Monday, April 23, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay Rays starter Wade Davis isn't sharp vs. Boston Red Sox

FORT MYERS — RHP Wade Davis certainly didn't look good Saturday night in the 5-0 loss to the Red Sox, walking four while throwing 58 pitches in less than three innings.

But Davis, battling to keep a spot in the rotation, said it actually went well and that his problems were correctable, the result of a fastball that was running a bit and a lack of aggressiveness in the strike zone.

"I feel good about it," Davis said. "I felt really strong. The stuff was really good."

Manager Joe Maddon concurred, saying a "tight" strike zone by umpire Chad Whitson also was a factor. "Physically I thought he threw the ball well, he had some good breaking balls, the command got away from him," Maddon said. "Overall it wasn't his sharpest performance but it wasn't bad, either."

Davis walked three of the first five Sox, forcing in a run. He allowed two more in the second, though it wasn't all his fault as CF B.J. Upton misplayed a routine-looking fly ball into a three-base error. "He just missed it," Maddon said. "He was very upset with himself."

Davis said he wouldn't write off the night: "I think there's a lot of positives and some negatives that I can build on."

FEELING BETTER: 3B Evan Longoria is set for his first game action of the spring today after going through batting practice, against hard-throwing LHP Matt Moore no less, with no problems from his bruised right hand.

DH Luke Scott (right shoulder surgery) is also a possibility after making considerable strides in working out his mechanics. "If it's not (today), he's very close," Maddon said.

Moore, set back by an abdominal strain, was sharp and is set for his first game Tuesday.

LHP David Price's stiff neck was better, and though he pushed his between-starts bullpen back a day to today, he could take his regular turn Tuesday. If not, he could be pushed back a day. "When I woke up it felt almost normal," Price said.

INF Sean Rodriguez said his sprained left index finger is improving and he hopes to be back on the field in a few days, though because of the frayed ligaments involved he is going to have some pain for the rest of the month.

OF Sam Fuld said there were no problems with his right wrist the day after his debut.

MISCELLANY: Tim Beckham started at shortstop in place of Reid Brignac, who missed the game to attend the birth of his son, Reid Michael, with former girlfriend Lauren Anderson. … Minor-league equipment manager Tim McKechney won the 2011 Player Development Man of the Year award. … Jeff Keppinger and Elliot Johnson had two hits each, and reliever Dane De La Rosa had another solid outing.

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