Rays' Longoria off to a "good start"

LAWRENCEVILLE — There were no highlight hits for Evan Longoria in his first rehab appearance since since his last rehab appearance.

The Tampa Bay third baseman, trying to come back from partially torn left hamstring suffered in late April. The three-time All-Star attempted a return in June with the Durham Bulls, but left his second game after aggravating the injury.

He made it through four at-bats without incident Thursday against the Gwinnett Braves.

“It feels good to finally get through a game pain-free,” said Longoria, who went 0-for-3 with a walk. “Obviously the results aren't there, but that's not why I am here. I'm here to get stronger, get my at-bats. Finally I can take something positive away from the game.”

Even without a hit, Longoria said he was pleased with his swings and how well he saw pitches.

“I felt pretty good,” Longoria said. “Overall, I thought I tracked the ball pretty good, took a few good swings. But you could tell I hadn't swung the bat in two months. I could tell.”

Longoria said he did not have a timetable on a return to the Rays as a designated hitter. He will not attempt to play third base.

“It's just get through these games, feel good, be healthy,” he said. “As soon as a feel confident enough, I've had enough at-bats and I feel like I can go up there and contribute at that point is when I'll, hopefully, be back up there.

“It's going to take a few, but today was a good start.”