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Rekar to DL with shoulder tendinitis

Right-handed pitcher Bryan Rekar was placed on the disabled list Friday with tendinitis in his right shoulder and the Rays recalled rookie right-handed reliever Jesus Colome from Triple-A Durham.

It didn't take long for Colome to get to work, replacing Albie Lopez with one out in the sixth inning Friday night after the Rays starter gave up successive home runs to Ivan Rodriguez and Ruben Sierra and departed with what the team said was a left ankle sprain. Lopez was listed as day-to-day.

Paul Wilson, who began the season as a starter before moving to the bullpen June 1, will return to the rotation in Rekar's place. He is scheduled to start Wednesday at Anaheim, but manager Hal McRae said he will try to get him into today's game briefly.

For Rekar, it's the first visit to the DL because of arm problems. He started 2000 on the DL with a left groin strain and the 1998 season with a lower back strain. "It's always a little scary," he said, "but after conversations with the trainers and doctors, I know it's nothing major, nothing structural. I'll be back (before the season ends)."

Rekar came out of Thursday's game against the Angels after one inning, saying he couldn't get loose. He said his shoulder has been bothering him all season but that it got progressively worse the past two starts.

"I always figured if I was out there pitching every five days, that was the most important thing," he said. "I tried to take it easy between starts and always told them I could go."

Said McRae: "You hate to lose anyone, but you've got to move on. Jamie (Reed, Rays trainer) said the rest will do him good."

JUGGLING: Second baseman Brent Abernathy was dropped to eighth in the lineup, McRae said, "to try and break up the inconsistency" the Rays have had driving in runs from the bottom of the order. "If he does well, he'll stay. Abbie handles the bat well; he's gotten some big hits. He's the best RBI man among batters at the bottom of the lineup."

Going into Friday the Rays were 6-7 in games in which Abernathy batted seventh or eighth, 1-5 elsewhere. Randy Winn, who has batted leadoff or No. 2 most of the season, batted sixth as McRae spread the more productive hitters throughout the lineup.

_ BRUCE LOWIIT

YOU DON'T SAY

Manager Hal McRae was asked, in view of the Rays' inability to drive home runners in scoring position, what he would pay for a base hit in such situations. "A premium," he said. "And I'd pay big for contact."

ATTENDANCE REPORT

FRIDAY'S CROWD: 13,611

TROPICANA FIELD CAPACITY: 44,445

SEASON TOTAL: 749,941

PER-GAME AVERAGE: 15,305

2001 LARGEST CROWD: 41,546

2001 SMALLEST CROWD: 10,539

2000 PER-GAME AVERAGE: 19,368

1999 PER-GAME AVERAGE: 19,296

1998 PER-GAME AVERAGE: 30,939

TODAY'S PROMOTIONS:

Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, honoring the memory of Tampa police officer Lois Marrero, killed in the line of duty July 6. Also, Autograph Day: four players or coaches available at 2:55 p.m. for a 30-minute session.

THE PITCHERS

Ryan Rupe

Rupe (4-8, 7.12) makes his 16th start of the season and 10th since being recalled Memorial Day from Triple-A Durham. The start is the 57th of his career, which will move him past ex-Ray Rolando Arrojo into second place in team history (Bryan Rekar, 74).

Darren Oliver

Oliver (7-5, 6.48) makes his first start of the season against Tampa Bay; he is 6-3 with a 2.39 ERA in 13 career starts against the Rays. His last start was a 7-6 loss to Giants (5 innings, 8 hits, 7 runs, 6 earned) and he is 0-3 with a 9.56 ERA in his past three starts.

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