ST. PETERSBURG - UTL Sean Rodriguez was ready. He was talking to pitching coach Jim Hickey about RHP Jamey Wright's pitch sequence and already had thought ahead about using C Jose Lobaton's catching gear should Lobaton have to leave the game.
Rodriguez came close to realizing his wish of catching in a big-league game in the ninth inning of Wednesday's 3-0 loss when Lobaton was struck in the back of the head by the bat of Blue Jays 1B Adam Lind after Lind swung at a pitch from Wright.
Assistant athletic trainer Paul Harker was attending to Lobaton as manager Joe Maddon looked on while Rodriguez prepped.
"Sean was ready to go, man," Maddon said. "I was out there telling Loby, 'You realize that Sean's next, how do you feel?' I was just trying to get him to smile. He does have a good sense of humor. He definitely was shaken. That did hit him squarely."
Lobaton passed all of Harker's tests, including repeating a sequence of numbers forward and backward, and remained in the game.
"Some of them were tough questions," Maddon said. "I (messed) up twice and I had not been hit in the head."
When asked if he would have been excited to catch, Rodriguez said, "Yeah, no. Obviously, I want to get that inning under my belt. It would have been something for everybody to smile about in a game like that with (R.A.) Dickey throwing as well as he did. But, yeah, it was good to see (Lobaton's) all right. I think Hark was asking some unfair questions. They were in English. That's not fair."
Rookie RF Wil Myers is technically the Rays' second emergency catcher behind Rodriguez, though Rodriguez said he will never let Myers get behind the plate.
"No chance," Rodriguez said. "We're fighting. He's the prospect. We have to take care of him."
Let's go to the mall
Myers said he will spend today - his first off day as a big-league player - looking for a place to live and clothes shopping.
"I got to go to the mall and get some clothes," he said. "I don't have that much."
Myers has been living in a hotel since the team returned from the road trip late Sunday night. He checked for a place to rent briefly after Wednesday's loss. His girlfriend will drive his car from Durham, N.C., when the Rays return next week from their four-game trip to Houston.
"These nine days have been kind of crazy," Myers said.
Rays prospects RHP Taylor Guerrieri (U.S.) and LHP Enny Romero (World) were selected to play in the All-Star Futures Game on July 14 at Citi Field in New York. Romero joins Desmond Jennings, Delmon Young and B.J. Upton as the only Rays prospects to be selected for the game twice. . Rays starting pitchers have pitched at least six innings in seven of their last eight games. . The Rays are 41-19 since 2008 when facing a former Cy Young Award winner. . The Rays were shut out for the fourth time this season. They were held to a season-low two hits.