ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays were excited Wednesday to welcome back Manuel Margot, who was one of the hottest hitters in the league when he strained his right hamstring May 9 and subsequently landed on the 10-day injured list.
“When he got hurt, he had just been honored with (American League) player of the week, so he was doing a lot of good things for us,” manager Kevin Cash said. “Really happy that he just missed the minimum amount.”
Margot said he hoped his timing at the plate remained sharp, as he started in rightfield and went 1-for-3.
“Super happy to be here. It’s a little frustrating when you go down due to an injury,” Margot said via team interpreter Manny Navarro. “Some might say you might be a little bit off-balance (at the plate), but I’m going to trust what I have been doing and the work that I’ve been doing that hopefully I feel good.”
Reliever Dusten Knight, who pitched twice after being added to the 40-man roster and called up Sunday, was optioned to Triple-A Durham.
Infielder Yandy Diaz, sidelined since leaving Saturday’s game with a left shoulder strain, also returned to action.
“Both of them, they really help our lineup,” Cash said.
Rowdies’ Raiko Arozarena joins Randy for batting practice
Before they switched sports, fled Cuba and became professionals in the United States, Rays outfielder Randy Arozarena was the soccer player in the family while Raiko preferred the diamond. So it wasn’t that big of a reach for Raiko, now a goalkeeper for the Rowdies, to put on (bright yellow) cleats, step up to the plate and join his older brother in taking batting practice for about 15 minutes Wednesday afternoon at Tropicana Field. After some adjustments, he hit two balls over the fence. “It was definitely a lot harder than I thought,” Raiko Arozarena said via interpreter and batting practice pitcher Manny Navarro. “(Randy) kept telling me that, ‘You won’t be able to take one out.’ I kept saying that, “I could, I could.’ In all reality, it was a little tougher.’'
Ryan Yarbrough will start Thursday against the Yankees with the Rays eschewing an opener. .... Wednesday’s win was the Rays’ 1,000th at Tropicana Field; they have also played “home” games at Disney, New York’s Citi Field and the Tokyo Dome. ... First base umpire Scott Barry left after three innings due to what was believed to be back issues; the rest of the game was called with a three-man crew. … Shane Baz allowed one hit over 2-1/3 innings, with two walks and one strikeout, in his second rehab start for Durham, throwing 48 pitches. Baz, who had March arthroscopic elbow surgery, is eligible to be reinstated June 6. … After having six games cancelled due to a COVID-19 outbreak that affected at least 18 players. Double-A Montgomery’s game at Biloxi on Wednesday was postponed due to wet grounds. … here were two new additions to the Rays clubhouse: large “GO BOLTS!” banners, one hung near the main entrance, the other in the food room, courtesy of clubhouse and equipment manager Tyler Wall. ... Brendan McKay, whose rehab from thoracic outlet surgery was shut down for about three weeks due to a neck issue, will resume throwing this weekend. ... Among other rehabbing pitchers, Luis Patino (oblique strain) felt good after a 25-pitch bullpen session Wednesday; Chris Mazza (back spasms) will pitch for Durham Thursday; Pete Fairbanks (lat strain) will throw off the mound for the first time Tuesday, albeit with the catcher in front of the plate; Nick Anderson (elbow surgery) will continue throwing bullpen sessions.
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