ST. PETERSBURG — The new house Rays CF Kevin Kiermaier bought has some extra space, which may come in handy as he plans to keep collecting Gold Glove awards.
Kiermaier was officially presented with his second before Saturday's game, and made clear that he expects to keep winning them, even with talented competition such as Toronto's Kevin Pillar and Boston's Jackie Bradley Jr.
"I say every year I don't make it a goal that I think I should win the Gold Glove or try to win it," Kiermaier said. "I just feel if I go out there and play the game I'm capable of defensively I think it's tough to maybe award someone else because I truly think I'm the premier defender when it comes to centerfield defense. That's my opinion, but I firmly believe that. … I'm very confident in what I can do out there."
Manager Kevin Cash is in strong agreement: "He's the best there is. No doubt about it in my mind."
Hey, good looking
CF Kevin Kiermaier liked the look of the bobblehead given out Saturday in his honor. "This is the best one thus far I believe because it actually somewhat looks like me," he said. "The ones in the past I thought had a little bit of work to do. The facial hair, the eyes, the facial features they did a really good job."
Well, maybe you do have a point about W's
The value of wins in judging a starter is hotly debated, but Friday's game illustrated how absurd it is for relievers. Rays LHP Xavier Cedeno came in with a 6-5 lead, two outs and the bases loaded and walked his first two batters to force in runs before getting the third out. But because the Rays went back ahead in the home sixth, Cedeno got the W. "I stole that one, didn't I," Cedeno joked. He became the first reliever to get a win after two bases-loaded walks, per the Elias Sports Bureau, since 1977, when Cleveland's Jim Kern did so at Boston on July 23, putting on Jim Rice and Carl Yastrzemski. And just the second pitcher in Tampa Bay franchise history to do so, joining RHP Tanyon Sturtze, in an Aug. 18, 2002 game.
You always remember your first
Rookie INF Daniel Robertson was excited to get his first major-league hit Friday, and relieved it didn't take longer than his second start. Even better was that he did so while his mom, Julie — who heads home to California today — was still in town. "It all seemed like a blur," Robertson said. "I remember looking up in the stands to see my mom; that was just an exciting moment. … She stuck around for a while and to be able to see the first one is awesome." Home clubhouse manager Jose Fernandez has the ball, which Robertson plans to frame along with the lineup card he got from his big-league debut.
Numbers of the day
22/27 First-pitch strikes and batters faced in first start of season by RHP Jake Odorizzi, who aims to repeat career-best performance today in facing the Blue Jays.
• OF Colby Rasmus opted for caution in working out at the Trop Saturday rather than playing his second rehab game with the Stone Crabs, wanting to make sure no residuals from his Thursday outfield collision with Ryan Boldt complicated his rehab from hip surgery.
• Prospect RHP Jaime Schultz was placed on the Triple-A DL with a groin strain leaving Friday's game during an at-bat. No word on how long he'll be out.
• At 4-2 the Rays clinched a winning homestand; they didn't have one until August last year.
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• After playing 3:53 on Friday, they played 3:55 on Saturday.
• Rookie Daniel Robertson might get his first start at shortstop today.
• Friday was the first time in their 3,082-game history the Rays had two players come off the bench and get multiple hits, as Corey Dickerson and Logan Morrison did.