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Tyner is sacrificed to need for a LHP

The Devil Rays learned they cannot live without a left-hander in the bullpen.

That's good news for Bobby Seay, who was called up Sunday from Triple-A Durham. It was bad news for outfielder Jason Tyner, who was shipped back to Durham to make room for Seay.

"It's tough," Tyner said. "You go out and play hard and do your job and things are supposed to work out the way they should. I don't know if that's happening here."

Tyner was recalled from Durham on May 9 and appeared in 35 games, including 12 starts. He batted .290 with no homers and six RBIs and did a good job defensively.

"I came to the park ready whether I was starting or not playing," Tyner, 26, said. "I felt like I did my job."

Manager Lou Piniella didn't disagree.

"He did a reasonable job," Piniella said. "He played well. I was pleased with his play. I don't like sending people out. It's probably the worst part of my job. But we needed to bring in a left-hander."

The Rays haven't had a left-hander in the bullpen since Mike Venafro was let go June 26.

The 25-year-old Seay was 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA in 10 games for Durham. He pitched 12 innings, allowing 11 hits and five runs with 14 strikeouts and five walks.

ANOTHER MOVE COMING: The Rays will make another roster move this week when Joe Kennedy comes off the disabled list. Kennedy is scheduled to pitch Wednesday in Oakland.

One possibility is sending Rob Bell to the minors. Bell is scheduled to start Tuesday, and the Rays wouldn't need him to pitch again before the All-Star break.

HOME COOKIN': A 6-7 homestand would be a cause for concern in places such as Atlanta or Seattle or the Bronx. In Tampa Bay, though, playing one game under .500 against four quality opponents was a reason for optimism.

The Rays lost three of four to the Yankees but were in position to win three of those games. Of the seven losses, four were decided by two runs or fewer. The Rays were blown out only twice, 8-2 to Atlanta on June 27 and 11-3 Sunday against the White Sox.

"It has been a good homestand," Piniella said. "Every team that came in here, we played tough. The Yankees series was a little disappointing. We could've won two, possibly three times. The difference is they know how to win those type of games more than we do.

"When we get to the point that we go 7-3 on a homestand, I'll start to be satisfied. But that will come."

MISCELLANY: Former Rays pitcher Nick Bierbrodt was designated for reassignment Sunday by Cleveland. If Bierbrodt clears waivers, he could be available for the Rays to pick up again and put in the minors. Carl Crawford's three RBIs gave him nine for the 13-game homestand, most on the team.

_ TOM JONES

OUTTA LEFTFIELD

You know it's a bad season when the mascot gets hurt. Raymond, the Devil Rays mascot, is a candidate for the disabled list after hurting his leg in a promotional race during Saturday's game. Raymond sprained his right ankle and was on crutches for Sunday's game.

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