Tampa Bay Rays happy with postponement of game against Detroit Tigers, not thrilled with makeup date

Steady rain cuts short the Rays-Tigers game in the bottom of the third, with Tampa Bay trailing 2-0. The makeup is June 13.

Associated Press

Steady rain cuts short the Rays-Tigers game in the bottom of the third, with Tampa Bay trailing 2-0. The makeup is June 13.

DETROIT — Given the situation at the time, trailing 2-0 in the third inning and having sat idle for more than two hours as heavy rains fell, the Rays weren't too disappointed that Wednesday's game was eventually called off.

"You never know if the Rays were going to come back in that game, either," manager Joe Maddon said, "but it's not a bad thing."

They weren't too pleased, however, with the decision by the Tigers and MLB to make up the game June 13 — tacked on to an already taxing road trip to Seattle, Anaheim and Baltimore that now will last 11 games and 12 days, and just before they open a big series at home with the Red Sox. Worse for the Rays, the Tigers, in the middle of a homestand, chose a 7:05 p.m. start time.

"You've got to be kidding me," CF B.J. Upton said. "That's exactly what we want. Appreciate it. But what's new? We don't expect anything else. It doesn't surprise us."

Maddon shrugged off the inconvenience — "What are you gonna do?" — which included the loss of a day off at home, and tried to find a positive: "We've got some guys that have been struggling a bit; maybe by the time this game is replayed we'll be a little bit friskier at the plate."

The Rays also could be doing better overall: They've lost eight of their past 11 and were 2-5 on the road trip, their worst since 2009. "It's been a tough trip, but it's not been a horrible trip," Maddon said. "We lost some games but we haven't been playing bad, not at all."

The Rays are also at the end of a stretch of playing 16 games in 16 days in five cities.

There weren't many other options for the makeup. Both teams are off June 23, but with a previous rainout already rescheduled for June 27, the Tigers would then have played 27 days in a row, exceeding the permitted 20. Another option was July 14, which would have shortened the All-Star break by one day.

SONNY'S DAY: RHP Andy Sonnanstine allowed six singles to the 13 batters he faced and threw a wild pitch that scored a run during 21/3 innings, but he said he took some positives out of what was his fourth start in place of injured RHP Jeff Niemann, specifically the control of his two-seam fastball to right-handers.

"I'm just going to look back on today as a confidence builder," he said.

IT NEVER HAPPENED: The game will be replayed from the start on June 13, so nothing that happened Wednesday counts, including what would have been Johnny Damon's 2,621st career hit. "That's all part of it," he said. "We come back here, so maybe there's a few hits in that game."

ROSTER SHUFFLE: INF Elliot Johnson was officially placed on the DL, retroactive to Tuesday, with a left knee sprain and is expected to be ready when eligible to return June 8, Maddon said.

SS Reid Brignac was reinstated from the bereavement list following the Saturday death of his paternal grandfather, Roger Brignac, who was 90.

Brignac said he found out via Twitter that Johnson was hurt Monday and had just said something to his parents about potentially rejoining the team early when travel director Jeff Ziegler called with that plan. Brignac attended the funeral on Tuesday in Louisiana then flew to Detroit.

"I was ready to come back at that point," he said. "It was an emotional couple days and I'm just happy to be back around these guys."

Brignac and Sean Rodriguez will share time at shortstop based on matchups, Maddon said.

A NEW ARM: The Rays claimed RHP Jay Buente — the only pitcher they've beaten the last week — off waivers from the Marlins, with plans for him to join the Triple-A Durham rotation.

Buente, 27, was impressive at Triple A for the Marlins, going 3-0, 1.94 in 10 games (five starts). Not so much in the majors, where he is 0-1, 7.07 in nine appearances.

To make room on the 40-man roster, RHP Rob Delaney was designated for assignment. Delaney, who had a 13.50 in three games for the Rays, was solid in Durham.

MISCELLANY: Maddon wants to see more of Rodriguez against right-handed pitchers since he added a leg kick that has improved his timing at the plate and made him more selective. … Maddon also said he will look to rest OF Sam Fuld more given the quality of his recent at-bats after days off. … Among other problems on the trip, the Rays left the bases loaded five times and were 1-for-11.

Tampa Bay Rays happy with postponement of game against Detroit Tigers, not thrilled with makeup date 05/25/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 25, 2011 8:57pm]

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