NEW YORK — In a bit of a tight spot due to a lack of healthy right-handed hitters, the Rays found a way to keep OF Brandon Guyer around after INF Jeff Keppinger returned from his one-day personal leave.
And all it took was a little tightness in OF/1B Brandon Allen's right quad.
The Rays placed Allen on the 15-day disabled list Thursday due to the leg injury he said he aggravated Wednesday. That created room to keep Guyer, who moved into the starting lineup with OF Desmond Jennings still limited by his sprained left knee. Guyer is likely to get more playing time with the Rays facing left-handed starters the next two nights.
Allen said he first had issues with the quad April 28 against Texas and felt problems again against the Yankees as he hustled to second after a pinch-hit single in the ninth Wednesday, then scoring on Matt Joyce's three-run homer. "It just tightened up on me throughout the course of that, turning it on and off," Allen said. "You've got to take care of it; go ahead and nip it in the bud right now and get back sooner than later."
Manager Joe Maddon said: "It's been kind of ratty, and he did feel it again running into second base. It's kind of a strain, and it's not getting better-better, so we decided to do this and just make sure that he's well. He's done a great job for us, and he's the kind of guy we want to make sure that we hopefully can keep down the road at some point, too."
Which leads to this point: Allen, who was claimed off waivers from Oakland, is out of options, so the Rays can't send him to the minors without putting him back on waivers.
Guyer, meanwhile, said he was pleased to have his stay extended, even more so with the team headed to Baltimore, near his current home as well as his Virginia hometown.
"I just figured whenever (Keppinger) came back I was probably the guy that was going to go down," Guyer said. "But I'm just going to take this as a great opportunity and try to help this team any way I can."
Keppinger was reinstated from the restricted list after missing Wednesday's game to return to Georgia for a hearing in his divorce case.
Jennings pinch-hit Wednesday, his first action since hurting his knee Sunday, but the Rays didn't feel comfortable putting him in the field for nine innings.
JOYCE SORE: Joyce's left ankle remained "a little sore" after he rolled it during his home run swing Wednesday, so he skipped batting practice to continue treatment. He wouldn't have started anyway against LHP CC Sabathia. He did make a pinch-hit appearance, grounding out in the ninth.
THE FORCE RETURNS: DH Luke Scott said he had "a lot of special memories" from his four seasons with the Orioles and looked forward to tonight's first return visit.
"It will be special going back there," he said. "It's a beautiful park as well, one of my favorites; I love Camden Yards. It will be a little emotional, of course."
Scott was he was disappointed to be nontendered by the Orioles after last season, but he figured their change of general managers, combined with major surgery on his right shoulder, worked against him. He said he is happy how it worked out in signing with the Rays: "I can't complain."
MISCELLANY: Keppinger struck out for just the second time this season, both looking. … INF Sean Rodriguez extended his hitting streak to eight games. … The Rays had homered in 11 consecutive games against the Yankees before being blanked Thursday. … DH Hideki Matsui was 1-for-5 with a double in his second game with the extended spring team. … The Rays named Triple-A Durham INF Cole Figueroa their April minor-league player of the month and Class A Bowling Green LHP Felipe Rivero their top pitcher.