UPDATE, 8:09: Maddon said they will be able to announce Sunday's starter after tonight's game indicating the assignment depends on which relievers are used tonight. They also are close to deciding whether Matt Moore will pitch Tuesday or Wednesday, which will set up the rest of the rotation. ... Maddon said he dropped Jennings down because he has been struggling, hitting .114 since his return from the DL, but also because Escobar has been working good at-bats. Maddon said he doesn't think the broken finger that sidelined Jennings for two weeks is the cause of his struggles.
A's lineup, including ex-Ray Vogt behind the plate:
UPDATE, 5:29: Myers is back in the Rays lineup, but hitting sixth. The lineup has a different look overall, with Escobar moved up to second. Here it is:
DEVELOPING: Having lost for the fifth time in their last six games, the Rays are looking to get back on track tonight with RHP Alex Cobb on the mound.
The game is not being shown on TV by Sun Sports. …Full Story
With rosters allowed to expand to up to 40 players starting Sunday, the Rays will make their callups in waves.
For starters, that means DH Delmon Young, C Chris Gimenez and RHP Josh Lueke will join the team first, traveling to Oakland on Saturday and being activated on Sunday.
Young is expected to have a big role, the primary DH against lefthanders and some righthanders, plus a key pinch-hitter. Gimenez gives them a third catcher, allowing for more flexibility in pinch-hitting and pinch-running for Jose Molina and Jose Lobaton. And Lueke adds depth to a bullpen that has been worked hard and somewhat inconsistent.
Additionally, the Rays said they will bring in and evaluate DH Luke Scott, who has been on the DL for two plus weeks due to back spasms. Scott is also expected to be activated, and manager Joe Maddon said he hadn't heard of any setbacks so he too may be added.
By Tuesday, they could have four more players, as RHPs Jeremy Hellickson and Jake Odorizzi, and LHP Jeff Beliveau, will be eligible to be called up from the minors. Also LHP Matt Moore is set to come off the DL.
The Rays usually admire the way closer Fernando Rodney gets out of late-inning jams.
But he needed some help in the eighth inning Friday when he got locked in the small dugout bathroom for about 15 minutes.
"Kind of an interesting moment, kind of a fun moment,'' manager Joe Maddon said. "That was when we rallied. We should have kept him in there.''
Rodney, who had come down from the bullpen to the dugout to take care of some brief business, said it was quite the odd experience. Even more so when stadium workers had to summoned to break off the door handle to get him out.
"The door locked, I don't know how,'' Rodney said. "I'm yelling, "Hey unlock this, someone's in the bathroom." ... It was hot inside, I could only hear the crowd with the game, I can't see what's going on. ...
"It was weird.''
Rays LHP David Price had a frustrating day getting to the stadium and a frustrating night when he was there.
The weekend closure of the Bay Bridge that connects San Francisco and Oakland turned out to be a big hassle for the Rays.
Or at least those that didn't take the BART train over.
Forced to take a longer route and stuck in heavy traffic, the team bus took 1 hour 43 minutes to make what is normally a 30-45-minute trip.
"It wasn't the best experience,'' OF Matt Joyce said. "Guys are aggravated and we're ready to play tonight."
It took the first bus so long that a second bus, carrying just a handful of team personnel and SS Yunel Escobar, was canceled and that group took the train, which takes about 25 minutes - plus a 10-minute walk to the stadium entrance.
Rays starting pitcher David Price had a furstrating experience, arranging for a town car to bring him over early, and then spending nearly 2 hours in the card - and $202 on the fare.
WILL VRAGOVIC | Times
David Price has lost once in 11 starts since coming off the DL.
UPDATE, 8:54: The Rays are giving struggling Wil Myers the night off. ... Maddon said they have not decided on a starter for Sunday, that there are several scenarios in play, and it's a bit complicated. There is not a trade involved. Sounds like it could be either Hernandez or a bullpen day. ... Sounds like at least 3 call-ups for Rays on Sunday in DH Delmon Young, C Chris Gimenez and DH Luke Scott (off the DL). Maybe also RHP Josh Lueke.
UPDATE, 6:25: Price made it to the Coliseum around 3 p.m., not too happy about the long trip - and $202 fare.
DEVELOPING: The skidding Rays kick off a pivotal 10-game west coast road trip tonight in Oakland, with ace LHP David Price on the mound.
That is assuming Price eventually gets to the Oakland Coliseum, as he tweeted around 2:20 local time that he was an hour into a cab ride from the team's downtown San Francisco hotel, the Bay Area traffic heavily disrupted by the closure of the Bay Bridge between the cities. …Full Story
CHRIS ZUPPA | Times
Brandon Gomes missed three months with a lat strain, was reinstated from the DL in mid-August, then sent back to Durham.
The Rays continue to shuffle their pitching staff, and manipulate the roster rules, optioning RHP Jake Odorizzi to Double-A Montgomery and calling up RHP Brandon Gomes.
Sending Odorizzi to Montgomery rather than Durham is a procedural move a, the Rays can call him back up on Tuesday, the day after the Biscuits season ends. And since he started Thursday, he won't pitch in the interim. If the Rays sent him back to Durham, he would not be eligible to be called up until either the standard 10-day period, or until the Bulls are eliminated from the playoffs.
Gomes missed three months with a lat strain, was reinstated from the DL in mid-August then sent back to Durham. He has a 2.61 ERA in 9 games for the Bulls between his rehab assignment and being optioned there.Full Story
Rookie righthander Jake Odorizzi gave the Rays what they wanted Thursday for his spot start, a solid five-inning outing that kept them in the game.
But Odorizzi was still saddled with the loss as the bats couldn’t back him up. The Rays stranded the bases loaded in the first and managed just three hits all game in a 2-0 loss to the Angels in a matinee in front of 15,741 at Tropicana Field.
Tampa Bay made it interesting in the ninth, putting runners on second and third with one out - thanks to a Wil Myers walk and Yunel Escobar double - but Kelly Johnson popped out and pinch-hitter David DeJesus flied out to end the game.
For the Rays (75-57), it was their fourth loss in their last five games, and first home series they’ve dropped since June 13-16. They head out to start a 10-game, west-coast trip that starts Friday against the surging A’s, who are right behind them in the Wild Card race. …Full Story
Jake Odorizzi will make a spot start on the mound, having returned for the first time since June.
Update 11:38 a.m. The Rays lineup includes Sean Rodriguez at first and Sam Fuld in left against lefthander Jason Vargas.
Though David DeJesus and Matt Joyce have been hitting the ball well, manager Joe Maddon likes to stick with Fuld, who does welll against lefties, and Rodriguez, utilizing guys off the bench so that they can contribute when called upon.
*With the Rays upcoming west coast road trip theme being NCAA Football, there were several interesting selections for jerseys to wear. Sam Fuld, a former Stanford star, chose his native state school, New Hampshire, which he rooted for since a kid (plus his family lives next door to the UNH head coach, so getting a jersey on short notice was easier). Hitting coach Derek Shelton found one from his alma mater, Southern Illinios. Wesley Wright had his Auburn, and Desmond Jennings his Alabama, with David Price, of course, wearing Vanderbilt.
Jennings cfFull Story
Vargas lhp …
With David Price in a "new" uniform and Chris Archer pitching well, Wednesday was a good day for the Rays. Here is a review in words and pictures. Photos by James Borchuck and Marc Topkin.Full Story
Maddon said RHP Jesse Crain is "kinda stuck right now" in his rehab from a shoulder strain and for him to pitch this season the Rays probably "need to see signifcant movement" in the next week or so. Full Story
Crain, acquired last month from the White Sox, said he remains hopeful but is frustrated by the slow pace. He will travel with the team and said his goal is to progress from playing catch to throwing off the mound by the end of the trip.
MARC TOPKIN | Times
David Price strikes the Heisman pose.
Rays LHP David Price is definitely getting into the Rays' planned college football themed trip, as well as Thursday's season opener, in wearing a full Vanderbilt uniform - sans shoulder pads - he had sent overnight from the school. He threw his bullpen session and did other drills dressed like that.Full Story
Chris Archer has been impressive in his last two starts, coming off a win over the Yankees.
UPDATE, 5:25: Manager Joe Maddon admitted that last night's loss stuck with him longer than the usual half hour: "31 minutes.'' ... Maddon said the Rays feel good about giving Jeremy Hellickson some rest in optioning him to Charlotte, and do expect him back next week but haven't determined yet when he will pitch again. ... Officially the Rays have only announced that Price is pitching Friday and Cobb Saturday, listing TBA for Sunday when Hernandez is expected to start, ... Though it is supposed to be American Legion week with players coming in late and taking it easy, several were on the field for early batting practice including Evan Longoria and Wil Myers. ... Maddon said RHP Jesse Crain is "kinda stuck right now" in his rehab from a shoulder strain and for him to pitch this season the Rays probably "need to see signifcant movement" in the next week or so. Crain said he remains hopeful but is frustrated by the slow pace. He will travel with the team and said his goal is to progress from playing catch to throwing off the mound by the end of the trip. …Full Story
A video recap, in words and pictures, of Tuesday's come-from-ahead loss to the Angels. Photos by James Borchuck.Full Story
Rays CF Desmond Jennings talks about his rare but costly error in the 9th inning Tuesday in what ended up a 6-5 loss to the Angels.Full Story