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Tampa Bay Rays' Wade Davis struggles again but says he's confident

PORT CHARLOTTE — RHP Wade Davis has said he feels great physically and is as confident and comfortable as he has been as a pro.

But Davis, competing for a rotation spot, hasn't had good results this spring, including allowing four runs (three earned) on eight hits over four innings in Thursday's 6-6 tie with the Phillies. In three starts spanning 82/3 innings, he has a 5.19 ERA.

Neither Davis nor manager Joe Maddon said they are concerned, believing it's a matter of sharpening his command.

"At the same time, you want to perform well," Davis said. "You want to put on a show. You want to help your team win the ball games even in spring training. I'm frustrated about that. But at the same time, it's a little adjustment to make that outing look a lot better."

Davis did get some bad breaks Thursday. A bloop two-run double bounced off the glove of diving RF Matt Joyce, and an inning-extending error by 3B Jeff Keppinger led to an unearned run on a wild pitch. Maddon said Davis is pretty close on velocity and movement but "it's just location."

"I've seen him do it in the past," Maddon said; "just start getting that pitch where he wants it to go."

MEDICAL MATTERS: LF Desmond Jennings felt no pain one day after colliding with CF B.J. Upton in the outfield. Jennings didn't play against the Phillies but is set to do so today against the Blue Jays.

Maddon said Upton is "banged up" and more sore than Jennings but should play by Saturday.

Maddon said there has been no progress on Robinson Chirinos (concussion). Chirinos, who is competing for the second catcher spot, tweeted Thursday in Spanish, "We are improving slowly, but we are on the right road."

GREAT SCOTT: DH Luke Scott picked up his first hit of the spring, an opposite-field double to left. Scott, recovering from right shoulder surgery, said it was encouraging because of the mechanics of his swing.

"That at-bat was exactly what I want to do," he said.

Maddon said Scott will not play in the field during the spring.

MORE MOLINA: C Jose Molina is set to start for the second straight day today in Dunedin as the Rays try to see how much they can get out of the veteran this season.

GAME DETAILS: OF Jesus Feliciano hit a run-scoring double with two outs in the ninth to tie it against the Phillies. … RHP Kyle Farns­worth threw a scoreless inning in his second spring appearance. … Molina perfectly executed the squeeze with runners on first and third. … OF Sam Fuld and SS Reid Brignac each went 2-for-3.

Tampa Bay Rays' Wade Davis struggles again but says he's confident 03/15/12 [Last modified: Thursday, March 15, 2012 9:59pm]
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