KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Rays' decision to be cautious with RF Carlos Gomez's groin tightness got Hernando High product Christian Arroyo a late-night phone call, an early morning flight from Durham, N.C., and a chance for the infielder to make his debut with his hometown team.
"I remember wearing the jersey as a fan,'' Arroyo said Wednesday. "Now getting to wear it as a player is kind of cool. It's definitely exciting.''
Arroyo, the top prospect acquired from the Giants in the Evan Longoria trade, was chosen to add another right-handed bat and to step in for 3B Matt Duffy (hamstring tightness). Arroyo is expected to be in the lineup tonight at Anaheim.
Arroyo, 22, has been off to a slow start at Triple-A Durham, hitting .200 with one homer (albeit a grand slam) in 17 games, missing time with a calf strain.
"I was struggling a little bit at Triple A, but it wasn't anything, more of trying to do a little too much, so maybe I'll get to relax a little bit and play my game and have fun,'' said Arroyo, who hit .192 in 34 games for the Giants last year.
Rays manager Kevin Cash said they wanted to be careful with Gomez, who is hitting .200 with 49 strikeouts in 37 games, so they put him on the 10-day disabled list.
"The way he plays, how intense he is, running the bases, playing the outfield, it's probably the smartest to get him off his feet for 10 days and not allow him to aggravate it," Cash said. "It'll be a loss. I know Carlos hasn't swung the bat the way he's capable of, but you know eventually he's going to get hot. We're still waiting, but maybe this will give him a little bit of a blow, rest his mind as much as his groin, and come back and get us going."
Duffy said he felt much better than when he strained the same hamstring last month and is confident he will be back by Friday or Saturday.
The four-game series in Anaheim will be a homecoming of sorts for a half-dozen Rays. RHP Matt Andriese, Duffy, RHP Jake Faria, OF Rob Refsnyder and INF Daniel Robertson all grew up in Southern California and have plenty of friends and family coming. Plus this will be the first time Duffy and Robertson get to play at Angel Stadium, where both went frequently as kids. And 1B/DH C.J. Cron will face his old mates, having spent parts of the past four seasons with the Angels.
Quote of the day
"We've got McKay.''
– Cash, touting their two-way prospect, Brendan McKay, in saying he is "not really" curious or "over concerned" about facing Angels sensation Shohei Ohtani
The Rays swept the Royals for the first time in Kansas City since 2009, and the first anywhere since 2001. After compiling a 1-15 record at Kauffman Stadium from 2012-16, the Rays won back-to-back series at The K (2-1 last year, 3-0 now) for the first time in franchise history. … This was the Rays' third sweep of the season, previously vs. the Twins and Orioles, and matching their 2017 total.
Number of the day
Days between wins for LHP Jonny Venters, from Aug. 17, 2012, with the Braves to Tuesday for the Rays. In that span (during most of which Venters was injured), 1,058 other pitchers got wins, with Nationals RHP Max Scherzer logging 100. "Geez,'' Venters said. "Every time I hear numbers like that, I sit back and think about it.''
Jake Faria, who didn't get through five innings Wednesday, made the best of an awkward moment in the fourth when his front foot caught too much dirt and he heaved the ball about 45 feet, though it bounced nearly over the plate. "Kind of fitting the way the day went,'' he said, "It wasn't as bad as it could have been.''
• LHP Anthony Banda got to stick around after his solid Rays debut Tuesday, impressing Cash most with his strike-throwing, though he had only three swing-and-misses in 38 strikes (52 pitches overall).
• The Rays are listing TBD for Saturday and Sunday starters, but it seems likely to be LHPs Ryan Yarbrough and Banda unless they get cute and start righty relievers.
• Wednesday marked the eighth time (in 41 games) the Rays faced a former starter and in beating Jason Hammel, they are now 4-4, going 2-0 in games started by Alex Cobb (Orioles), 0-1 vs. Matt Moore (Rangers), 1-2 vs. David Price (Red Sox), 0-1 vs. James Shields.