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Rays notes: Bombing hits close to home for players

Published:   |   Updated: April 17, 2013 at 08:10 AM
BALTIMORE -

Like a lot of members of the Tampa Bay Rays traveling party, OF Sam Fuld made his way to the Boston Marathon finish line during the recent series because it lies two blocks from the team hotel.

Fuld tweeted a picture from the finish line Monday morning before heading over to Fenway Park. A little more than six hours later, that area was the site of a bombing that shook the nation.

If a line drawn across a city street at the end of an historic race isn’t safe, what about other sports venues?

“I think about it, not constantly, but every now and then you think, man there’s 40,000 people here, if someone really wanted to affect this country, this would be a good place to do it,” Fuld said before Tuesday’s game with the Orioles.

“That’s going to be on our minds a little bit more now. The marathon thing stinks, too, because it is your average, ordinary people. That finish line is what it’s all about. People kill themselves training and they spend so much time and energy training for that finish line. In some ways it was the most riveting way to shake things up.”

The Rays were on the team bus ready to leave Fenway Park for their charter flight to Baltimore on Monday when they learned of the bombing.

RHP Brandon Gomes, who grew up about an hour away in Fall River, Mass., began calling his mother and uncle. Both had attended the game.

“(That) you can’t even go and watch something like the Boston Marathon without something like this happening is kind of sad,” Gomes said. “There’s a bunch of great people, obviously, the way the medical staff and different civilians responded. It’s a testament to the type of people that are there, and as much as we want to rip on people in the country, there are still a lot of great people around who want to help out others.”

Manager Joe Maddon said his immediate thoughts were for the people he knew who ran the marathon. On Tuesday, his thoughts turned to the victims and their families.

“It’s terrible. It’s absolutely terrible,” Maddon said. “Somehow, we got to figure out how to work through this because it’s about fear, and when that occurs within a group of people, then somebody’s winning. It’s a real small minority and you can’t let them win. It’s a bunch of punks doing a bunch of stuff that we have to fight back with, and I just feel horribly for the families.”

Mr. April LHP Matt Moore, who makes his third start of the season tonight, is the first pitcher in franchise history to not allow a run his first two starts of the season.

It’s a stunning start for someone who was 0-1 with a 4.68 in four starts last April and began the year with a career 5.52 in April during his first six pro seasons. It is equally stunning based on Moore’s performance during the spring.

Moore said everything changes once the regular season begins. He’s no longer working on sharpening his pitches, he’s working on getting batters out.

“When the lights turn on, that’s when every athlete, every competitor, really kind of tries to buckle down,” Moore said. “And I think through that trying to buckle down I found some things with my release point.”

Minor trade The Rays acquired LHP Jeff Beliveau from the Rangers on Tuesday for cash. He was placed on the 40-man roster and assigned to Triple-A Durham. To clear room on the 40-man, RHP Jeff Niemann was transferred to the 60-day disabled list.

Beliveau appeared in 22 games for the Cubs last season as a rookie. In six minor-league seasons, he has averaged 11.9 strikeouts per nine innings with a 2.84 ERA.

Noteworthy RHP Jeremy Hellickson was the latest to be infected with the intestinal virus going through the clubhouse and returned to the team hotel Tuesday afternoon. … DH Luke Scott took batting practice and ran in the outfield. He could begin a minor-league rehab assignment during the upcoming homestand. … A moment of silence was held before the game for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings. … Because the Orioles were off Monday, both teams wore No. 42 to honor Jackie Robinson during the game.

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