Monday, April 23, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Joel Peralta sets Rays mark for appearances

ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Joel Peralta's relief appearance in the seventh inning Sunday was his 251st as a Ray, breaking Dan Wheeler's club record.

"That means a lot," said Peralta, who has needed only four seasons to break the mark Wheeler set in seven. "That means I've been consistent."

But his milestone appearance in the 8-5 win over the Red Sox was bittersweet. He entered with a 3-1 lead but gave up a leadoff double to A.J. Pierzynski. Ex-Ray Jonny Gomes followed with a tying home run to improve to 6-for-13 with four homers against Peralta in his career. "He owns me," Peralta said. "He did it (Sunday), and I'm not really happy about it."

Peralta recovered to strand Xander Bogaerts at third, and the Rays' five-run seventh gave him his second win of the season.

RODRIGUEZ'S BIG HIT: Sean Rodriguez's only two hits of the homestand that ended Sunday ended up being two of the Rays' biggest this season. Three days after he hit a three-run walkoff home run to beat Oakland, Rodriguez broke a tie at 3 with a three-run pinch-hit homer. "He threw me a pitch I could hit," Rodriguez said of Boston's Craig Breslow. "I put enough barrel on it, and it found its way over the fence." Rodriguez replaced Matt Joyce and sent Breslow's 0-and-1 pitch 388 feet to leftfield. The first pinch-hit homer of his career was his team-high sixth homer of the season and topped his 2013 total (five).

ODORIZZI IMPROVED: Although his curveball wasn't at its best, RHP Jake Odorizzi had another strong start, holding Boston to four hits, one walk and one run in six innings. After allowing 21 earned runs through his first six starts, Odorizzi has given up four in four starts since. "I think you're seeing a guy right now with good stuff learning what to do with his good stuff," manager Joe Maddon said.

INJURY UPDATES: 2B Ben Zobrist (dislocated left thumb) plans to play in rehab games Tuesday and Wednesday for Class A Port Charlotte and rejoin the Rays in Boston on Friday. RHP Jeremy Hellickson (elbow) started slowly in his second live batting practice session Sunday but mixed a few curveballs into his 35 pitches. He said his next step will be a simulated game Wednesday in Port Charlotte.

MINOR MATTERS: RHP Juan Sandoval, the reliever who is blind in his right eye, was released by Triple-A Durham to make room for RHP Alex Colome, whose 50-game suspension for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug ended Sunday. … One of the Rays' top prospects, OF Andrew Toles, was benched by Port Charlotte for the second time because of a lack of effort, the Charlotte Sun reported.

MISCELLANY: 3B Evan Longoria's homer in the fourth snapped a 17-game streak without one. … After entering the Boston series with two RBIs, INF Logan Forsythe's single in the fourth brought in his third run of the series. … Canada native LHP Erik Bedard said he'll have about nine friends and family members, including his mother, in Toronto for his start today against the Blue Jays.

Times staff writer Marc Topkin contributed to this report.

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