ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Tampa Bay’s Evan Longoria was placed on the 15-day disabled list Sunday with a strained a muscle in his left side.
The strained oblique muscle could sideline the All-Star third baseman a minimum of three weeks, manager Joe Maddon said before the series finale against the Baltimore Orioles.
The injury comes with Tampa Bay’s offense off to slow start. The defending AL East champions were limited to two runs and eight hits while batting .133 in losing the first two games of the series to the Orioles.
“There’s never a good time. … It’s just unfortunate,” Maddon said. “We’re having a hard time scoring runs out of the chute. He’s probably our best run producer, and now we don’t have him. So, we’re just going to have to make some adjustments and keep playing.”
The Rays filled the roster by purchasing the contract of infielder Felipe Lopez from Triple-A Durham.
Longoria, 0 for 5 with a walk through two games, was removed from the lineup in the sixth inning of Saturday night’s 3-1 loss to the Orioles. He felt some soreness in the muscle during batting practice and it continued as the night progressed.
Sean Rodriguez started at third base Sunday. Lopez signed a minor league contract with the Rays in February and has spent parts of 10 major league seasons with Toronto, Cincinnati, Washington, St. Louis, Arizona, Milwaukee and Boston.
“During moments like this, a lot of times people … elevate their games and things turn out to be OK,” Maddon said. “We’re looking for that to happen.”