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Rays activate closer Percival from DL, put reliever Reyes on it

ST. PETERSBURG — Veteran closer Troy Percival was activated from the disabled list Friday, saying his left hamstring feels stronger than it has all season and he doesn't anticipate any problems for the rest of it.

To make room, the Rays placed RHP Al Reyes on the 15-day DL. Reyes said the shoulder tendonitis that sidelined him earlier this season began to flare up and took a few mph off of his velocity from last year (88-89 mph).

Reyes is 1-2 with a 4.02 ERA. He last pitched Monday in Anaheim and didn't show any signs of trouble, allowing one hit in one inning and throwing only eight pitches. Had Reyes not been injured, the Rays likely would have had to consider designating for assignment RHP Grant Balfour or RHP Gary Glover.

"It's nothing serious," Reyes said. "I want to get back to that level. That way I can get all my pitches right."

As for Percival, 38, he said "everything felt fine" after he pitched a perfect ninth Friday. Manager Joe Maddon said Percival (14 saves in 16 chances) is available for his usual workload, which could entail pitching on consecutive nights or even three straight (pitch count permitting).

DONE DEAL: Though Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon said Wednesday that there's some unfinished business with Tampa Bay after the Fenway brawl, the Rays weren't biting. Several players — and Maddon — said they consider the situation "over," and were surprised at the comments.

"I thought it was over," SS Jason Bartlett said. "If we can keep our mouths shut and play the game … if they want to run their mouth, they can."

GARZA GOOD: Matt Garza said his relationship with C Dioner Navarro is fine and his mental approach will be different when he starts tonight for the first time since Sunday's heated confrontations.

"My biggest concern is just to stay calm, stay relaxed and just try to keep an even keel. It's a process, and I have to try to work on it," Garza said. "I need to keep a clear head when I'm out there. I worry about too much stuff.

"I need to just worry about that pitch and as soon as the ball leaves my hand worry about the next pitch. Don't worry about what happens because I can't control what happens. Give the hitters their credit because they belong here just like I do. Once I … got through that wall, it felt like there was a huge burden just lifted. I feel a lot better, and I'm ready to go. I'm done beating myself up. I just want to go out there and have fun and enjoy the game."

As for Navarro?

"We're fine. We're both competitive. We both want to win. It happens," he said. "It was just miscommunication."

Navarro said the scuffle had "absolutely nothing" to do with pitch selection but considers the matter over.

"I think we'll be great (today)," he said.

ROCCO UPDATE: OF Rocco Baldelli, sidelined since spring training with a rare fatigue disorder, said he feels as well physically as he did before camp and likely will continue his comeback attempt with a 20-day minor-league rehab stint. His destination likely will be determined today.

Baldelli has been limited to DH duty and likely would serve in that role if he returns. Though he said he's resigned to never being able to sprint like he used to, "I fully plan on being back."

MISCELLANY: SI.com's Jon Heyman reported Friday that Ken Griffey is telling friends he's monitoring Tampa Bay as a possible destination if the Reds choose to trade him. … Eleven more picks signed (for a total of 17), including fifth-rounder Michael Sheridan (1B), sixth-rounder Shane Dyer (RHP) and 10th-rounder Matthew Hall (SS).

Times staff writer Marc Topkin contributed to this report.

Rays activate closer Percival from DL, put reliever Reyes on it 06/13/08 [Last modified: Saturday, June 14, 2008 11:22pm]
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