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Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon calls Detroit Tigers' barking over Sean Rodriguez's hustle 'insane'

ST. PETERSBURG — As odd as the ending to Wednesday's game was, manager Joe Maddon said it couldn't have been more fitting that Sean Rodriguez's extreme hustle was the key to the Rays' win.

That's because Tuesday, Rodriguez was getting yelled at by Detroit starter Brad Penny and possibly some other Tigers for hustling too much running hard on an infield pop out.

"For anybody to bark at another player for … hustling is absolutely insane, ludicrous,'' Maddon said. "And if Sean had just charged the mound, I'd have been fine with that at that particular moment.

"I think that's ridiculous, and then he shows them (Wednesday) what that means to play hard. So any time a guy gets on another guy because he's going to show him up by playing too hard, I have a hard time with that myself, personally.''

Rodriguez said he appreciated Maddon having his back but didn't want to discuss what happened Tuesday.

Tigers manager Jim Leyland had addressed the media by the time Maddon made his comments.

UPTON UPDATE: CF B.J. Upton, who strained his right shoulder Monday, was again out of the starting lineup. He pinch hit in the seventh and struck out swinging.

Before the game, Upton said he still had stiffness and didn't feel comfortable about throwing, a prerequisite for returning to the outfield. He plans to try today, with an eye on rejoining the lineup Friday.

"I don't anticipate it to be a much longer thing," Maddon said.

Upton also seems resigned to a new wave of rumors amid talk, originating with a Twitter post from CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler, that he had been placed on trade waivers. That's a common occurrence this time of year, as teams run most of their players through waivers and pull back those claimed.

"If something happens, it happens," Upton said. "It's out of my hands."

WADING IN: RHP Wade Davis did everything he could to help Wednesday. He pitched nine innings (for the second time in his career) while holding the Tigers to four hits and made a key defensive play in the eighth, pouncing off the mound to make a shoestring grab of Don Kelly's popped-up bunt and firing to first to double off Austin Jackson.

"Outstanding,'' Maddon said.

RAMOS DOWN: Bullpen coach Bobby Ramos remains home in Miami, undergoing further tests related to a lingering throat infection and sapped of the energy needed to get back on the field. He is expected to rejoin the team before the end of the season.

"There's nothing critically wrong with him. He's just not feeling up to it," Maddon said. "His strength is still not where it needs to be. He's lost some weight. He's just battling this general malaise."

MISCELLANY: Wednesday was the fifth time in team history the Rays won on a walkoff fielder's choice. … DH Johnny Damon collected his 2,700th career hit and with two doubles has 513 of those, one shy of Edgar Martinez for 44th place all time. … Evan Longoria homered for the 17th time since June 20 and eighth this month, both tops in the American League. … Radio man Andy Freed was ill and missed Wednesday's game; former big-leaguer Orestes Destrade filled in and joined Dave Wills. … OF Justin Ruggiano, on the disabled list retroactive to Aug. 7 with left knee bursitis, began his rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Durham, and C Jose Lobaton (left knee sprain) will join Class A Charlotte on Friday. … The Rays took batting practice for the first time since Friday, Maddon deciding they had been "refreshed" by the break in routine. … OF Sam Fuld got the permanent crown installed on his front tooth. … RHP Kyle Farnsworth's streak of consecutive batters retired that ended Tuesday at 26 is a team record. He broke RHP Roberto Hernandez's mark of 25 set in 1998.

Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon calls Detroit Tigers' barking over Sean Rodriguez's hustle 'insane' 08/24/11 [Last modified: Thursday, August 25, 2011 1:41am]

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