Friday, January 19, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays' David DeJesus has three hits to end slump

ST. PETERSBURG — With OF David DeJesus entering Tuesday in a serious slump, manager Joe Maddon moved him down to seventh in the order to "give him some breathing room."

"We were keeping sharp objects away from him more recently," Maddon joked.

"After (Yankees SS) Dean Anna got him out," LHP David Price said, "I was hoping I wouldn't find him on the Skyway."

So when DeJesus finally snapped his career-long 0-for-24 skid with a single off the wall in the first inning of Tuesday's 7-3 win over the Twins, he said that he wanted to keep the ball as a souvenir.

"I thought he was going to catch it, to be honest," DeJesus said. "I was about to be like, 'No!' But when I saw him turn his back, I'm like, 'Okay, good.' I was like, 'Can I get that ball back?' "

DeJesus, 34, had three hits along with three RBIs, an encouraging bounceback game that Maddon said "could really get him going."

"It was going to happen, I wasn't trying to press," DeJesus said. "A tip Joe gave me was to use my hands and it worked out. I gave him a big hug in the eighth inning."

WAIT ENDS: RHP Juan Carlos Oviedo, 32, was activated from the disabled list, excited to finally get a chance to return to the big leagues. Oviedo, who missed all of last season after Tommy John surgery, started this season on the DL because of a visa-related delayed arrival to spring training.

"We really think he's going to be a very influential part of the back end of our bullpen," Maddon said.

Oviedo, who hit 94 mph during a seven-game rehab at Triple-A Durham, said his arm feels great and he's ready to make his first appearance in the majors since Sept. 21, 2011.

"It's been a while," Oviedo said through an interpreter. "But I'm really happy, thank God I'm still able to do this and be here to pitch in the big leagues. I'm just really thankful to be here."

SUPER SAM: Twins OF Sam Fuld, a Ray from 2011-13, said it was "strange" Tuesday to be a visitor at Tropicana Field for the first time.

"Nothing but great memories here," Fuld said. "Guys like playing here, it's tough to go."

Fuld, claimed off waivers Sunday by Minnesota, said it was a difficult weeklong wait in limbo after getting designated for assignment by the A's. After "staring at an iPhone for 10 days straight," Fuld found out after an Easter egg hunt in his back yard that he got picked up by Minnesota. He laughed at the coincidence after realizing that his first game as a Twin would be against the Rays, though he wasn't in the lineup Tuesday.

"It's kind of a crazy day," Fuld said. "I'm meeting a whole new set of teammates and, at the same time, seeing a lot of old familiar faces, too."

MEDICAL MATTERS: The Rays say that LHP Matt Moore's Tommy John surgery Tuesday was successful, finished late in the afternoon by team medical director Dr. James Andrews in Pensacola. Moore, expected to have a 12- to 15-month rehab process, will rejoin the team in the next couple of days.

CENTER STAGE: Desmond Jennings (groin) returned to the lineup and was back in centerfield, going 2-for-5. "A nice night," Maddon said.

MISCELLANy: SS prospect Hak Ju-Lee was reinstated from Durham's disabled list; he'd been out since March 22 with a left calf strain.

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