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. Stanley Cup final preview: Don't count out Predators

    Sports

    Either way, this Stanley Cup final is going to be historic.

    Nashville players celebrate after beating the Ducks in the Western Conference final to advance to the Stanley Cup final, where they meet the Penguins. [Associated Press]
  2. Weather issues slow Coca-Cola 600

    Auto racing

    CONCORD, N.C. — The longest race of the NASCAR season got even longer Sunday night.

    THE LEADER: Sebastian Vettel extends his points lead in Formula One after winning the Monaco Grand Prix.
  3. Rays blow lead, rally, blow lead, rally again to beat Twins in 15 (w/video)

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — The Rays sure made it interesting Sunday, taking an early lead, watching their beleaguered bullpen blow it, rallying to tie in the ninth, battling the Twins to take a lead in the 14th then giving it up again.

    MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 28: Evan Longoria #3 of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrates scoring a run against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning of the game on May 28, 2017 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) 700010990
  4. For starters: Rays at Twins, with Cobb pitching with a purpose

    Blogs

    UPDATE, 12:34: Cash said he has been pleased with Sucre's work and is trying to find playing time for him. ... Cash also said after reading Farquhar's comments about having trouble re-focusing after getting out of a jam and then going back out for a second inning he will factor that in to how he uses him. ... …

  5. St. Petersburg's Sebastien Bourdais vows to return for IndyCar finale

    Auto racing

    INDIANAPOLIS — Sebastien Bourdais was in one of the best race cars he'd ever had, so fast that most of his competitors thought he would win the pole for the Indianapolis 500.

    Sebastien Bourdais does physical therapy at the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana in Indianapolis. Bourdais broke his pelvis, hip and two ribs in an accident during qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 on May 20. He plans to return home to St. Petersburg soon to continue therapy. [Associated Press]