Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)


Rays closer Percival pulls himself after hurting hamstring

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays knew closer Troy Percival had to be hurt when he willingly left the mound in the middle of the ninth inning Wednesday.

Percival felt tightness in his left hamstring so severe he fell while delivering a pitch. After trying an awkward-looking warmup pitch, he shook his head and walked off the mound. He had an MRI exam after the game, with the results expected to be announced today. At the least he is expected to miss a few days, and the disabled list is a serious possibility.

"For him to take himself out of the game, it made me worry a little bit," reliever Dan Wheeler said. "He seemed in good spirits, and he doesn't think it's too bad. Hopefully we'll be able to hold the fort down while he's gone."

Even if Percival, who was one out from his 15th save, is out only a few days, the Rays may opt to bolster the bullpen, with Wheeler and/or Al Reyes moving into the closer's role.

RHP Grant Balfour is the leading candidate for a promotion given his extraordinary numbers at Triple-A Durham: 1-0 with eight saves and a 0.38 ERA (one run in 232/3 innings), though he would have to be re-added to the 40-man roster. Among rostered options would be LHP Kurt Birkins, who was effective earlier this season.

If Percival, 38, doesn't go on the DL immediately, the Rays could make room on the active roster by sending down INF Ben Zobrist but holding off on activating INF Willy Aybar, who was to wrap up a rehab assignment at Triple-A Durham on Wednesday. Aybar was 0-for-4 with a walk while playing second base.

Percival felt tightness in the hamstring during his May 20 outing in Oakland, rested a few days and pitched Sunday with no problems. He told manager Joe Maddon before Wednesday's game that he felt good, "maybe the best day he's had in regard to how he's feeling since the last time it occurred."

But after eight pitches, it was obvious something was wrong.

"I knew he was hurting a little bit more, I could see it in his face," Maddon said. "You could see when he delivered the ball that that was not going to work and he just walked off and he knew that he couldn't continue."

HAMILTON'S HOMECOMING: Former Rays prospect Josh Hamilton sounded happy his Tropicana Field debut was behind him, having gone 2-for-12 with five RBIs.

"Good to come, glad to go get back home," Hamilton said. "My wife and kids are coming for the summer. I haven't seen my oldest girl for about a month now, so it's been a while. It was good seeing these guys. I hope they keep doing well."

PRICE CHECK: Top 2007 draft pick LHP David Price made his second start for Class A Vero Beach and was brilliant, going six shutout innings with two hits, nine strikeouts and no walks to outpitch rehabbing Mets star Pedro Martinez.

SERIES STUFF: The Rays have won nine of their past 11 series, six straight at home, losing last to the White Sox April 18-20. The Rangers hadn't lost in nine series going back to April 22-24.

MISCELLANY: The Rays' 17 May wins are their second most in any month of their 11 seasons; they were 20-6 in June 2004. … The Rays drew a season-high-matching nine walks. … Wheeler earned his first save since June 8, 2007, for Houston against the White Sox. … The Rays are alone in first place for a fourth consecutive day, matching their franchise high from earlier this month. … DH Cliff Floyd has reached base in six straight plate appearances. … The Rays are hitting .320 through the first six games of the seasonlong 10-game homestand.

Times staff writer Brant James contributed to this report.

Rays closer Percival pulls himself after hurting hamstring 05/28/08 [Last modified: Thursday, May 29, 2008 3:00pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays power way to 5-1 win over Orioles on eve of crucial road trip

    The Heater

    St. PETERSBURG — The Rays didn't get many hits in the early going Wednesday, but they got a couple that went a long way and that was enough to beat the Orioles, 5-1.

    Rays right fielder Steven Souza Jr. (20) hugs catcher Jesus Sucre (45) after Souza's solo home run in the seventh inning. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  2. 'That's not me': Jaguars' Dante Fowler apologizes for arrest


    Former Lakewood High and Gators star Dante Fowler, now a defensive end with the Jacksonville Jaguars, spoke Wednesday for the first time since his arrest in St. Petersburg last week, apologizing to his team and fans.

    Dante Fowler faces misdemeanor charges of simple battery and criminal mischief from his arrest, and entered a written plea of "not guilty" on Tuesday.
  3. Bucs' Josh Huff has DUI citation dismissed, attorney says


    Bucs receiver Josh Huff continues to resolve the legal issues that cost him a job with the Eagles last year, as the DUI citation against him was dismissed Tuesday, according to his attorney.

    Bucs receiver Josh Huff makes a first-down catch against the Saints, one of three games he played in for Tampa Bay last season.
  4. HomeTeam 100: Players 21-30


    TAMPA - Jesuit linebacker Anthony Nelson will help lead the Tigers into the 2017 season. Taken 5-17-17 by Scott Purks
  5. For starters: Cobb on the hill against Orioles



    Alex Cobb takes the mound, hoping to duplicate his performance from Friday when he was three outs away from pitching a complete game.