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Overshadowed Desmond Jennings has 'good day' for Tampa Bay Rays

TORONTO — Given the domi­nating performance by LHP David Price and the Rays relievers, rookie LF Desmond Jennings said his afternoon in the outfield was, for the most part, pretty boring.

But he created plenty of excitement at the plate, homering in his first two at-bats, including the game's first pitch, and rapping a career-best four hits overall.

"It was a good day," Jennings said.

Having faced Blue Jays starter Brandon Morrow in spring training, Jennings said he was "100 percent" sure the first pitch would be a fastball, and he jumped on it.

"I didn't want to get behind because he's good," Jennings said. "Obviously, I didn't try to hit a home run, but I tried to hit it somewhere hard."

Jennings said he hit a couple of first-pitch homers in the minors and knew the impact the early lead can have.

"I just think it gets everybody up," he said.

When he homered again in the second, giving him eight in 34 games since his call-up, he became just the seventh Rays rookie with a multihomer game. Also, he became the first Rays leadoff batter to hit two homers in a game since Rocco Baldelli on Sept. 14, 2006, in New York.

GO-GO GOMES: Though Price had 14 of the Rays' team-record 18 strikeouts, rookie RHP Brandon Gomes had what manager Joe Maddon said was the biggest.

The Rays' lead was only 6-0 in the eighth when the Jays had two on, one out and major-league home run leader Jose Bautista at the plate. Gomes fell behind 3-and-1 then came back and got Bautista looking at strike two and strike three.

"That one really kept the game in order," Maddon said.

FARNSVILLE: RHP Kyle Farns­worth wasn't needed but was available to pitch Sunday, the right elbow tenderness that sidelined him for a few days satisfactorily resolved.

"Good to go," Farnsworth said.

Maddon said Farnsworth isn't expected to be limited going forward, but the one concession he likely will make is not using him for more than one inning.

Farnsworth has a major-league most five saves of four or more outs and made six such appearances overall. Also, Maddon will try to not have him warm up unless he's definitely going into the game.

"If we take care of him, I think he should be fine the rest of the season," Maddon said. "He's just way too valuable to not play along right now and make sure that he is well."

UPTON UPDATE: The Rays have until 1:30 today to work out a trade with the unknown team that claimed CF B.J. Upton on waivers last week, though a deal is not considered likely.

While the Nationals have been considered a likely candidate as the claiming team, there was media speculation Sunday in Cleveland that it was the Indians, who have lost several outfielders to injury.

MISCELLANY: The Rays logged their 13th shutout, their most in a season. … Maddon planned to talk by phone postgame with executive vice president Andrew Friedman about which players will be added when rosters expand Thursday. … The 12-0 score matched their second-largest shutout, trailing only 13-0 over the Red Sox on April 30, 2009. … The Rays clinched their fourth straight season series with the Jays, leading 10-4, including 6-2 in Toronto. … RHP Chris Archer won his Triple-A debut Saturday, allowing one run over six innings and striking out six but walking five. … The finale to this four-game wraparound series is a night game for TV and attendance reasons. … The Rangers shuffled their rotation for the Rays series, skipping LHP Matt Harrison and replacing him Tuesday with long reliever RHP Scott Feldman.

Overshadowed Desmond Jennings has 'good day' for Tampa Bay Rays 08/28/11 [Last modified: Sunday, August 28, 2011 9:54pm]
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