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Tampa Bay Rays put Pat Burrell on disabled list

ST. PETERSBURG — DH Pat Burrell still has a pain in the neck, so the Rays decided to put him on the disabled list and aid their weary bullpen by calling up reliever Jason Isringhausen.

Burrell isn't expected to be sidelined long; because the move was backdated to May 11 (the day after he last played), he could return as soon as May 26.

"We want to make sure he comes out of this well and there are no lingering effects," manager Joe Maddon said. "We don't expect it to be much longer than a normal DL stint. There's no finish line on it, but that's how we're going into this thing."

Burrell, who received a cortisone shot Friday, wasn't able to say exactly what is wrong. "They used big words; as far as I know it's a neck spasm or stiffness," he said. "Bottom line, I've been out of the lineup for a week now and things just aren't where I want them to be. … It's looking like early next week."

Isringhausen, the 14-year veteran who has 293 saves, joined the Rays at the start of spring training as he recovered from September elbow surgery. The 36-year-old has made 10 rehab appearances between Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham, compiling a 4.09 ERA, and proven he could handle multiple innings and back-to-back days.

"With our bullpen on fumes a little bit, I think he's going to help provide even more depth and give us another option in late-inning situations," executive VP Andrew Friedman said.

The move leaves the Rays with 13 pitchers and 12 position players (and thus only three reserves), but the timing isn't bad because they have three interleague games this weekend at Florida when Burrell would have been limited to pinch-hit duties.

PRICE CHECK: With RHPs Andy Sonnanstine and Jeff Niemann struggling, LHP David Price is heating up at Triple A. Sunday, Price had his best outing, striking out nine over five hitless innings, with 82 pitches.

GOOD BOUNCE: Ryan Garko's eighth-inning fly looked like it hit the top of the pad on the leftfield wall before Carl Crawford caught it barehanded.

But not to umpires, who called it an out then conferred — unable to use instant replay since it wasn't a question of being a home run — and stuck by their call that it bounced off his glove.

So what really happened? "They called it an out, it's an out," Crawford said. "It hit my glove, or whatever it's supposed to hit."

MEET AND GREET: Maddon and pitching coach Jim Hickey took the unusual step of meeting with the starting pitchers, calling it a "pep talk" and a "nice give-and-take" but also saying he wanted to "demonstrate my confidence in them."

ON THE RUN: With B.J. Upton's first-inning theft of second, the Rays extended their streak of consecutive games with a stolen base to 19, matching the 1914 Yankees for longest in the AL. The 1985 Cardinals stole a base in 29 straight games on their way to 314 for the season.

MISCELLANY: OF Ben Francisco is now 6-for-7 with four homers and a double off RHP Andy Sonnanstine. … The Rays drew 88,903 for the three weekend games, averaging 29,634. … The Aug. 1 home game vs. Kansas City has been picked up by Fox for regional broadcast and moved up to a 4:10 start.

Tampa Bay Rays put Pat Burrell on disabled list 05/17/09 [Last modified: Monday, May 18, 2009 7:45am]

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