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Rays' Percival fumes over catwalk-aided double

ST. PETERSBURG — So what about that open-air waterfront stadium?

Rays closer Troy Percival made his feelings about Tropicana Field very clear after a flyball off the B-ring catwalk was a key part of Boston's ninth-inning rally.

"It's frustrating to know that has a part in the game,'' Percival said. "That's just a joke. They've got to come up with something better than that. I'd hate to see something like that cost us. I haven't seen us benefit a whole lot from it. I throw a pretty good pitch, get a popup on a change-up, and the next thing you know you've got people running around the bases.''

Another view? Sox manager Terry Francona liked it.

"As much as I b---- about these stadiums, it almost helped us win a game,'' Francona said. "Its awkward. You're looking up and we're getting (pinch-hitter Sean) Casey ready to hit. All of a sudden the ball, nobody knows where it is, and we've got a chance to win the game. … A crazy play, and you'd rather not see balls hit things like that. But if it's going to help us we'll take it."

Percival, who was taken out in the ninth inning when his sore left groin was again affecting his delivery, will be reevaluated today.

EVAN ALMIGHTY: 3B Evan Longoria had a pretty good week, hitting .433 in the six games at Miami and Pittsburgh with three homers and 10 RBIs.

It was good enough to earn American League Player of the Week honors, the second Ray to do so this season, joining James Shields, and the first rookie winner in the team's 11-season history.

"It's exciting for me," Longoria said. "The American League is a tough enough league to play in, so it is exciting."

REHAB REPORT: OF Rocco Baldelli will spend the week working out with the Rays — putting his 20-day minor-league rehab assignment on temporary hold — as he allows a sore right groin to heal. Baldelli was 9-for-29 in nine games for Class A Vero Beach; the Rays will decide at the end of the week when and where he will go next. "It will be a good opportunity to let it rest,'' Baldelli said. … RHP Al Reyes said he felt good and would throw twice this week at the Trop, then likely start a minor-league rehab July 7.

LEADING OFF: B.J. Upton has been a good fit in the leadoff spot, especially after his first-pitch homer Monday, but Maddon said Akinori Iwamura will return to the top spot tonight as he completes his suspension. … It was the first leadoff homer of Upton's career.

STARRY EYES: With online voting coming to a close Wednesday night, Carl Crawford (665,461 votes) and Upton (563,472) were 14th and 15th among outfielders in the final update. Carlos Pena is fourth at first base at 545,628. Starters and reserves for the July 15 game will be announced Sunday.

MISCELLANY: LHP Jake McGee, one of the Rays' top prospects, will have Tommy John elbow surgery July 8 after Dr. James Andrews confirmed the diagnosis of a torn ligament. … The home team has won all 10 games between the Rays and Sox. … The Rays improved to 10-1 with home crowds of 30,000-plus and 12-2 with 25,000-plus. … DH Cliff Floyd rejoined the team after going to Chicago following the death of his grandmother. … The Rays finished interleague play 12-6, matching the fourth-best record among teams. … Radio broadcaster Andy Freed will return Wednesday, missing two games for a family matter.

Rays' Percival fumes over catwalk-aided double 06/30/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 2, 2008 6:43pm]
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