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Rays notes: DeJesus glad to be in pennant race

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Published:   |   Updated: August 24, 2013 at 12:14 AM

ST. PETERSBURG — OF David DeJesus received a call Friday morning in his Kansas City hotel room from Andrew Friedman, who told him to back his bags because a charter flight was waiting to whisk him to Tampa Bay.

“It’s unbelievable,” DeJesus said. “Just five days ago I was in last place.”

DeJesus began the week as a member of the Cubs, was claimed off waivers Monday by the Nationals, waived again Thursday, then was claimed by the Rays. The teams worked out a deal Friday in which the Rays will send a player to be named later to Washington.

DeJesus found himself in Friday’s lineup, playing left field and batting seventh against the Yankees. He doubled and scored in his second at-bat in the Rays’ 7-2 win.

“We’ve had our eye on him for some time,” said Friedman, the Rays executive VP of baseball operations, before the game. “We tried to acquire him when he was with Kansas City. He does a lot of things that we appreciate and value.

“What he does well will fit in well for us down the stretch.”

To make room on the roster, the Rays designated OF Jason Bourgeois for assignment.

Manager Joe Maddon said the left handed-hitting DeJesus will play against right-handed pitchers. He will primarily play the corner outfield spots and can spell CF Desmond Jennings.

“I could see him in left, center or right,” Maddon said. “I could see him hitting first, second or seventh. He’s going to be all over the place. He’s a good offensive player and a great guy. It’s good to have him here.”

DeJesus, 33, played eight seasons in Kansas City before moving to the Cubs in 2012. He’s a .281 career hitter.

This is his first pennant race.

“I’m excited to put my touch on the team,” he said.

He did that in his first game with his double and run scored and with his catch to end the seventh inning that ended with him crashing into the left-field wall.

“It was one of those, (Chris Stewart) hit it good and it had this little hook at the end,” DeJesus said. “I caught it and my face turned (into the wall). I was like, ‘Yes,’ I didn’t crush my shoulder. All I wanted to do was get my face in there.

“It was one of those plays that kind of changed the game, could have been a momentum swing, and I was happy to make the play for (Chris Archer) because he was pitching so well.”

Archer handles Bombers ... again

RHP Chris Archer became the first rookie pitcher since Kevin Brown in 1989 to beat the Yankees three times in once season.

He is 3-0 with a 1.23 ERA in three starts.

Archer, who earned his seventh win of the season with seven innings of four-hit, two-run ball, is 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA in his past two starts after beginning the month 0-2 with a 6.59 ERA in three starts.

The Rays are 9-1 when Archer pitches at least six innings and 1-5 when he fails to complete six.

Hot bats

C Jose Lobaton had four RBI in the victory. Three came on his second inning home runs. Lobaton has a five-game hitting streak, going 9-for-17 during the streak.

3B Evan Longoria, who also homered, is hitting .288 with 12 extra-base hits during his last 15 games. His homer was the 21st of his career against the Yankees. He also has 21 homers against the Orioles.

Matt Joyce, who followed Longoria’s third inning homer with one of his own, is batting .349 with three home runs and nine RBI this month. He hit .222 with 0 home runs and two RBI in July.

Ben Zobrist, who finished the scoring with a fifth-inning home run, is 5-for-10 with a pair of home runs against Yankee starter Hiroki Kuroda.

Zobrist also played his 75h consecutive errorless game at second base, tying Aki Iwamura’s club record.

Waiting on DY

Maddon said he is excited about the thought of having DH Delmon Young on the roster in September.

“Love it. Love the fact Delmon is coming back,” Maddon said. “I know he is not intimidated by moments. I think he is a very good RBI guy. I think this guy knows how to drive in a run, a tough run in a really good situation, tough situation, so he’s going to fill that bill more than likely at DH, some of it in the outfield, too.”

Exit Sandman

The Rays had a few presents for Yankees closer Mariano Rivera on Friday, the beginning of Rivera’s last swing through Tropicana Field, as the all-time saves leader is retiring after the season.

There were video tributes from Rays, and the team made a donation to Rivera’s charitable foundation - a check for $3,150, $50 for each of the Rivera’s 63 career saves against the Rays.

The real treat was an eight-ton sand sculpture that will be on display for the weekend series in the Trop’s rotunda in center field. It features Rivera’s face amid the New York skyline and the words “Enter Sandman,” the title of the Metallica song Rivera uses as walk-up music.

Rivera posed with the sculpture and even autographed it. The sculpture is the work of Sanding Ovations owners and sculptors Meredith Corson and Dan Doubleday. It took a day and a half to complete.

“Likenesses are very hard to do, especially when you have only a photo to go by, and especially when you only have a day and a half to carve,” Corson said. “He’s obviously much better-looking than the sand sculpture, but with the time we had, we think it looks enough like him.”

Noteworthy

LHP Matt Moore (sore left elbow) will throw a simulated game this afternoon. The Rays will have a better idea of when Moore will return to the rotation when he’s finished. ... RHP Roberto Hernandez made his first relief appearance in exactly seven years when he worked a perfect ninth inning. He will likely get one more start before Moore returns from the DL … RHP Jeremy Hellickson will start Monday’s makeup game in Kansas City ... Maddon said OF Wil Myers was scheduled to have Friday off. Coupled with Thursday’s off day, Maddon wanted Myers to have consecutive days off ... DH Luke Scott (lower back spasms) swung a bat Friday for the first time since he was placed on the DL.

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