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Rays not apologizing for getting break on blown call

Umpire Jerry Meals, left, ejects John Farrell in the eighth inning of Monday’s game after making a call at home he later admitted was wrong.
Umpire Jerry Meals, left, ejects John Farrell in the eighth inning of Monday’s game after making a call at home he later admitted was wrong.
Published Jul. 31, 2013

ST. PETERSBURG — OF Sam Fuld joked that he probably lost some friends in his native New Hampshire after Monday night's controversial 2-1 win over the Red Sox.

Fuld said that throwing out pinch-runner Daniel Nava at home to end the eighth inning was one of the biggest throws of his career, though he was helped by an admittedly blown call by home plate umpire Jerry Meals.

"I think all of New England probably hates me to some extent," Fuld said. "Maybe not as much as Jerry Meals."

But though the Rays caught a break on the call, which drew ire from the Red Sox and sparked the conversation for expanded instant replay, they aren't apologizing for it. Not after calls sent against Tampa Bay earlier in the season.

"(Meals) called him out, I don't care what Boston thinks about it," C Jose Molina said. "An out is an out. That's the game. Sometimes it's going to go their way, sometimes it's going to go our way. Just take it and just leave it there, turn the page. How many times has that happened to us? It is Boston, everybody is making it a bigger deal. Stop crying."

Fuld said Meals' mistake reminded him of when the Rays were victimized by a blown game-ending third strike call in a 5-4 loss to Texas on April 8, with home plate umpire Marty Foster later apologizing.

"We had to sort of swallow the pill and move on," Fuld said. "If (Meals) calls him safe there, it's 2-2. The game isn't over. If Ben had a ball called there, it's not like we would have won automatically. You have that feeling like you totally got gypped and we would have won no matter what, but that's not the case. It's still anybody's game. We've been on both sides of that."

Manager Joe Maddon lauded Meals for owning up to his mistake, saying his respect for him has "jumped" because of it. Maddon is in favor of expanded instant replay.

"If there was replay, the play probably would have been reversed," Maddon said. "And nobody would have anything to complain about."

TRADE WINDS: With a 4 p.m. deadline today for nonwaiver trades, the Rays apparently were still working on at least one potential deal, presumably to add a hitter. They also pulled INF Ryan Roberts from Triple-A Durham's game because he might be called up today. It was unclear how those moves might be connected, whether Roberts would be replacing a traded player (Matt Joyce? Sean Rodriguez? Kelly Johnson?) or whether there would be a series of roster moves. RHP Jesse Crain, who was acquired Monday from the White Sox and will wear No. 26, is expected at the Trop today, where he will meet with the medical staff to map out his rehab program.

COBB UPDATE: RHP Alex Cobb (mild concussion) said all went well in a 55-pitch simulated game Tuesday in Port Charlotte. He plans to make the first of two expected rehab starts Saturday for Class A Charlotte.

Cobb, whose first planned rehab start June 23 was cut short after two pitches due to a blister on his right index finger, threw with the aid of a bandage Tuesday.

"Arm feels really good," he said. "My mechanics feel a lot better than when I first started pitching (during rehab). So we're headed on the right track."

Cobb won't be able to use a bandage during his rehab start but is confident the blister will be healed by then. He's no longer feeling symptoms from the mild concussion he suffered after he was struck by a line drive June 15. "It's almost like nothing happened," he said.

MEDICAL MATTERS: RHP Brandon Gomes (lat strain), out since mid May, said he was happy with how his five rehab outings with Charlotte went and is ready to return. "He's close," Maddon said.

Times staff writer Marc Topkin contributed to this report.

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