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Rays' Joyce to work on defense after another misplay

PICKING UP SLACK: Sam Fuld dives to catch Drew Stubbs’ liner, ending the fourth two batters after a misplay opened the door to an Indians rally.

Associated Press

PICKING UP SLACK: Sam Fuld dives to catch Drew Stubbs’ liner, ending the fourth two batters after a misplay opened the door to an Indians rally.

CLEVELAND — After a rough weekend in rightfield, the Rays' Matt Joyce said he planned to do extra pregame defensive work Tuesday because he's feeling a "little uncomfortable there."

Joyce was embarrassed — and got teased by teammates — when the Indians' only hit in Friday's marathon 9-2 win, a Ryan Raburn double in the fifth inning, bounced off his back as he scaled the wall.

Then in Sunday's 11-3 win, Joyce and CF Sam Fuld allowed a Yan Gomes fly ball in the fourth inning to bounce between them on the right-centerfield warning track, extending the Indians' three-run, two-out rally. Fuld said he was "ready to catch it," but with the ball tailing toward right, he thought he saw Joyce under it, so he "let him have it."

"I regret not calling him off and going and getting it," Fuld said. "At the time, it looked like he was going to be able to catch it pretty easily."

Joyce said the wind and sun were factors but acknowledged his defense could use work. "It's a tough play," he said. "I think sometimes your confidence wavers when something goes the wrong way, and you're not being as aggressive as you should."

PITCHING IN: The Rays reshuffled their rotation for the Tigers series, with LHP Matt Moore's next scheduled start moved up two days to Tuesday's series opener. Moore, whose last outing Friday was cut to one inning (11 pitches) because of the extensive rain delays, said he could have started Saturday or Sunday but Tuesday provided the best scenario.

That way, RHP Alex Cobb could give the cut around the fingernail on his right middle finger an extra day to heal. And Moore didn't want to wait until Thursday and deal with the "cobwebs" of a long layoff.

Moore didn't plan to alter his preparation other than doing a leg workout Sunday and doesn't "think there will be too much of a difference."

"My arm should feel pretty good," Moore said. "I mean, there's not been a whole lot of work in the last, probably, seven, eight days, so I think it's one of those things where being fresh should help. It shouldn't be a big issue at all."

Cobb said the move to Wednesday "made sense," that his finger was "pretty much healed" but "one more day can't hurt anything." He had no pain during a bullpen session Saturday in which he threw some flat-ground curveballs.

MEA CULPA: Manager Joe Maddon said he appreciated SS Yunel Escobar coming to him after Sunday's game and apologizing for not running hard on an eighth-inning single that reached the rightfield wall. "It won't happen again," Escobar said, with bench coach Dave Martinez interpreting. Said Martinez: "To his defense, he's been playing his butt off, and we've had no problems with him running the ball out."

STILL HERE: Maddon said the Rays thought they were covered in the bullpen Sunday, so they didn't send LHP Alex Torres down to Triple A for a fresh arm. Maddon said Torres, who pitched four shutout innings Saturday, will stay up and remain in the long reliever role for the time being. "Hopefully, for the rest of the season," Torres said, smiling.

LINING UP: CF Desmond Jennings was given Sunday off to combine with today's team off-day. Maddon said "a little bit of rest now and then" is going to help him keep up his improved play. Jennings is 9-for-19 with three doubles and four walks in the six games in which he has batted lower in the order. "He's doing so much better," Maddon said. "I'm starting to see a spring back in everything that he's doing."

MISCELLANY: LHP David Price (left triceps strain) played long toss from 105 feet Sunday in St. Petersburg and will again today. He could be throwing off the mound by this weekend. … The Rays acquired RHP Erik Hamren from the Braves; he'll join Double-A Montgomery. … Indians manager Terry Francona was ejected in the fifth inning.

Rays' Joyce to work on defense after another misplay 06/02/13 [Last modified: Sunday, June 2, 2013 10:30pm]
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