ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays were glad to have Al Reyes back in their bullpen Wednesday but not happy they had to part with Scott Dohmann to make room.
Though a few rough recent outings had pushed Dohmann's ERA to 6.12, manager Joe Maddon said his contributions were valuable.
"He's been wonderful," Maddon said. "He's been a big part of what we've done here and he's going to be missed. He's been a big part of the bullpen culture we've established here also. It's one of those really difficult decisions you have to make."
Dohmann, who was 3-0 with a 3.31 ERA in 31 games for the Rays last season, said he thought he did well enough to stay.
"No doubt," he said. "I'm totally comfortable here both chemistry-wise and performance-wise. Take away my last three games which were rough, but in the grand scheme of things the way I pitched for them I'm very pleased with it, from last year into this year."
The Rays designated Dohmann for assignment, meaning they have 10 days to trade or release him or pass him through waivers in hopes of keeping him at Triple-A Durham, though Dohmann has the right to refuse the assignment and become a free agent.
He said he would wait to see what happened.
"I know they'd love to keep me and I'd love to stay," Dohmann said. "But I have to go through waivers, and we all know how that process works."
Reyes made his first appearance since April 14, retiring Morgan Ensberg for the last out of the ninth, having been sidelined with what first was described as a shoulder impingement, then biceps tendinitis.
"I feel good," he said. "It was good to get out there tonight. I have my confidence back. My shoulder feels good, and I can go from there."
Reyes will be one of several relievers to get late-inning work ahead of closer Troy Percival, but Dan Wheeler will remain the primary setup man.
Reyes' lawyer will be in court in Tampa today, seeking dismissal of misdemeanor charges stemming from an April 10 bar fight.
MORE MOVES: The Rays took an undisclosed amount of cash from the Pirates rather than taking back reliever Evan Meek, who was a Rule 5 pick but was designated for assignment after pitching in nine games (0-1, 6.92). … OF Nathan Haynes, designated for assignment last week, cleared waivers, and the Rays were waiting to hear if he would accept an assignment to Durham.
CROWD CONTROL: Attendance went up to 20,936 on Wednesday, the second straight increase since Maddon called Monday's crowd of 13,932 "disappointing."
HIT MEN: Cliff Floyd was 2-for-4, meaning he has hit in all seven games he has played for the Rays. He raised his career average at Tropicana Field to .398, best of all hitters with at least 75 at-bats. … 2B Akinori Iwamura's hit streak ended at 11 games, one game shy of his personal best and Carl Crawford's team season high; Iwamura hit .392 with seven multi-hit games.
MISCELLANY: The Rays hung on to first place with Boston's loss; the last time they were alone on top for consecutive days was April 3-4, 2002. … Nearly 5,000 fans took advantage of a trade-in promotion and got new free Rays caps. … C Dioner Navarro went 2-for-3 to raise his average to .387. … New York's Mike Mussina improved to 18-7 against the Rays, the second-most wins behind Boston's Tim Wakefield, who has 19. … At Maddon's invitation, legendary boxing trainer Angelo Dundee addressed the team before batting practice. He brought along Hector "Macho" Camacho, who is attempting a comeback at age 45 and seemed thrilled to mingle with Carlos Pena and others. … LHP Scott Kazmir will donate up to $350,000 from his new long-term contract to the Rays Baseball Foundation.