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Rain allows Rays to realign rotation

The venue of Jeremy Hellickson’s next start switches from Boston’s Fenway Park to Yankee Stadium in New York tonight. The Rays will still be playing for a shot at first place in the AL East.

EDMUND D. FOUNTAIN | Times

The venue of Jeremy Hellickson’s next start switches from Boston’s Fenway Park to Yankee Stadium in New York tonight. The Rays will still be playing for a shot at first place in the AL East.

BOSTON — There were inconveniences, such as having to wait around another hour and a half at Fenway Park and extending their 11-day trip, but overall the Rays were pleased with the decision to postpone Thursday's game against the Red Sox because of bad weather and to make it up Monday night.

And there could be a fringe benefit. LHP David Price is lined up to face the Red Sox on Monday.

RHP Jeremy Hellickson, who was to start Thursday, now faces the Yankees tonight, with RHP Chris Archer going Saturday and LHP Matt Moore on Sunday.

With rain falling much of Thursday afternoon and heavier stuff forecast for later in the night, manager Joe Maddon said he was concerned about starting and stopping and not getting in a full game. He praised umpire crew chief Brian Gorman for calling it off.

"Absolutely, the umpires did the right thing," Maddon said. "I have to give Brian a lot of credit. It was all about playing nine innings. It should be about playing nine innings. It should never be about starting the game and hoping to get in five. That should never be the way it is viewed."

The Rays and Red Sox have several common days off over the remaining 91/2 weeks of play, but Monday made the most sense because the Rays would be coming from New York and the Red Sox returning from Baltimore.

"We're already up in this neck of the woods. Let's get 'er done, and then you put it in the pile and don't have to worry about coming back and trying to slide it in among confusing travel components," Maddon said.

Neither Maddon nor Rays player rep LHP Matt Moore was pleased with Monday's 6:10 p.m. first pitch set by the Red Sox, preferring an earlier start because they have to fly home and face the Diamondbacks on Tuesday.

"I thought that was a little bit late, but there's nothing you can do about that," Maddon said.

HELLICKSON READY: Hellickson said being pushed back a day to face the Yankees isn't a big deal because he didn't warm up or do any preparation with the trainers.

"It doesn't change too much," he said. "It's a good lineup (the Yankees) and a tough place to pitch. I haven't pitched there in a while (since 2011), so I'm looking forward to it."

Hellickson was a little disappointed because he had a large group of fans at Fenway. His girlfriend is from Boston, and he had left tickets for 35 friends and relatives, some driving from his hometown, Des Moines, Iowa.

"It kind of (stinks) because they're from Boston and it would've been nice to come to Fenway and watch me throw," he said. "I told them if they want to drive down (to New York), I'll get them tickets there, too. So we'll see."

PITCHING IN: The decision to push Hellickson, Archer and Moore a day was obvious. So, too, is the decision to start Price, who threw a complete game to beat the Sox on Wednesday, in the makeup game, though Maddon insisted the Rays were still considering their options.

The other choice is RHP Roberto Hernandez, and whoever doesn't face the Red Sox will start at home Tuesday against Arizona.

As a side point, the Rays technically won what became a three-game series, their eighth straight series win. The makeup is considered a one-game series, the Elias Sports Bureau said.

REHAB REPORT: RHP Alex Cobb (concussion) is not ready to throw a bullpen session because of the blister on his right index finger, meaning his next rehab start may be pushed back until at least Tuesday. … RHP Brandon Gomes (lat strain) is scheduled to pitching one-plus innings tonight for Class A Charlotte.

MISCELLANY: Sun Sports officials had not determined as of Thursday night if there will be TV coverage of Monday's makeup game. … OF Wil Myers on Wednesday set a Rays rookie record with his sixth straight multihit game. The overall team record is eight games, by Carl Crawford in 2007.

Rain allows Rays to realign rotation 07/25/13 [Last modified: Thursday, July 25, 2013 11:00pm]
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