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)

Tampa Bay Rays DH Luke Scott has best spring game in comeback from shoulder surgery

DH Luke Scott blows a kiss to fans after hitting his first home run in a Rays uniform, a shot to rightfield off Pirates pitcher Jeff Karstens. Scott also had a single in the game.

LARA CERRI | Times

DH Luke Scott blows a kiss to fans after hitting his first home run in a Rays uniform, a shot to rightfield off Pirates pitcher Jeff Karstens. Scott also had a single in the game.

BRADENTON — Coming back from right shoulder surgery, new Rays DH Luke Scott has been confident he will be ready for opening day. Saturday, he looked it with his best day of the spring, singling and homering in the 2-1 win over Pittsburgh.

"Things are starting to feel a little bit better," Scott said. "I'm getting better timing, getting a better rhythm. I'm starting to use my hands more, which is my main focus right now."

Scott was pleased with the results as well as the process, specifically the adjustments he made during his at-bats. Manager Joe Maddon said that on the home run, a loud blast to right off Jeff Karstens, "his hand action was spectacular."

Getting Scott ready requires balance in not taxing his shoulder too much but getting him enough at-bats to regain his form after a winter off; he has 12, and the Rays would like him to get close to 50. A key will be playing back-to-back days, and Scott said he plans to do so today.

"There's no doubt I'll be ready," he said. "The last couple days I've made some really good strides. I've hit the ball to all sides of the field, driven balls to all sides of the field."

SHIELDS SHARP: Opening day starter RHP James Shields was so sharp he worked an unscheduled sixth inning, throwing only 67 pitches total (46 strikes) while working in his curveball for the first time this spring.

"Today I was ahead in the count and real efficient with my pitches — that's a recipe for success," he said. "For the most part, I felt great."

Shields struck out seven and allowed four hits, the only blemishes a homer by Andrew McCutchen and an unusual balk call, the result of catching his cleat on the rubber.

UPTON STILL DOWN: CF B.J. Upton said he felt better but was still sore from Wednesday's collision with LF Desmond Jennings and not ready to play. Tuesday sounds like the new target, either in Jupiter or a minor-league game in Port Charlotte.

"Nothing's wrong," Maddon said. "It's the different movements required to hit that sometimes grab him a little bit."

ST. PETE BOUND: The Rays will send a squad of minor-leaguers to St. Petersburg's Al Lang Field for the 1:05 p.m. international series finale against the Netherlands.

LHP Kyle Lobstein will start with Mark Thomas, who was in big-league camp, catching. Double-A Montgomery's Billy Gardner Jr. will manage.

Tickets are $12.50 and $10, gates open at 11, kids can run the bases postgame. Fans are asked to bring a canned food item for the Free Clinic.

GAME DETAILS: The Rays (4-9-3) went up 2-0 when Scott homered and 1B Carlos Peña tripled, his first hit of the spring, and scored on a wild pitch. … RHP Brandon Gomes, returning from back surgery, got out of a jam in the eighth, though Maddon said "I think there's still more velocity to be had out of him." … Relievers Joel Peralta and Fernando Rodney each worked one inning in minor-league games, Burke Badenhop and J.P. Howell worked two.

Tampa Bay Rays DH Luke Scott has best spring game in comeback from shoulder surgery 03/17/12 [Last modified: Saturday, March 17, 2012 9:28pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Toledo feels like a second season opener for Miami Hurricanes

    Blogs

    LAKE BUENA VISTA - The schedule says Week 4, but it sure doesn't feel that way for the No. 14 Miami Hurricanes.

    The Miami Hurricanes suit up for practice Tuesday at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex
  2. HomeTeam 25: Volleyball rankings for Tampa Bay

    Volleyball Preps

    1. Plant (2-0)

    TAMPA - Berkeley Prep senior Isabella Samson looks for an opening against Walton High from Georgia during the championship final on Saturday at the Berkeley Premier tournament. Walton, ranked No. 1 in the country by maxpreps.com, went on to defeat the Bucs 25-16, 25-18. Taken 9-16-17 by Scott Purks
  3. For ex-Rays/now Cubs manager Joe Maddon, the legacy is in the jeans

    Blogs

    Joe Maddon has plenty of memories of his time at the Trop during nine years of managing the Rays. "Too many to count,'' he said.

  4. Study shows playing football before age 12 can lead to mood and behavior issues

    Footballpreps

    A new medical study has found that children who play football before age 12 suffer mood and behavior problems later in life at rates significantly higher than those who take up the sport later.

    Youths who began playing tackle football before the age of 12 had more behavioral and cognitive problems later in life than those who started playing after they turned 12, according to a study released by Boston University researchers on Sept. 19, 2017. [Tamir Kalifa | The New York Times]
  5. Tiki Barber will join his brother, Ronde, on Fox broadcast for Bucs-Giants

    Bucs

    FOX announced Monday night that former Bucs cornerback Ronde Barber will have a familiar face joining him as a guest analyst for the Oct. 1 Bucs-Giants game in Tampa: his twin brother Tiki, who will join …

    Tiki Barber, right, will join his brother, Ronde, left, as a guest analyst on the Oct. 1 Bucs-Giants broadcast on FOX. [Times files (2006)]