Make us your home page
Instagram

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

Video player not working? Try this link instead.

Rays' Kiermaier nearly passes Jose Molina on home run trot (w/video)

OAKLAND, Calif. — The Rays had plenty of action on the bases Wednesday with 13 hits, five walks and a hit batter combining to score seven runs.

But the highlight by far was Kevin Kiermaier's fourth-inning home run, not so much for how hard or far he hit it but how on his trot he nearly passed C Jose Molina — who had reached on an infield single — after they both rounded second.

"There was some separation, air traffic control was okay with all of that, but he was gaining rapidly," manager Joe Maddon said.

Kiermaier was unsure if the ball had gone out or hit the wall before caroming back onto the field, so he was running hard. Molina saw it go out and was, well, moving at his usual pace.

"I didn't know what was going on,' Kiermaier said. "Once I got around second base Jose was right there. I wasn't about to stop and let him get some distance before I got going again, so I did the slowest trot ever the whole way home. So it was unique."

Molina admitted that he made it more so, slowing his pace even more over the last 90 feet.

"I couldn't do anything but laugh," Kiermaier said. "I try not to create any attention toward myself, but I was like, is this really happening right now. We're barely moving. It was pretty bizarre how everything worked out, but I'll take it."

SIGN OF THE TIMES: There was a clear reason C Curt Casali had to use hand signals rather than the traditional finger indicators in calling pitches in Tuesday night's 3-0 loss: LHP Drew Smyly was having trouble seeing.

Smyly said it has been an issue his whole career, usually, but not always, dependent on the lighting. He warned Casali during warmups and they quickly discussed backup plans.

Casali first tried neon orange stickers — made for that purpose — on his fingernails in the first inning. But Smyly, in his first start for the Rays since being acquired from the Tigers, said that didn't help.

They switched to the hand signals, with Casali touching different parts of his body, similar to how a third-base coach gives signs. "It could be where I touch or when I touch it," Casali said, declining to be more specific.

Obviously that made the chore of catching a new pitcher even harder for the rookie.

"I hadn't really come across somebody who really can't see that well," he said. "It was something he did in Detroit … so we tried it. You could see it was hard. There were different sequences where sometimes I would forget what I was calling. But I think we got better, and the next time I'll be more prepared."

Smyly, who said he has come to prefer the hand signals, has had his vision checked but doesn't plan to do anything. It should be noted, he has no trouble throwing the ball where he wants to.

"I probably should wear contacts, but I don't want to," he said. "I don't like the idea of putting anything in my eyes."

MINOR MATTERS: C Justin O'Conner, a Florida State League All-Star and an All-Star Futures Game selection, was promoted to Double-A Montgomery. … RHP Ryne Stanek, a 2013 first-round pick, went on the DL at advanced Class A Charlotte with shoulder fatigue; the Rays say it was more precautionary than serious.

MISCELLANY: The Rays went 3-for-14 with runners in scoring position Wednesday, 4-for-29 for the series. … OF Wil Myers (right wrist) is set to join Triple-A Durham today for two days of workouts, with the chance he'll begin a rehab assignment Saturday. … 1B James Loney extended his streak of reaching base to 25 games; his career high is 30. … With two doubles, Ben Zobrist went back ahead of Evan Longoria for the franchise lead with 219. … Maddon said playing a day game Wednesday and having today off should be a benefit before playing three straight day games in Chicago.

Kevin Kiermaier rapidly downshifts around second base while coming up fast behind Jose Molina after hitting a two-run home run in the fourth.

Getty Images

Kevin Kiermaier rapidly downshifts around second base while coming up fast behind Jose Molina after hitting a two-run home run in the fourth.

Rays' Kiermaier nearly passes Jose Molina on home run trot (w/video) 08/06/14 [Last modified: Thursday, August 7, 2014 11:33am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bryan Harper's path to the majors, where his brother is a star, has been bumpy

    The Heater

    He has thrown 215 professional innings over 168 minor-league outings, and at various points the kid from Las Vegas has called Viera and Hagerstown, Md., and Harrisburg, Pa. and Syracuse, N.Y., and even Arlington, Va. home. During that summer he lived in the D.C. suburbs, he would rise some mornings with his brother in …

  2. Blake Snell steps up, but Rays lose to Orioles anyway (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Blake Snell stepped up when he had to Monday and delivered an impressive career-high seven-plus innings for the Rays. That it wasn't enough in what ended up a 5-0 loss to the Orioles that was their season-high fifth straight is symptomatic of the mess they are in right now.

    Tim Beckham stands hands on hips after being doubled off first.
  3. Rays vs. Orioles, 7:10 p.m. Tuesday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Orioles

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

  4. Rays journal: Sergio Romo excited for fresh start in AL

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Sergio Romo was about to play catch with LHP Adam Kolarek before Monday's batting practice when he paused.

    RAMOS EXITS: Rays catcher Wilson Ramos clutches his head after being beaned by Ruben Tejada’s broken bat in the fifth inning. Ramos leaves the game and receives six staples to close a laceration on his head.
  5. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Monday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    LHP Blake Snell stepped up when the Rays needed him to — and perhaps when he had to to keep his job — working a season-high seven plus innings. And it wasn't only that he got deep into the game, but how he did so, using his fastball to pound the strike zone.