Evan Longoria starting at DH, batting cleanup for Rays

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As expected Evan Longoria is off the disabled list and back in the Rays’ lineup tonight for the first time since April 30.

Longoria, who missed 85 games with a hamstring injury, is batting cleanup but for now at least the Rays are keeping him off the field defensively by using him at designated hitter.

Limiting Longoria’s odds of a setback by asking him to simply hit 4-5 times per game seems like a worthwhile idea, particularly since third baseman Ryan Roberts would probably be in the lineup anyway.

Tampa Bay went 41-44 in Longoria’s absence and trails New York by 7.0 games in the AL East, but is just 2.0 games out of a Wild Card spot.

Royals, Alex Gordon close to contract agreement

Alex Gordon
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MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan reports that the Royals and outfielder Alex Gordon are “getting close” to an agreement on a one-year contract. Terms of the deal aren’t yet known, but the Royals could make it official within the next few days.

Gordon, who turns 36 years old next month, hit .266/.345/.396 with 13 home runs and 76 RBI over 633 plate appearances with the Royals this past season. His offense has waned, owning an adjusted OPS of 84 since 2016 (100 is average), but he still plays decent defense.

Gordon has spent all 13 years of his major league career with the Royals. With the club in a rebuilding phase, he will serve as the clubhouse leader and be a mentor to younger players on the roster.