Saturday, January 20, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays' Scott pulled with tight hamstring

PORT CHARLOTTE — The Rays called it no big deal, just a precautionary move on a cold day. But it also could be the first sign of trouble in what otherwise has been a smooth camp. DH Luke Scott left Sunday's 7-2 win over Minnesota with tightness in his left hamstring.

"The muscle's just tight," Scott said. "I think (it was the) cold day, a little bit of fatigue from working my legs. I worked my legs pretty hard this week. I've had stuff like this many times before. I'm not worried."

Neither was manager Joe Maddon, who said "he's fine — honestly" and the decision to remove Scott after his first at-bat was "totally precautionary," that "when you hear tightness on a cold day like (Sunday), you just want to get him out of there."

Scott, who felt the tightness after running out a second-inning flyout, said he hoped to "be back in a couple of days."

Having a healthy Scott is a big part of the Rays' plans for an improved offense after the 34-year-old served two DL stints (back stiffness, oblique strain) in a disappointing 2012 season.

Though Scott will be used primarily as a DH, the Rays have talked about giving him time in leftfield and at first base. The hamstring tightness came two days after he started in rightfield, his first outfield appearance since July 2011.

PRICE CHECK: Cy Young Award winner David Price was very sharp in his second spring outing, allowing just a single and striking out five in three innings, throwing 29 of his 41 pitches for strikes.

Some credit goes to between-starts adjustments by pitching coach Jim Hickey that left Price feeling "really good."

But credit also goes to Price's intense approach to the start.

"I'm not good enough to just flip a switch," he said. "April 1 is less than a month away. I'm not that type of person. I don't care if it's backyard baseball, if it's my day to pitch, my day to play, I'm going to take it serious. I don't want to come out here, get it handed to me and say, 'It's okay. I don't care. It's spring training.' That's not the way I operate. I want to build confidence and get a head of stream for April 1 or whenever opening day is." (It's April 2, but he was on a roll.)

LONGO UPDATE: 3B Evan Longoria was 1-for-3 (legging out a first-inning double) in playing consecutive days for the first time. Longoria, who missed more than half of last season with hamstring problems, said he has been feeling "really, really good." He'll be off today, play Tuesday, be off Wednesday (team off day) and Thursday, then Friday start playing deeper into games, looking to make about 50 plate appearances for the spring. He is 5-for-10 thus far.

IF THERE'S A WIL: Prospect OF Wil Myers showed some of his game, muscling a ball through the wind to the base of the centerfield wall and running all out to make it a triple. "The thing I liked was the stride length and how well he ran," Maddon said. "That's really good. That's the part of the game I've been wanting to see."

GAME DETAILS: Back-to-back RBI doubles by Kelly Johnson and Matt Joyce in the fifth put the Rays (7-3) ahead to stay. … C/3B Chris Gimenez hit a two-run homer. … LHP Jake McGee's velocity was in the low 90s again, but Maddon said he is fine physically and has been "working on a lot of stuff" and "not amping up all his velocity." … RHP Joel Peralta had a sharp inning.

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