MLB Team Report - Tampa Bay Rays - INSIDE PITCH


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Matt Joyce was a bit surprised, even considering his abysmal day to that point.

However, after watching the Boston Red Sox intentionally walk two batters in front of him to set up a double-play situation in the bottom of the 10th inning Monday, he took a breath, he recalibrated, and then he won the game on the first pitch he saw from Burke Badenhop.

Joyce's single powered the Rays to a 4-3 win and a split of the four-game series.

"It is a tough game sometimes, so I just wanted to make sure I had the right approach," said Joyce who finished 1-for-5 with two strikeouts. "I had the right approach. I was just trying to see the ball up and hit it to left field."

Which was exactly what Boston manager John Farrell was banking he couldn't do against a pitcher with an extreme ground-ball rate, against a drawn-in defense and an infield alignment poised to come home to begin a potential inning-ending double play.

Catcher Ryan Hanigan (2-for-4) led off the 10th inning with double to left against Burke Badenhop (0-3) that was upheld after a video review. Center fielder Kevin Kiermaier, a left-handed hitter, was then walked intentionally so Badenhop could face Ben Zobrist. The second baseman advanced both runners with a bunt to bring up right fielder Wil Myers (3-for-4), who was walked intentionally to set up a force at any base.

"(Joyce) had a tough night to that point," said Rays manager Joe Maddon, who liked Joyce's prospects as a fly-ball hitter. "But Badenhop right there I thought was a pretty good matchup. That's a tough moment to be in in a sense because Badenhop throws so many ground balls, and I understand why they chose to walk Kiermaier. They had it all planned out. We're going to bunt Ben. They're going to walk Wil, go for the double play. Totally got it. But I still liked that it got to the point of Matt Joyce there, so it worked out pretty well."

Maddon said he would have schemed the inning the exact same way Farrell did. Joyce was a bit put off.

"I was a surprised," Joyce said of the intentional walks. "I was surprised they walked KK and I was surprised that they walked Wil, but obviously I was excited about the opportunity and ready for that challenge."

Obviously. Joyce flicked a sinker over Cespedes' head for the game-winner and his 51st RBI of the season. And a better finish to an otherwise disappointing day.

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MLB Team Report - Tampa Bay Rays - NOTES, QUOTES


RECORD: 67-71

STREAK: Won one

NEXT: Blue Jays (RHP R.A. Dickey, 10-12, 4.00 ERA) at Rays (RHP Jeremy Hellickson, 1-2, 2.98 ERA)

PLAYER NOTES:

--C Curt Casali was recalled by Tampa Bay from Class A Charlotte on Monday. The Vanderbilt product batted just .196 in a brief stint with the Rays earlier this season, and he was mostly punchless in the minors. Improved defense and pitch-calling will be crucial for his longevity.

--RHP Brandon Gomes was recalled from Triple-A Durham by the Rays on Monday. He broke spring training with the major league club but struggled after a sound April, earning a demotion back to Triple-A. He went 0-2 with a 3.62 ERA in 27 appearances for Durham.

--RHP Steve Geltz was recalled from Triple-A Durham to make his Tampa Bay Rays debut Monday. He allowed an inherited runner, giving up a hit in one-third of an inning during the Rays' 4-3, 10-inning win over the Red Sox at Tropicana Field. The 26-year-old was 3-3 with a 2.38 ERA with 60 strikeouts in 40 1/3 innings for Durham. He was suspended 50 games in May after testing positive for a "drug of abuse," a result, he said, of an offseason mistake with friends.

--C Ali Solis was outrighted from the Tampa Bay Rays' 40-man roster and accepted an assignment to Triple-A Durham on Monday. Solis is blocked at Tampa Bay with defensive specialist Jose Molina a fixture behind the plate and Ryan Hanigan a slightly better offensive option in spot duty. Call-up Curt Casali figures to absorb any other catching duty that could arise.

--OF David DeJesus (left hand fracture) was activated from the disabled list Monday and started at designated hitter. He finished 0-for-3 with a strikeout before being removed for a pinch hitter in a platoon move in the ninth inning.

--CF Desmond Jennings, who is recovering from left knee soreness, sat out a third consecutive day. Kevin Kiermaier again replaced him in center field, but 2B Ben Zobrist took his leadoff slot.

--OF Kevin Kiermaier again replaced injured Desmond Jennings in center field on Monday, but he batted ninth instead of first. The rookie finished 1-for-3 and was walking intentionally, raising his batting average to .269 as he continues to become entrenched in the Tampa Bay outfield.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "It started off rough, but it had a nice finish." -- Rays LF Matt Joyce, whose only hit in five at-bats Monday was a walk-off single that gave Tampa Bay a 4-3 win over the Boston Red Sox.

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MLB Team Report - Tampa Bay Rays - ROSTER REPORT


MEDICAL WATCH:

--CF Desmond Jennings (left knee soreness) missed games Aug. 29-Sept. 1.

--INF/OF Jerry Sands (strained tendon in left wrist) went on the 15-day disabled list June 23, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on Aug. 20. He underwent season-ending surgery July 22.

--LHP Matt Moore (left elbow surgery in April 2014) went on the 15-day disabled list April 8, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on May 27. He is out for the season.

ROTATION:

RHP Chris Archer

RHP Jake Odorizzi

RHP Alex Cobb

RHP Jeremy Hellickson

LHP Drew Smyly

BULLPEN:

LHP Jake McGee (closer)

RHP Joel Peralta

RHP Kirby Yates

RHP Grant Balfour

RHP Brad Boxberger

LHP Cesar Ramos

LHP Jeff Beliveau

RHP Steve Geltz

RHP Brandon Gomes

CATCHERS:

Jose Molina

Ryan Hanigan

Curt Casali

INFIELDERS:

1B James Loney

2B Logan Forsythe

SS Yunel Escobar

3B Evan Longoria

INF/OF Sean Rodriguez

OUTFIELDERS:

LF Matt Joyce

CF Desmond Jennings

RF Ben Zobrist

OF David DeJesus

OF Wil Myers

OF Kevin Kiermaier

OF Brandon Guyer