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Wednesday, Jul 30, 2014
Rays

Rays Notes: Trip to Seattle long one for LHP Romero

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— LHP Enny Romero flew cross-country Tuesday and tweeted how blessed he was for another chance to pitch in the big leagues. But that chance hinged on the health of LHP Erik Bedard, who said he had a sore left pectoral muscle.

Bedard played catch in the afternoon with head athletic trainer Ron Porterfield, met with manager Joe Maddon and said he would make his scheduled start Thursday against the Angels in Anaheim.

“We just wanted to make sure that everybody was well,” Maddon said. “We had just a couple little things that we were concerned that may cause us to do something different, but everybody checked out fine.”

As for Romero?

“Pretty much Enny getting frequent-flier miles,” Maddon said. “The fact that we’re playing in Seattle makes it more difficult to get somebody here if in fact somebody was unable to go or something was more seriously wrong, so we had to take precautions to get him on the plane coming out this way.”

Odorizzi ready for a repeat

RHP Jake Odorizzi, who struck out a career-high 11 in his last start, would like to repeat that success today when he faces the Mariners in the finale of this three-game series.

His success against the Indians, he said, was based on following the game plan with C Ryan Hanigan and mixing his pitches. By that, Odorizzi said not falling in love with the same pitch in the same situation and not relying so much on his split/change-up he calls “The Thing.”

While the strikeouts helped, it raised his pitch count and forced him out of the game after five innings.

“The strikeouts were what they were,” he said. “I wasn’t trying to go for it. But I would have gone deeper if I didn’t have a lot of 3-2 strikeouts, so three-ball counts is what I’m trying to avoid, four-pitch walks as well, but it’s a tough thing. We’re going to try to simplify the game plan as usual, carry over what I learned last time into this time, hopefully get a little farther in and hopefully the same results.”

Not good

The Rays reached the 40-game mark of the season Tuesday with their first losing record since 2007. Since division alignment in 1994, 21 teams have reached the postseason while posting a losing record through the first 40 games of the season. Of those 21, four reached the World Series and one, the 2003 Marlins, won it all.

The 1995 and 2007 Yankees were the only AL East teams to reach the postseason with a sub-.500 record through their first 40 games.

More Myers at 1B

RF Wil Myers found himself playing first base in the sixth inning during Monday’s 12-5 loss to the Seattle Mariners, and he might find himself playing there a few more times this season.

“Wil may do that during the course of the season in different moments like you saw in the five-man infield,” Maddon said. “You might see if we do a lot of crazy stuff, pinch-run say for (1B James) Loney late in the game and here’s the 10th or 11th inning.”

Myers said he doesn’t mind playing first base occasionally.

“Absolutely,” Myers said, “I don’t mind moving around, playing wherever. Change up a little bit is kind of nice.”

Is that a fact?

The quote of the day on the lineup card post on the clubhouse wall has been replaced by the fact of the day, and Tuesday the fact was the proper way to tie a noose. Closer Grant Balfour questioned the fact, wanting to know if there was a relation between that and the way the Rays have been playing.

Maddon was puzzled, too. Bullpen coach Stan Boroski adds the fact to the card, but Maddon said it didn’t seem like something Boroski would include.

“We may have been hacked,” Maddon said.

Noteworthy

Hanigan tied Loney for the team lead in RBIs when he drove in four in Monday’s loss. Hanigan now has 22 in 90 at-bats. Hanigan leads the AL with an RBI every 4.09 at-bats. … The Rays tied their season high Monday with four errors. … DH David DeJesus entered Tuesday batting .389 in his last 18 games. … LHP Cesar Ramos allowed 11 hits and nine runs (five earned) through the first three innings Monday but saved the bullpen by pitching 62⁄3 innings. All it took was a career-high 114 pitches. … Maddon ordered cologne for the Rays, hoping a team that smells good will play good. “I think aroma matters,” Maddon said, “so anything that gets them to think of their dads before they hit or throw a pitch I’d be very happy with that.”

Roger Mooney

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