Saturday, May 26, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay Rays: Rays need to get creative to assist injured 6-9 Jeff Niemann; recent callups have travel adventures

Rays vs. Red Sox

When/where: 7:10 tonight; Tropicana Field

TV/radio: Sun Sports; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

Tickets: $17-275, available at Tropicana Field box office, Ticketmaster, raysbaseball.com, team Tampa store; $3 surcharge within 5 hours of game time.

Probable pitchers

Rays: RH Jeremy Hellickson (3-0, 2.95)

RED SOX: RH Clay Buchholz (4-1, 8.31)

On Hellickson: Despite inconsistencies, has won his past five decisions. Was better in last start Friday at Baltimore than previous outing (32/3 IP vs. Oakland). Is 2-1, 4.99 in six games vs. Red Sox.

On Buchholz: Has had a brutal season, allowing five or more earned runs in his first six starts and only three his last one (but didn't strike anyone out). Has been good vs. Rays, going 5-2, 2.38 in nine starts.

Key matchups

Rays VS. BUCHHOLZ

Carlos Peña 3-for-19, HR

Luke Scott5-for-22, 2 HRs

B.J. Upton 5-for-11, HR

RED SOX VS. HELLICKSON

A. Gonzalez 2-for-11, HR

David Ortiz 6-for-13, HR

Dustin Pedroia 3-for-13, HR

On deck

Thursday: vs. Red Sox, 7:10, Sun Sports. Rays — Matt Moore (1-3, 5.31), Red Sox — Felix Doubront (3-1, 4.46)

Friday: vs. Braves, 7:10, Sun Sports. Rays — James Shields (6-1, 3.52); Braves — Tommy Hanson (4-3, 3.43)

Saturday: vs. Braves, 4:10, Sun Sports. Rays — Chris Archer or Alex Cobb; Braves — Randall Delgado (2-3, 3.79)

Sunday: vs. Braves, 1:40, Sun Sports. Rays — David Price (6-2, 3.10); Braves — Tim Hudson (2-1, 3.96)

Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

Medical tales of the day

Rays head athletic trainer Ron Porterfield gets credit for, among other things, creativity, calling the NBA's Toronto Raptors to find special tall-sized crutches for 6-foot-9 Jeff Niemann to use. Until he did, Niemann was in a wheelchair at the team hotel, assisted by teammate/friend Will Rhymes. Rhymes, though, wasn't much of a wheelman, at one point rolling Niemann's bad foot into an elevator door. "Once he gets rolling he's hard to stop," Rhymes said.

Travel tales of the day

Stephen Vogt's flight from Rochester, N.Y., to Toronto on Monday was delayed three times and didn't land until nearly 7. He still had his sense of humor at customs: "I said I'm here to play baseball, and he said, 'Oh, for fun?' And I said yes, absolutely, for fun. And then I told him."

• RHP Josh Lueke was getting on the team bus at 4 a.m. Tuesday when Durham manager Charlie Montoyo told him to go back to bed because he had a later flight to Toronto. Lueke went right back to his same room. "That made it easy," he said. "They hadn't cleaned it yet."

38 Japanese media members in Durham for Hideki Matsui's first Triple-A game.

Comments
Rays journal: Rays shut out by Orioles in opener

Rays journal: Rays shut out by Orioles in opener

By Joey JohnstonTimes CorrespondentST. PETERSBURG — Rays LHP Ryan Yarbrough deserved better Friday. But the offense didn't offer much, allowing the Orioles to escape with a 2-0 victory before an announced crowd of 11,354 at Tropicana Field."It ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Rays trade closer Alex Colome, outfielder Denard Span to Mariners

Rays trade closer Alex Colome, outfielder Denard Span to Mariners

ST. PETERSBURG – In January, sure.In July, absolutely.But, now?And, once again, for someone who they hope helps in the future.The Rays made a shocking trade at a surprising time of year Friday, dealing All-Star closer Alex Colome and Tampa...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Rays trade Alex Colome and Denard Span to Mariners for prospects

Rays trade Alex Colome and Denard Span to Mariners for prospects

The Rays made a major trade Friday afternoon, sending All-Star closer Alex Colome and OF Denard Span to the Mariners.The return is two minor-leaguers, RHP Andrew Moore and RHP Tommy Romero. The Rays also sent cash to the Mariners.Span, a Tampa produc...
Updated: 7 hours ago
For starters: Sergio Romo on mound tonight as Rays open series against Orioles

For starters: Sergio Romo on mound tonight as Rays open series against Orioles

By JOEY JOHNSTONTimes CorrespondentST. PETERSBURG — For openers, the Rays will use RHP Sergio Romo, the 35-year-old career reliever, as tonight's starter against the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field.Romo is making his third career "sta...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Alex Cobb excited about return “home” to Trop even in Orioles orange

Alex Cobb excited about return “home” to Trop even in Orioles orange

RHP Alex Cobb has already pitched twice against his former Rays mates in Baltimore and said it didn't feel that weird, especially since there were so many new faces in the lineup.But coming back to the Trop, where he made his big-league debut and spe...
Published: 05/25/18
Willy Adames goes back to AAA, leaving Rays with “a lot to be excited about’

Willy Adames goes back to AAA, leaving Rays with “a lot to be excited about’

Willy Adames' first stint in the major leagues ended as planned Thursday night when he was optioned back to Triple-A Durham at the end of his planned three-game cameo filling in for new father Joey Wendle.Adames said going back down was "tough" even ...
Published: 05/25/18
Rays journal: Blake Snell, flying Denard Span finally solve Red Sox

Rays journal: Blake Snell, flying Denard Span finally solve Red Sox

ST. PETERSBURG — Having lost two straight and nine of 12 times overall to the Red Sox, the Rays needed two things to go right Thursday:First, a strong start from Blake Snell.Second, some early runs against Rick Porcello from an offense that had...
Published: 05/24/18
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Thursday’s Rays-Red Sox game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Thursday’s Rays-Red Sox game

Home cooking clearly agrees with OF Denard Span. The 34-year-old Tampa product continues to deliver, producing at the plate, running the bases, making diving catches in the outfield, and Thursday, even going over the short sidewall twice in hot pursu...
Published: 05/24/18
Rays once again will ‘open’ with relievers this weekend

Rays once again will ‘open’ with relievers this weekend

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays weren't kidding about being serious that starting relievers gives them the best chance to win.So much so, they plan to do so again this weekend against the Orioles — in all three games. The plan is for Sergio Rom...
Published: 05/24/18
Rays tripling down on starting relievers vs. Orioles this weekend: Romo, Stanek, Romo

Rays tripling down on starting relievers vs. Orioles this weekend: Romo, Stanek, Romo

The Rays aren't kidding about being serious in using relievers to start games.After unveiling the strategy last weekend against the Angels, manager Kevin Cash said they planned to use it again, and he made that official on Thursday, naming Sergio Rom...
Published: 05/24/18