Sunday, February 18, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Three injured Rays are making progress

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays are getting closer to a healthy roster.

OF Wil Myers (wrist) continued his rehab assignment Tuesday night at Triple-A Durham. He started in leftfield and finished 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and a walk, but the reigning AL rookie of the year hasn't reported any lingering issues to the Rays.

"Wil's getting close — real close," manager Joe Maddon said. "He can be hatched any day now."

OF David DeJesus (hand) took a brief break from his rehab assignment after experiencing soreness following Saturday's game with the Gulf Coast League Rays. An MRI exam showed no structural damage, and DeJesus said he felt fine after taking batting practice Tuesday. He's expected to play a rehab game for Class A Charlotte today.

C Ryan Hanigan (oblique) said he rushed himself back too quickly from an oblique strain. But after being shut down following a rehab game two weeks ago, he said he's getting closer to a return and could begin a rehab assignment this week.

"I'm real confident this time," he said. "I feel like we're over the hump."

CROWD CONTROL: After being critical of the home crowd for the loud cheers for the Yankees' Derek Jeter over the weekend, Maddon clarified his remarks. He wasn't upset with fans' reaction toward Jeter; he was upset that some booed LHP Jake McGee for pitching Jeter inside as he showed bunt and later for throwing to first base.

"That kind of reaction should never happen in your ballpark," Maddon said. "I will not back off that stance. To boo Jake McGee at all is unconscionable among Rays fans, and I would hope that's who attends games at Tropicana Field. It's right down the street. There's a couple bridges. It's not that hard to get to."

BELNOME'S BIG HIT: DH Vince Belnome had his first major-league hit in the second inning. After starting his career 0-for-7, he led off with a ground-rule double to right-centerfield. He also had his first big-league RBI on a sac fly.

Belnome blasted a shot to right in the fourth that was initially ruled a home run but was overturned to a foul ball after a crew chief review.

PITCHING IN: Rays starter Chris Archer threw 19 of his first 28 pitches for strikes. After that, he threw 40 strikes and 39 balls. McGee threw 35 pitches to break the season high of 32 he threw in his last outing. He gave up three hits but no runs in two innings. RHP Grant Balfour threw 14 pitches in the 11th; 12 were balls.

MISCELLANY: With two on Tuesday, the Rays have issued seven bases loaded walks this season. ... The 10 walks issued by Rays pitchers matched their season high. ... The four-run blown lead matched the Rays largest of the season, also May 15 at the Angels when they led 4-0 and lost 6-5. ... It was the second time in franchise history the Rays walked at least four in an extra inning. ... 1B James Loney's first-inning home run, which snapped an 0-for-8, was his third of the season at Tropicana Field but the second in the past four games. ... INF/OF Ben Zobrist reached base five times, the fifth time in his career he has done so. ... The eight runs allowed were the most by the Rays since July 11, snapping a team-record streak of 13 straight games allowing four or fewer.

Contact Matt Baker at [email protected]. Follow @MBakerTBTimes.

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