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Rays notes: Matsui gets the call to join big club

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Published:   |   Updated: March 18, 2013 at 03:55 PM
ST. PETERSBURG -

As expected, DH/OF Hideki Matsui joined the Rays today and could be in tonight's lineup against White Sox right-hander Philip Humber.

The two-time All-Star and 2009 World Series MVP as a member of the Yankees finished a 10-game stint Monday with the Durham Bulls, where he batted .170 with four RBIs, three runs scored and a pair of doubles.

Matsui, 37, who played last season for the A's, signed a minor league contract April 30 and spent time with the Rays' extended spring program at Port Charlotte before heading to Triple-A. He will wear No. 35 for the Rays.

Rays manager Joe Maddon said all along Matsui's batting average would not determine when he would join the big club. The Rays wanted Matsui to find his swing and condition his body to play nine innings in the outfield.

To make room for him on the roster, the Rays optioned OGF/DH Stephen Vogt to Durham and transferred OF Brandon Guyer from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day disabled list.

Matsui has hit .285 with a .366 on-base percentage and a .467 slugging percentage during his nine-year major league career.

Slowing it down

In the fourth inning Monday, LHP Matt Moore took a moment to compose himself while on the mound. It happened after he walked White Sox 1B Adam Dunn.

Moore said he was not thinking of his previous start, when a leadoff walk in the fifth was the beginning of the end as Moore unraveled and couldn't finish the inning.

"But I did learn from that one," Moore said. "Instead of worrying about a runner on first I tried to keep the same pace in the previous game. (Monday) I backed off a little bit. Instead of keeping rushing the ball up there … I took a couple of extra seconds between hitters and got my head right before each at-bat."

As a result, Moore had his best game of the season. He pitched a career-high seven innings and struck out 10 but had the misfortune of opposing White Sox starter Chris Sale, who set a Tropicana Field record with 15 strikeouts in a 2-1 victory.

Moore could speed his development if he learned to slow things down, Maddon said.

"When our guys are able to do that I know, 'OK, they're in the present tense. That's good,' " Maddon said. "I really believe most of the time when your physical mechanics break down it's because of what you're thinking, and normally what you're thinking is too fast."

Farnsworth improving

RHP Kyle Farnsworth (right elbow strain) threw 25 fastballs off the mound Monday and accomplished his main objectives of repeating his delivery and finishing his pitches, two things he couldn't do when he developed the injury at the end of spring training.

"That was the main problem when it popped up was finishing with my wrist, coming through the ball," he said. "That was the main issue and so far that's not been an issue, and everything is going good."

Farnsworth will throw 30 pitches Wednesday, mixing in cutters with his fastballs. He is on pace to return the third week of June, he said. He also said the success of RHP Fernando Rodney as the closer is making his rehab easier.

Noteworthy

1B Carlos Peña, DH Luke Scott and OF Matt Joyce did not start against Sale, a lefty. As a result, Drew Sutton made his first big-league start at first base. … LF Desmond Jennings (left knee) ran arcs around the infield before the game. He needs to run the bases and slide before being sent out on a minor league rehab assignment. … C Chris Gimenez was optioned to Durham to make room on the roster for C Jose Lobaton, who was activated from the DL. … Before Sunday, the last time the Rays beat the Red Sox in Boston with a ninth-inning comeback was Sept. 9, 2008, when Dan Johnson homered off Jonathan Papelbon. The last time the Rays rallied in the ninth on the road with a home run was April 8, 2011, when Johnson homered at Chicago.

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