Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays' Myers learns from mistake against Rangers

ST. PETERSBURG — Rookie OF Wil Myers knew in retrospect what he did wrong Wednesday, being too casual and unaware of the situation on a critical 11th-inning play that cost the Rays a run.

Manager Joe Maddon had a talk with him Thursday to make sure he understood the far-reaching ramifications of such a mistake.

"I wanted him to understand the overriding impact that would have as a teammate and as he moves forward how he would be viewed, whether it be within the industry or among fans," Maddon said.

"I want this guy to be viewed positively. The thing he did wrong (Wednesday) night (in a 4-3, 12-inning win versus the Rangers) was totally controllable on his part, and I want him to understand all of that, and he does. He did. And I really would be surprised if that ever were to happen again. … He knows that was just unacceptable. We covered it pretty thoroughly, I think."

Myers said the talk went well and he won't make the mistake again. He said several veteran players talked to him about it as well.

Myers was not in the lineup Thursday in the 8-2 loss to the Rangers, but Maddon said it was a strategic decision based on Texas starting RHP Yu Darvish and not punitive.

PRICE CHECK: LHP David Price, who hasn't won in four starts, takes the mound against the Orioles tonight acknowledging the importance of winning the series opener.

"It's big," Price said. "I'm sure Baltimore, if they come in here and beat me up (tonight), that has them feeling good going against everyone else coming after me. If I can go out there and throw my game and just throw the way I expect to throw, that might put a little bit of doubt in their minds and give us a little bit of a confidence booster, and that's what we need."

Price has had issues with the Orioles this season, averaging less than six innings in three starts while allowing 25 hits, including 10 in five innings Aug. 19. "Baltimore is a very tough team, especially for me," he said.

CRAIN TRAIN: RHP Jesse Crain is in line to join the bullpen this weekend after a one-inning Instructional League outing Thursday he said "went kind of better than expected, feelingwise."

If Crain, out since late June due to a shoulder strain, feels good today, he should be set to be activated and available for his first Rays appearance Saturday or Sunday. "I'd have to imagine so," he said. "I felt comfortable, and I threw strikes with all my pitches, and that's the biggest thing that tells you if you're close to being ready or not."

FIRST-TIMER: INF Tim Beckham pinch-hit in the eighth and singled in his first big-league at-bat. "It's nice to get that first one out of the way,'' he said. "And there's many more to come.''

JAKE, FROM THE FARM: RHP Jake Odorizzi rejoins the bullpen tonight, called up after the end of the Triple-A season to provide another long-relief option. Odorizzi said he believed his season turned around after he made a spot start for the Rays in Boston on June 18. He went 4-5 with a 2.87 ERA in his next 12 starts for Durham, plus 14 postseason innings without allowing an earned run. "After that, everything went a lot better," he said. "My confidence went way up, my efficiency went up, my pitches were better. It was kind of like a restart to the season"

MISCELLANY: The Tampa Bay chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America today will announce its team MVP, Outstanding Rookie and Paul C. Smith Champion Award winners. … The 16 hits allowed by the Rays on Thursday were one off their season most. … Maddon used Evan Longoria as the DH, saying it was likely the final chance to get him off his feet. 1B James Loney may be off Sunday. … Per research by the Rays, Wednesday was the seventh time in Maddon's eight seasons they won a home game after being one strike away from losing.

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