have played without Evan Longoria, without Manny Ramirez and, recently, without Johnny Damon.

"It's great to get back (to .500)," Maddon said. "You look up in the morning, you look at the paper you see that, nice feeling. But that's not the kind of nice feeling that gets you into the playoffs."

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2016 Team Leaders
AVGEvan Longoria , 3B.278
HREvan Longoria , 3B18
RBIEvan Longoria , 3B44
OBPEvan Longoria , 3B.331
SLGEvan Longoria , 3B.528
REvan Longoria , 3B44
SBKevin Kiermaier , CF6
WErasmo Ramirez , RP7
ERAJake Odorizzi , SP3.93
WHIPJake Odorizzi , SP1.22
KChris Archer , SP117
SVAlex Colome , RP19

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