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Tampa Bay Rays' Carlos Peña takes a tumble — onto pitcher Wade Davis

ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Wade Davis didn't pitch Friday night, but he picked up a save.

When 1B Carlos Peña made his spectacular catch in the fourth inning of the 3-2 loss to the Royals — racing into foul territory and flipping head over heels into the Rays dugout — several teammates rushed to catch him.

And Davis dived underneath to cushion Peña's fall.

"I stepped on his leg and tore up his uniform and made him bleed and everything," Peña said. "He's doing okay. My teammates picked me up. They saved my life."

Peña said he thought he had more room than he actually did then forgot about the fence.

"Once you make that commitment, it's just hard to stop," he said. "I went in there very violently."

Peña received a standing ovation from the Tropicana Field crowd for a play manager Joe Maddon said "was a typifying example of what we've been doing defensively."

Davis was fine afterward, praising Peña and saying he did what he could to help.

"I thought (Peña) was going to land on his head," Maddon said. "But I guess Wade was the hero."

Throwing a curve: Though it would appear to be tough for LHP David Price to top his last outing, a complete-game four-hitter against the Jays on Sunday, that's the standard he has set for himself.

"I expect that every time out," said Price, set to start tonight against the Royals. "So it's not really going to bolster my confidence."

Price, 24, who has gone at least seven innings in three of four starts this season, acknowledged one key to his first complete game was his confidence in his curveball, which he developed last year. He said he didn't start throwing it until around midseason, and it got better through repetition.

"I was a bit skeptical when I first heard about it because he was trying to learn it (at the major-league level), and that's not easy to do," Maddon said. "The way he throws it, it's a tough pitch to command. But he has. When he does something, it doesn't surprise me. He's so motivated to be great and not just good."

HOT HAND: C John Jaso continues to be a hot topic of conversation. He was back in the lineup Friday and will play at least one of the last two games against the Royals. C Dioner Navarro will get the other.

Jaso is hitting .400 (10-of-25) with nine walks in 11 games, and the Rays are 7-1 when he starts.

"He is just kind of locked in right now," Maddon said. "We've got to give him a chance to really run with this and see where it takes him, for him and for us."

HOWELL UPDATE: LHP J.P. Howell, on the disabled list with a strained left shoulder, threw 32 pitches off the mound in the afternoon, saying he felt really good. He took the next step in building strength in his shoulder by throwing five changeups. Howell said he threw at about 75-80 percent and will throw another bullpen session Monday with late May still the targeted return date.

MINOR MATTER: RHP Matt Bush, 2004's top overall pick by the Padres who was signed by the Rays to a minor-league deal in the offseason, made his debut for Class A Charlotte on Thursday. He gave up a homer but struck out two in an inning of relief.

MISCELLANY: CF B.J. Upton's eight-game hitting streak ended after going 0-for-4. … Maddon said 2B Sean Rodriguez started against RHP Brian Bannister on Friday because he wanted to play him once this weekend and that provided the best matchup. … Third-base coach Tom Foley and RHP Grant Balfour will appear today at the Florida Challenger Baseball Little League Jamboree at the Countryside Recreation Center and Sports Complex in Clearwater.

Tampa Bay Rays' Carlos Peña takes a tumble — onto pitcher Wade Davis 04/30/10 [Last modified: Saturday, May 1, 2010 12:14am]
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