ST. PETERSBURG — LHP Drew Smyly didn't seem pleased Thursday when he announced that he'll try eight weeks of rehab on his torn left labrum, with the hope of returning to the Rays' rotation in late July.But it beats the other possibilities, including the prospect of season-ending shoulder surgery."It's better than missing a year and a half to two years," Smyly said. "I will take eight weeks to get better, get my shoulder right, get my body right and hopefully help this team down the stretch."Smyly has already started the recovery process since going on the DL on May 9. He's started doing some exercises with tubes and plans to begin playing catch in another week or two.He called the tear "mild" and said other pitchers — including former college teammate at Arkansas and current Dodgers RHP Mike Bolsinger — have sustained similar injuries and recovered without needing surgery. Smyly started the season on the DL with tendinitis in the same shoulder.Manager Kevin Cash didn't want to put a timetable on Smyly's return."I don't think we're out of the woods by any means or any form," Cash said, "but if there's a chance for him to pitch this year, I think that's great."Smyly said surgery is "not even really an option right now," and called it the worst-case scenario with a shoulder injury. But Smyly didn't rule out the possibility later, if the rehab process doesn't work."In eight weeks, I might say it's not working — we'll explore other options," Smyly said. "And I might be pitching for this team in eight weeks. There's still a lot of unknowns." KAZMIR RETURNS: Oakland LHP Scott Kazmir will make his second start as a visitor at Tropicana Field tonight. The former Tampa Bay All-Star is still among the Rays' all-time leaders in wins (55), innings (834) and strikeouts (874).Cash has a unique perspective on Kazmir, having caught him as a player in 2005 and later seeing him as Cleveland's bullpen coach in 2013, after Kazmir rose back to the majors from an independent league."I know that year in Cleveland, we looked at him as probably the find of the year, the comeback of the year," Cash said. "It was incredible the performance and what he provided, to be pitching in independent ball and come in and throw 170 innings." Costly hit : The Rays manufactured a run in the seventh, after LF Brandon Guyer had back-to-back steals to get to third. C Bobby Wilson brought him home with a comebacker for his third RBI of the season. The play was especially costly for Oakland; the ball hit reliever Edward Mujica on the hand, fracturing his thumb. MORE MEDICAL MATTERS: LHP Matt Moore (Tommy John surgery) is scheduled to throw two innings (about 35-40 pitches) Saturday morning in an extended spring training game — perhaps the last step before starting a rehab assignment. MILESTONE MOMENT: 3B Evan Longoria became the third in franchise history to play 1,000 games in a Rays uniform, joining Carl Crawford and Ben Zobrist . MISCELLANY: INF Nick Franklin gave SS Asdrubal Cabrera a day off by starting at that position for the 13th time in his career. … Oakland received an extra ball on an 0-and-2 count to Marcus Semien after RHP Alex Colome appeared to touch his mouth with his hand. … Oakland C Stephen Vogt had his first hit at Tropicana Field — a single in the fourth. Vogt was 0-for-14 at home during his 2012 season with the Rays. … With 18 RBIs, David DeJesus is one shy of last year's season total. ... RF Steven Souza Jr. tied a club record with four strikeouts. Contact Matt Baker at mbaker@tampabay. com. Follow @ MBakerTBTimes.