Monday, June 18, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay Rays rained out, will have doubleheader Sunday

PHILADELPHIA — The Rays ended up all wet again in Philadelphia on Friday.

As if their misadventures in rain-delayed Game 3 and cold-weather-interrupted (for 46 hours) Game 5 of the 2008 World Series weren't bad enough, they sat through nearly three hours of a rain delay and one ill-advised attempt to start play before Friday's game was called off.

"This was a lot more comfortable standing out there waiting," Rays manager Joe Maddon said.

The teams will play a split doubleheader Sunday, with the regularly scheduled game moved up to 1:05 p.m. and Friday's game made up at 6:35.

RHP James Shields, who went through most, but not all, of his usual warmup Friday for an attempted delayed start, will be on the mound today, certain he won't be taxed in any way.

"I'm good to go," Shields said.

The Phillies will stick with scheduled starter RHP Kyle Kendrick today, then likely use lefties Cliff Lee, who was to start Friday, and ace Cole Hamels on Sunday.

"Every time we come to Philadelphia it gets a little weird," Shields said. "But it's baseball; you've got to deal with it."

The teams discussed making the game up on one of two mutual off days, Sept. 6 or 24, but in both cases there would have been a violation of the rule prohibiting playing more than 20 consecutive games. The Phillies' decision to play the Sunday split-doubleheader did not require approval from the Rays or the players union.

The Phillies tried to start Friday's game at about 8:45 p.m. based on the forecast information they received, but umpiring crew chief Jim Joyce decided to wait, and rain began to fall again heavily, and there was lightning in the area.

JOYCE OUT: OF Matt Joyce said even he held out hope until trying a few swings Friday afternoon that he wouldn't need to go on the DL. But with what started as back stiffness turning out to be an oblique strain, caution became essential.

"It's just a case where I felt it a little bit swinging and felt like if I really let it go in the game … I could hurt it a lot worse and I'd be out six, eight weeks than to take two and really make sure it's good to go," Joyce said. "I really didn't plan on being on the DL and didn't think it was going to be that bad."

Joyce, who leads the Rays with 11 homers, will be eligible to return July 5.

CONRAD HERE: After spending three days not knowing where he was going after being put on waivers by the Brewers, INF Brooks Conrad was excited to join the Rays.

Though the switch-hitting Conrad hit only .075 (3-for-40) in part-time duty during two stints with Milwaukee, the Rays apparently view him as an upgrade over INF Drew Sutton, who was designated for assignment, and plan to give him an opportunity, including some starts at first base, which would give 1B Carlos Peña some days off . Conrad, who carries five gloves (including a catchers' mitt) will be used at second and third, Maddon said.

"Everybody knows Joe likes to mix and match everybody and move them all over, so it should be a good fit," said Conrad, who has also played for Oakland and Atlanta.

OTHER MOVES: INF Jeff Keppinger was activated off the DL and will get considerable playing time against all left-handers and some right-handers, getting time at first, second and third base. … OF Rich Thompson was optioned back to Triple A; the Rays needed a roster spot. … RHP Brandon Gomes said he was "surprised" to get called back up sooner than expected, which was only possible because the 10-day rule is waived if there is an injury to a player on the big-league roster and it doesn't have to be position-specific.

MORE MEDICAL: 3B Evan Longoria hasn't done any baseball activity since Monday's setback in his recovery from a hamstring injury, and he probably won't until next week, executive vice president Andrew Friedman said. … RHP Kyle Farnsworth will test his elbow by pitching Sunday and again Monday for Class A Charlotte, and if all continues to go well, he could be ready Thursday.

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