Tampa Bay Rays to send Luke Scott to DL as Evan Longoria and Jeff Keppinger near return

ST. PETERSBURG — Rays DH Luke Scott is headed to the 15-day disabled list, while 3B Evan Longoria and INF Jeff Keppinger are headed to Triple-A Durham.

Scott said he injured his back last Friday while trying to warm up for a pinch-hitting appearance against the Marlins. He said he woke up with a stiff lower back and put a heating pad on it while taking practice swings in the batting cage.

"I've been having really, really bad back spasms since Saturday," said Scott, who is hitting .220 with nine homers and 35 RBIs. "I've been trying to get them to go away, but they haven't so far. We have a plan and we'll keep to that plan. It's a difficult situation, but we'll have to make the most of it."

Scott's stint on the DL is retroactive to June 8. He will continue rehab work and said he should be ready to rejoin the team June 24. The Rays are expected to make a roster move today to fill his spot.

Longoria and Keppinger worked out before Thursday's 9-6 loss to the Mets but were en route to Durham before the game ended. Longoria has been on the DL since May 1 with a partially torn left hamstring. Keppinger has been out since May 19 with a broken toe.

Manager Joe Maddon said Keppinger will be the DH tonight, while Longoria will DH on Saturday for the Bulls.

"We'll adjust on Sunday because it's a day game after a night game," Maddon said. "We'll figure out what we are going to do with both of those guys depending on how they are feeling on Sunday."

No-hitter appeal: Mets manager Terry Collins expects to have an answer today on the appeal to have B.J. Upton's hit Wednesday changed to an error, which would result in a no-hitter for RHP R.A. Dickey. Collins acknowledged there's only a slim chance the original call will be overturned.

"It's something that you don't see very much, and if you can get something changed where a guy has a no-hitter, I think it's great," Collins said.

Collins said it was a "tough play," for Mets 3B David Wright, who tried to bare hand a chopper by Upton, one of the fastest Rays.

"It's not a reflection on David, because he's still in my book as good a third baseman as there is in this game," Collins said. "You get so used to him making all the plays that if he doesn't make one it's, 'Wow, that must have been an error because he always makes them.' "

Unhappy ending: Ben Zobrist struck out with the bases loaded and the Rays trailing by three to end the game. But Zobrist and Maddon weren't convinced about the call.

"At first I thought (plate umpire Laz Diaz) said I swung at it," Zobrist said. "Then Joe came out and (Diaz) said he called it a strike. I don't think that was his normal called strike. I think he was a little bit in between. Either way, (Frank) Francisco threw a fantastic pitch. It was a splitter. Got to hand it to him for throwing 3-2 splitter."

MORE MOORE: LHP Matt Moore knows it's a different challenge tonight facing the Marlins for the second consecutive start, but he doesn't plan to alter his approach.

"I had a good feel for my stuff last time, so hopefully it'll be a familiar thing getting after it and being at home," Moore said.

Moore earned a victory Saturday, pointing out he mostly went to a fastball-changeup mix after the Rays took a huge early lead.

"I think my last time, I only threw like three curveballs," he said. "So that'll be another thing to have (tonight). Hopefully I have the same changeup I had and not have to use too many pitches."

Moore has victories in consecutive starts for the first time in his career.

"I think I'm throwing a lot more quality pitches earlier in the at-bat, which is good for me to not throw as many pitches each inning," Moore said.

Tampa Bay Rays to send Luke Scott to DL as Evan Longoria and Jeff Keppinger near return 06/14/12 [Last modified: Friday, June 15, 2012 12:03am]

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