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Odd move works for Longoria

The Sports Xchange
 
Odd move works for Longoria · Notes, Quotes · Roster Report
 

Third baseman Evan Longoria figured he was going to be dropped from the cleanup spot in the Rays' order, given his extended slump.

Instead manager Joe Maddon came to him early Saturday afternoon with an admittedly crazy idea -- moving him to the leadoff spot.

And for two games anyway, Longoria has been back on top of his game, getting on base 10 times by going 4-for-7 with three walks, including a home run and a double, and scoring three runs, two in Sunday's 7-0 series-clinching win over the Indians.

All that after hitting just .133 (6-for-45) in his previous 12 games.

"Hitting in the four-hole carries some responsibilities that you're going to feel," Maddon explained. "So now he's supposed to set it up for the four-hole hitter, the two-hole hitter, the three-hole hitter and we'll see how it works out. Give him a different mental approach.

"The bigger part of it to me is to lessen some responsibility to try to drive in people all the time. Why not get out there and be driven in and let's see how that works?"

Longoria, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, was the second player this season to bat cleanup and leadoff in consecutive games, joining Toronto shortstop Yunel Escobar.

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2017 Team Leaders
AVGCorey Dickerson , DH.332
HRLogan Morrison , 1B22
RBILogan Morrison , 1B54
OBPCorey Dickerson , DH.372
SLGCorey Dickerson , DH.586
RCorey Dickerson , DH57
SBKevin Kiermaier , CF10
WAlex Cobb , SP6
ERAAlex Cobb , SP3.73
WHIPChris Archer , SP1.20
KChris Archer , SP126
SVAlex Colome , RP20

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