ST. PETERSBURG — CF B.J. Upton made a pinch-hitting appearance Tuesday and could be back in the lineup tonight as the right shoulder strain that forced him from Monday's game turned out to not be serious.
Upton said an MRI exam Tuesday didn't show any damage.
"I didn't think anything was going to show up anyway," he said.
Upton struck out as a pinch-hitter in the seventh, fouling two balls off and swinging and missing twice, and he said he felt fine afterward.
Manager Joe Maddon said he thinks Upton will be available tonight. Upton said the issue is the stiffness that makes it uncomfortable to throw.
Friedman's future: Executive VP Andrew Friedman is a hot topic of conversation in Chicago as a potential top candidate for the Cubs GM job, but he isn't going to talk about the situation.
Friedman, who has been mentioned as a likely candidate in his hometown of Houston, declined comment on the speculation, as is his policy on all rumors regarding jobs, trades, waiver claims, etc.
Special effects: First pitch was delayed until 7:30 when all the lights above the field were knocked out at 6:55 by what the Rays said was a weather-related failure of a power transmission line to Tropicana Field from a substation.
There was a partial outage Monday, but that game started on time. Tuesday's was the third game delayed this season due to issues with the lights — there was a broken light July 17 and a midgame power outage July 18.
Cobb's return: RHP Alex Cobb returned and said the complications that delayed last week's surgery to remove a blood clot and his top right rib — specifically a nasty bout with pancreatitis — were worse than the procedure. "Worst pain I've ever been in," he said.
A bad reaction to medication was believed to be the cause, and Cobb said it got so bad there was talk of removing his gallbladder, but the Rays didn't like that idea, so he will be monitored. Otherwise, Cobb said the procedure by Dr. Gregory Pearl went well and he was told he'd be fully recovered for the start of the offseason throwing program.
"He said I shouldn't even notice that I had anything done," Cobb said. "I should have 100 percent strength, 100 percent mobility. They didn't touch the shoulder or arm in any way, so I should be 100 percent by January."
Slotting system: Maddon is trying to find ways to move OF Matt Joyce up in the order so he has more protection behind him, thinking that getting Joyce better pitches will help him hit better.
With Upton out, Joyce hit fifth with Casey Kotchman sixth.
Minor matters: RHP Chris Archer, part of the Matt Garza-Cubs trade, was promoted to Triple-A Durham after going 8-7, 4.42 at Double-A Montgomery. … Class A Bowling Green SS Derek Dietrich won Midwest League player of the week honors for the second time. … Top prospect LHP Matt Moore worked six more shutout innings for Triple-A Durham, lowering his ERA to 0.89 while striking out six. … OF Mikie Mahtook, the second pick in this year's draft, tweeted that he will play in the Arizona Fall League; the full roster will be announced next week.
Miscellany: The loss was the Rays' eighth this season when their starter gave up two or fewer runs. … RHP Kyle Farnsworth's streak of consecutive batters retired ended at 26. … DH Johnny Damon tied Mark Grace for 45th on the all-time doubles list at 511. … Evan Longoria is now 0-for-7 with the bases loaded this season. … Attendance was 11,475. … It was the fourth time in team history the Rays scored one run or less when seeing 170 or more pitches in a nine-inning game. … Maddon's no-batting practice routine is apparently already over as the Rays are planning to hit on the field today.