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Video: Joe Maddon on Jeremy Hellickson's condition

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Photos: Tigers 6, Rays 2

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The Tampa Bay Rays lose to the Detroit Tigers 6-2.  See photos from the game.

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Hellickson struck by ball, leaves game, has bruised shin

UPDATE, 12:00: Maddon said Hellickson was "fine" and is expected to make his next start, which would be Thursday in Cleveland. Hellickson said he hoped that to be the case, but would have to see how it felt in the next couple days.

UPDATE, 8:33: X-rays were negative and Hellickson has a bruised right shin, the Rays said.

BREAKING: Rays starter Jeremy Hellickson was forced to leave Saturday's game in the third inning after being struck on the right leg by a ball hit by a Prince Fielder line drive.

Hellickson was attended to by the Rays staff, got back up and made three warm-up tosses but after conversation with manager Joe Maddon and head athletic trainer Ron Porterfield walked off the mound and to the dugout. Hellickson was just reinstated from the DL after sitting out 15 days due to shoulder fatigue.

LHP J.P. Howell replaced him.

Hellickson was facing Prince Fielder with the bases loaded; the ball caromed off Hellickson's leg toward first base, where Carlos Pena got the out, though as a run scored.

This was the second straight night the Rays starter left due to injury - LHP David Price came out after warming up for the eighth on Friday with back tightness. …

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For starters, Rays vs. Tigers

Update 4:57 p.m. LHP David Price said his back feels fine today, and plans to do his regular throwing tommorrow in preparation for his next start.

Price, who was pulled in the eighth inning of Friday's win due to lower back tightness, seemed to be walking around fine, and is confident he won't miss any time. Manager Joe Maddon wants to wait and see what the athletic training staff thinks, and see how Price feels after his regular bullpen session. Maddon said they haven't even discussed the thought of potentially holding Price out of the All-Star game, if selected, even if he can pitch for Rays.

*Speaking of All-Star, with the selections getting announced Sunday, Maddon maintained that Price - the AL's first 11-game winner - and closer Fernando Rodney (22 saves) are deserving of spots on the team.

"I would be really annoyed and upset if Fernando didn't get there," Maddon said. …

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Video: Jennings on Friday's win over the Detroit Tigers

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Photo gallery: Rays 4, Tigers 2

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Images of the Tampa Bay Rays' win over the Detroit Tigers.

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Price leaves start due to lower back tightness in 8th inning

Update 9:47 p.m. Rays left-hander David Price was pulled before the top of the eighth inning of Friday's start with the Tigers for precautionary reasons due to lower back tightness, the team said.

Price had been cruising, throwing 78 pitches through seven, but after throwing his warm-ups in the 8th, manager Joe Maddon, assistant athletic trainer Paul Harker and the umpires came to the mound. Price then left the game with Harker.

Sun Sports showed clips of Price in between innings using what looked like a heating pad on his back.

Price had pitched really well, matching up with Tigers ace Justin Verlander in allowing just two runs over seven innings. He's still in line for his American League-leading 11th win of the season.

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Video: Longoria says rehab moving in "right direction"

 

Though Rays star third baseman Evan Longoria has yet to resume baseball activities, and there's still no timetable for his return, he insists he hasn't had a huge setback and is actually encouraged that rest was the best decision for his partially torn left hamstring.

Longoria, out since May 1, said it was his precautionary decision to end a minor league rehab stint June 18, and acknowledged he tried "too much, too soon."

"We're not back to square one by any means," Longoria said. "I've actually been feeling better these past couple days than I had at any point throughout the rehab even when I went out to play. Whatever we got post, we're past it. And I think it's just a matter of fighting the urge to go hard right now and letting it heal up to 100 percent." 

Longoria said he's "accelerated" his workouts the past couple days, and will wait to get direction from the athletic training staff when he can go through batting practice and fielding drills again. He said he'd have to go through those types of situations, including baserunning drills, before starting another rehab assignment, but believes it'll take "quicker" to go through that process since he's feeling so good. …

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For starters, Rays vs Tigers and a premium pitching matchup

Update 5:47 p.m. 3B Evan Longoria (partially torn left hamstring) reiterated that he didn't have a big setback in his injury, is not "back to square one," and is actually encouraged with how he's feeling.

Though there's no timetable for Longoria's return, and he hasn't resumed baseball activities yet, he said his hamstring feels better than it ever has in the rehab process, and he was just being smart by slowing it down before it got worse. Longoria said he'll still have to do the same types of drills - hitting batting practice, fielding ground balls and running the bases - before starting another rehab assignment.

*RHP Jeremy Hellickson (right shoulder fatigue) said he's ready to make Saturday's start, that he's "100 percent," and that the two-week break will be beneficial in the long run. …

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Video: Shields on Thursday's loss to the Tigers

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Photo gallery: Tigers 5, Rays 2

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Images of the Tampa Bay Rays' loss to the Detroit Tigers.

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Video: Rays' Don Zimmer on "Zim Bear" promotion

Rays senior advisor Don Zimmer has seen almost everything in his 64 years of professional baseball. But even Zimmer, 81, was surprised to see all of the reaction and hype surrounding the "Zim Bear" giveaway for Friday's game with the Tigers. Zimmer said he's received requests from all over the country for the figurine, from family and friends to former Yankees manager Joe Torre.

"They all want a 'Zim Bear,'" Zimmer said. Zimmer, who had no input in the doll's design, was very self-deprecating in how both he - and the bear - looked.

"Somebody said they wouldn't put it in their living room because it'd scare somebody," Zimmer said, laughing. "What are you going to do with this face? A leopard can't change its spots."

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For starters, Rays vs Tigers

Update 5:01 p.m. DH Luke Scott (back) is back with the Rays, having been activated from the DL, saying he's ready to contribute to the lineup on a regular basis.

Maddon put Scott in at the cleanup spot, and Scott likes where he's at with his swing, having hit a couple homers for Durham this past week.

*Maddon said 3B Evan Longoria (partially torn left hamstring) is still shut down from baseball activities, and he doesn't expect a whole lot of advancement in the next several days. Maddon acknowledged Longoria had suffered a "setback" when he felt discomfort in his hamstring in a minor league assignment with Durham. There's no timetable on Longoria's return.

*RHP Kyle Farnsworth (elbow strain) said he's ready to return from the DL, with Maddon saying likely Saturday. Farnsworth was encouraged after back-to-back outings with Triple-A Durham Tuesday and Wednesday, saying he was most happy with his command of his breaking balls. …

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Archer optioned, clearing space for Scott

 Rookie RHP Chris Archer was optioned back to Triple-A Durham on Wednesday night, clearing space on the roster for the expected return of DH Luke Scott.

Archer pitched well in his two starts filling in for Jeremy Hellickson, who is set to return from the DL on Saturday. Scott has been on the DL for 2 1/2 weeks due to a stiff back. By sending Archer down now, the Rays can get back to having 13 position players despite Joel Peralta being suspended until Saturday as they technically have only four starters on the roster. A reliever will be sent down when Hellickson is reinstated.

Another will have to go when Kyle Farnsworth comes off the DL, which also could be Saturday. Brandon Gomes and Cesar Ramos seem most likely.

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Video: Badenhop on game-deciding homer

Rays reliever Burke Badenhop on the game-deciding homer he allowed to Billy Butler.

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