MINNEAPOLIS — RHP Erasmo Ramirez was on the mound to finish Sunday's 15-inning marathon win over the Twins and will start tonight's game against the Rangers.
The Rays turned to Ramirez to pitch the 15th inning after using six other relievers, but because he threw only 12 pitches to get the final three outs — and the save — they will let him take his scheduled turn in the rotation tonight.
"My arm feels good," Ramirez said. "I'm glad the inning was quick. I executed every pitch, and that gave me the chance to not just feel it that much. I told (manager Kevin) Cash my arm feels good just in case you want to continue with the plans. I want to start for sure."
"He should be fine," Cash said. "Erasmo, we always talk about how resilient he is."
Though the Rays used six of their seven relievers — sparing only rookie LHP Jose Alvarado, who needed a day off — and three threw 30-plus pitches (Tommy Hunter, Danny Farquhar, Alex Colome), Cash said they don't plan to make a move to add a fresh arm.
One key is that RHP Chase Whitley, who can work multiple innings, threw only 19 pitches in one inning and RHP Ryne Stanek only 10. And Alvarado will be available.
Big numbers of the day
6:26 Time of game, second longest in Rays history; 6:54 on Sept. 20, 2013, a 5-4, 18-inning win over Orioles. Also longest in Target Field history.
15 Innings, matching most for a road game in franchise history; July 20, 2012, 4-3 loss at Oakland.
553 Total pitches thrown; 264 by Rays.
18, 17 Hits, strikeouts for the Rays batters.
Kiermaier's eventful day
CF Kevin Kiermaier made one incredibly good play in the eighth, running a long way to run down Jorge Polanco's drive to center and keep the Twins to a sacrifice fly and two runs in the inning. And he made one incredibly bad one in the 14th, breaking back then charging in and botching a basket catch attempt on Max Kepler's shallow fly that led to the Twins' tying run. "I was playing a little deeper than I should have, took a bad break on the ball and went back, and it was one of those things where I didn't get a good read on it and tried to make up for it and get in there quick thinking I'm going to have to dive, and that's why I chose to try and catch the ball (like that) rather than up in my face and I paid for it," Kiermaier said. "We could have ended the game right there, so I was really upset with myself right there."
More double trouble
Player rep RHP Chris Archer isn't the only Ray unhappy with the decision — made last season — to play a June 10 doubleheader at the Trop. Archer said the position players liked the idea since they in return got June 12 off, but 1B Logan Morrison said that wasn't unanimous. "I was not there for that (talk) and that's asinine," he said. "It gives you a day off your feet, but you get two days in one day, so no thanks. I'll take the rest in between." Overall, Morrison said doubleheaders "are terrible, and they're not healthy, especially when they're on turf. So that's not smart. … I don't understand it at all."
Today is something of a big day in Port Charlotte for a quartet of Rays working back from injury: RHP Brad Boxberger (flexor) will throw live BP to 2B Brad Miller (abdominal strain) and SS Matt Duffy (left heel) with Wilson Ramos (right knee surgery) catching. Ramos, Miller and Duffy — still slowed by the bruised big toe he fouled a ball off May 20 — may get at-bats in an extended spring game Tuesday. … Triple-A Durham RHP Jake Faria is not expected to miss his next start after being hit on the left calf by a line drive Saturday and leaving after four innings, sustaining only a bruise.