The club will look to continue its momentum Saturday when it takes on the Twins at Target Field.
Longoria has provided the spark the Rays hoped he would since returning to the lineup, going 5-for-15 with four RBIs. Perhaps more importantly, his presence gives the team more flexibility in its lineup.
"When he comes up in big situations, you cringe no matter whether it's a right-hander or left-hander on the mound, because he's driven in his share of runs," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He's a big-time player. They're a good baseball team without him. They proved that. They hold their own."
Outfielder Matt Joyce, who batted a spot in front of Longoria on Friday, was the beneficiary of Longoria's presence in the series opener, going 2-for-4 with a homer and four RBIs.
Minnesota starting pitcher Nick Blackburn will try to cool off the red-hot Rays in Saturday's matchup.
Blackburn is winless since June 22 and picked up the loss in his most recent start. Against the Red Sox, he lasted five innings and gave up four runs on nine hits with four strikeouts.
David Price, going for his 15th win of the season, will take the mound for the Rays. He pitched his way into a no-decision in his last start, not allowing a run in eight innings on two hits and three walks to go with five strikeouts.
The bullpen hasn't seen much action in Price's starts recently, as he has thrown at least seven innings in each of his previous nine starts.
"If you're staying in there for seven, eight innings, that's going to give any team a chance to win," Price said. "You're at least eating up innings and saving that bullpen. It works hand-in-hand, it doesn't only just help myself. It helps a lot of guys on this team."
Rays: Zobrist sees more time at short
For the second consecutive game, utility man Ben Zobrist got the start at shortstop on Friday.
Prior to Thursday's game against the Blue Jays, Zobrist had seen most of his time at either second base or right field and hadn't played short since 2009.
Rays manager Joe Maddon said he's more likely to play the 31-year-old with flyball pitchers on the mound like Matt Moore and Jeremy Hellickson.
"I wanted to take a shot because I wanted to see what it looks like," Maddon said. "It's something moving forward that could be very beneficial for us if it actually works out that way, with Luke [Scott] coming back, and hopefully Longoria will be able to play third base -- which also creates another cool little wrinkle."
Twins: Plouffe set to begin rehab assignment
Out with a bruised right thumb, Twins third baseman Trevor Plouffe is set to begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Rochester over the weekend.
Plouffe, who injured his thumb on a swing July 20, will likely play both Saturday and Sunday with the hopes he can rejoin the team Monday against the Tigers.
Minnesota has played decently in his absence, going 10-9. Plouffe is hitting .259 with 19 homers and 38 RBIs for the Twins in 74 games this season.
"He'll get some swings, make sure the thumb is good and we'll get him back up here," Gardenhire said. "He's got to get some live at-bats. BP is fine, he says he feels good, but he's got to face the ball coming in 90 mph and see how it feels coming off the bat.
Rays reliever J.P. Howell pitched one scoreless inning Friday, tying Fernando Rodney's team record of 22 consecutive scoreless innings.
Twins catcher Joe Mauer tied Torii Hunter for seventh on the club's all-time hits list after going 3-for-4 Friday.