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Tampa Bay Rays reliever Kyle Farnsworth (elbow) expects to return today

TORONTO — RHP Kyle Farnsworth said he expects to be back in the bullpen and available for duty today after being idle for four days with tenderness in his right elbow.

"I played catch (Saturday), and it felt good," he said. "I should be out there ready to go (today)."

Farnsworth, who hadn't pitched since Tuesday, downplayed any concern, saying he didn't recall when the elbow became an issue, just that it had bothered him for a few days.

"Just a little bit," he said. "I'd rather be on the side of caution than go out there and try to make it worse. … I needed one more day, and I thought, instead of trying to rush, especially in the position we're in, there's no point of trying to come back too quick and make it worse."

The Rays, who for strategic purposes hadn't made his condition public until after Saturday's game, need him, as he has 22 of their 25 saves and a 1.80 ERA.

On the other hand: RHP Joel Peralta was impressive filling in for Farnsworth in the ninth, overcoming C Kelly Shoppach dropping leadoff man J.P. Arencibia's popup to log a 1-2-3 nine-pitch save, his second of the season and fourth career.

Peralta said he didn't mind the duty — "It's almost the same thing as coming in in the eighth inning with a one-run lead" — but he's happy to be a temp: "I hope that Farnsworth is back (today); take his ninth inning back."

Upton update: CF B.J. Upton had the same question as everyone else after Saturday's St. Petersburg Times report that he had been claimed on waivers: "Who claimed me?" The identity of the team has yet to come out — MLB rules prevent disclosure, though there are occasional leaks — but a deal by Monday's deadline is considered unlikely.

Upton insisted he isn't concerned. "It's the business, man," he said. "That's out of my hands. If that's what they want to do, then I can't control it. My main focus right now is with this ball club, and if I happen to go elsewhere, I guess I have to readjust."

Upton said that with the Rays discussing deals for him at the July 31 deadline and exposing him to trade waivers, he realizes it's at least possible he won't be back: "With the trade deadline talks and now this, obviously it's a possibility. You don't know."

Upton said he wants to stay and is open to discussing a long-term deal, given he'll be a free agent after 2012. "Definitely," he said. "Definitely."

Triple trouble: INF Sean Rodriguez hasn't lived down the infamy of grounding into a 5-4-3 triple play Aug. 16 in Boston, and he almost made the last out of another Saturday. "I would have got worn out for that," he said.

Upton was on second and Rodriguez on first in the sixth when Shoppach bunted too hard back to the mound. RHP Shawn Camp, an ex-Ray, threw to third to force Upton; 3B Brett Lawrie fired to first to get Shoppach out; and 2B Kelly Johnson threw across the field as Rodriguez had decided to go to third. Rodriguez slid in safely headfirst but nearly came off the base, hanging on by the fingertips on his left hand.

"I wasn't expecting Shoppach to be thrown out at first," Rodriguez said. "I was getting up, and I looked over and I was like, 'Shop's not on at first. Oh, wow. It could have been a triple play.' "

Miscellany: 1B Casey Kotchman was scratched from the lineup due to flulike symptoms, ending a streak of 74 consecutive starts, dating to June 4, though he came in for defense in the seventh. … INF Elliot Johnson had his first three-hit game in the majors. … Radio man Andy Freed, out four games with laryngitis, is hoping to return today. … RHP Chris Archer was to make his Triple-A debut for Durham on Saturday night. … RHP James Shields on Friday became the first pitcher to have 10 complete games in his first 27 starts since Curt Schilling in 1998 and in the AL since Kevin Brown in 1993.

Tampa Bay Rays reliever Kyle Farnsworth (elbow) expects to return today 08/27/11 [Last modified: Saturday, August 27, 2011 9:37pm]
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