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)

Notebook

Rays Percival bounces back from rough outing

PITTSBURGH — For veteran closer Troy Percival, a little rest did plenty of good.

The 38-year-old, who has battled a nagging hamstring injury since spring training, was sharp Sunday in his first appearance in five days, picking up his 19th save in a scoreless ninth.

Percival struck out two and walked one and said he felt more comfortable with his fastball, which consistently clocked 91-92 mph. In his last outing against the Marlins, he relied mostly on his changeup when his hamstring flared up, and he walked four.

But with time for him to make some mechanical adjustments, Percival's stuff was, as C Shawn Riggans called it, "nasty."

"I'm definitely rested," Percival said. "I figured I had to make the right adjustments to take a lot of the stress off my front leg, shorten my stride a little bit, and hit spots."

Unlike some previous outings, when Percival's command was off, the hard-throwing right-hander painted corners against the four batters he faced. His lone blemish was a leadoff walk to Xavier Nady, who had to check his swing.

"He looks 100 percent," Riggans said. "And even if he wasn't, you'd never know. That dude is a warrior."

MR. EFFICIENCY: Riggans played for the ninth time in the team's past 49 games, but his time off hasn't lessened his impact at the plate. His homer and RBI single gave him 15 RBIs in 73 at-bats, and his four HRs are tied with starting C Dioner Navarro.

"Every time we put him out there," manager Joe Maddon said, "he seems to do something to help us win."

SAY HEY WILLY: 2B Willy Aybar broke out of a bit of a slump in a big way, going 2-for-4 with a solo homer and a single that sparked the two-run eighth. Entering the game, Aybar was 5-for-25 (.200) in his previous six games and had one RBI in his past 14.

"Aybar again gave us another lift," Maddon said. "He had been kind of struggling a bit recently, hadn't been striking the ball like he normally does. But obviously the home run was really well struck … and then the base hit to right was huge."

Aybar is expected to get another start at second tonight as Akinori Iwamura serves the final game of his three-game suspension from the Red Sox brawl.

MEDICAL REPORT: RHP Al Reyes threw a bullpen session and is "getting closer" to a return, Maddon said. Reyes, on the disabled list with right shoulder tendinitis, could first land in a rehab assignment.

OF Rocco Baldelli wrapped up his stint with Class A Vero Beach by going 1-for-4 at DH, making him 9-for-29 (.209) in his nine games there. He will be re-evaluated today at the Trop, with Maddon saying it's possible he could move up a level or two in the minor-league system.

"He's still not there yet," Maddon said. "He's hit a couple home runs in one game, got a couple knocks, stolen a base, (he's) been doing different things to get him back. … We're cautiously optimistic he'll be able to get back at some point."

MISCELLANY: DH Cliff Floyd flew to Chicago to be with his family after his grandmother died but is expected to be back in time for today's game with the Red Sox. … 3B Evan Longoria extended his hitting streak to seven games with a single. … The Rays will partner with the Florida Restaurants. … Jonny Gomes homer on the 15th pitch of an at-bat Saturday night set a Rays mark. Jorge Cantu homered on the 13th pitch on Aug. 29, 2006. … RHP Juan Salas was placed on the seven-day disabled list at Triple-A Durham with a sore right elbow.

Rays Percival bounces back from rough outing 06/29/08 [Last modified: Monday, June 30, 2008 12:49pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Cup-winning Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk makes Hockey Hall of Fame

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Hall of Fame coach Scotty Bowman said Dave Andreychuk's name has surfaced often the past eight years with the selection committee.

    30 Oct 2001:  Left wing Dave Andreychuk #25 of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates towards the blue line during the NHL game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada.  The Maple Leafs defeated the Lightning 3-2.  Mandatory Credit:  Dave Sanford /Allsport
  2. Rays acquire slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria from Marlins

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Chaim Bloom said the Rays weren't necessarily in the market for a shortstop. The team has a number of those. But when the Marlins recently began shopping Adeiny Hechavarria, well, that was too much to pass up.

    Adeiny Hechavarria has emerged as one of baseball’s top defensive shortstops in the past three seasons with the Marlins.
  3. Rays at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, Pittsburgh

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Pirates

    7:05, PNC Park

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

    Probable pitchers

    Rays: Alex Cobb (6-5, 4.05)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  4. Lightning journal: Forward Yanni Gourde agrees to two-year deal

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Just three years ago, Yanni Gourde was fighting to stay in pro hockey.

    Tampa Bay Lightning center Yanni Gourde celebrates after scoring against the Florida Panthers during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, March 11, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA108
  5. What they're saying about Dave Andreychuk making Hall of Fame

    Lightning Strikes

    "Dave helped me so much when I was just starting my career, a young kid that was looking to find his way as a hockey player, a person and a member of the Tampa Bay community. In addition to watching him compile such awe-inspiring statistics, I remember him as a big brother to me and many others, making sure all the …