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Bartlett rejoins Rays after wife's pregnancy scare

ST. LOUIS — SS Jason Bart­lett rejoined the Rays on Friday after missing Thursday's game when his wife experienced complications with her pregnancy.

Kelly Bartlett, who isn't due to deliver their first child until July 6, started experiencing contractions Thursday. But she was resting at home in St. Petersburg on Friday, on medication and under a doctor's care as well as her mother's supervision.

"She's still having contractions," Bartlett said. "Hopefully, the medicine will kick in a little bit and delay the little guy. He kind of wants to come out right now."

Bartlett, 28, left Tropicana Field hurriedly after hearing from Kelly on Thursday.

"It's our first time, and we don't know what anything means," he said. "We heard contractions, and we went crazy. Now her mom is in town kind of helping her and explaining everything. She went to the doctor again (Friday) morning, and they said bed rest and come back Monday to see how she's doing."

After arranging for Kelly's mother to fly in from New York, Bartlett felt comfortable leaving and arrived 2½ hours before game time, then went 2-for-4.

RAYS RADAR: Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, a Tampa native, and hitting coach Hal McRae, a former Rays coach and manager and longtime Bradenton-area resident, were both well-aware of the Rays' recent run of success.

"It's good to see," said McRae, who managed two severely outmanned Rays teams to a 113-196 record. "I know they've got a very good club. They've got much improved pitching and defense."

TOURISM DEPT.: Rays manager Joe Maddon, a big fan of the old Busch Stadium, liked what he saw of the third-year new one.

"It's very impressive," he said. "Very cozy. All of the action's right on top of you. I kind of like that. I thought it's a real well-done ballpark in the middle of a city with a lot of baseball history and tradition. I think they captured what the Cardinals are all about in this ballpark."

INF Ben Zobrist came to lots of Cardinals games growing up about 2½ hours away in Eureka, Ill. This weekend, he has lots of family and friends on hand to see him play.

"There will be a lot of Rays fans here," he said. "And they'll be wearing their Cardinals shirts underneath."

ROSTER MOVES: The Rays today have to reinstate RHP Juan Salas to the 40-man roster (which has three openings). Salas has been on the restricted list after being delayed two months in the Dominican Republic because of visa issues. He has pitched twice for Triple-A Durham (0-1, 11.25). … OF Nathan Haynes, who cleared waivers after being designated for assignment May 9, accepted to go to Durham. … To replace RHP Jason Isringhausen, who went on the DL, the Cardinals called up Chris Perez, a Braden­ton native and Tampa resident.

ORVELLA OUT: RHP Chad Orvella, on the DL since spring training with shoulder problems, will have season-ending surgery Friday to repair an impingement.

MINOR MATTER: Top draft pick David Price is scheduled to make what should be his last extended spring training start at 10 a.m. today against the Yankees (and Alex Rodriguez) at the Naimoli complex, 7901 30th Ave. N. If all goes well, he will make his official pro debut at home Thursday for advanced Class A Vero Beach.

MISCELLANY: The Rays beat the Cardinals for the first time. The only team they haven't beaten is Cincinnati. … Busch Stadium is the 31st park the Rays have visited. They are 8-23 in debuts. … 2B Akinori Iwamura had three hits, raising his average to .275 overall. … The game June 4 at Boston has been picked up by ESPN for a national broadcast.

Bartlett rejoins Rays after wife's pregnancy scare 05/16/08 [Last modified: Saturday, May 17, 2008 11:35pm]
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