Devil Rays Report 4/18

All of the latest news and notes on the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

The Rays have made things interesting.

A night after blowing a six-run lead and losing to the Orioles, they looked as if they might do it again Tuesday. After reliever Brian Stokes gave up a three-run home run in the eighth inning to slice a 6-1 margin to 6-4, the Rays stiffened and hung on.

Manager Joe Maddon said that is a good sign of things to come as they learn how to handle these types of situations. "It hasn't been really pretty yet, but it's going to keep getting better," Maddon said. "I like the way we have come back after some difficult moments. I think that really speaks volumes for the guys in that room having short memories, which is important in this league, and having the resiliency and the want-to."

DEVIL RAYS 6, ORIOLES 4: Ty Wigginton had the key hit as the Rays scored a season-high six runs in the fourth inning and held on for a victory. Left-hander Casey Fossum pitched into the seventh for the win, but right-handers Brian Stokes and Al Reyes got the key outs as the Rays recovered from Monday's tough loss, in which they blew a six-run lead.


--RHP Al Reyes has been the one steady force in the Rays bullpen. Through six outings, he has five saves, has not allowed a run, and has retired 18 of the 21 batters he has faced. Manager Joe Maddon, however, has declined to name him the closer.

--INF Brendan Harris is playing his way into the lineup on a more regular basis. He started at third Monday and at shortstop Tuesday and is likely to be at short again on Wednesday. He has hit in all five games he has played, has a .444 average, and has reached based in nine of 19 plate appearances.

--RHP Jae Kuk Ryu failed in his first key late-inning relief situation on Monday, giving up three consecutive hits to allow the Orioles to complete their comeback from a six-run deficit, but he will get another shot in the key sixth- and seventh-inning situations. "I have not lost any confidence in him," manager Joe Maddon said.

--2B B.J. Upton, serving as the DH for the first time this season, walked in the fourth inning Tuesday, extending his streak of reaching base to all 11 games he's played in.

--LHP Casey Fossum picked up his first win since Aug. 5, a month before he had season-ending shoulder surgery. He went seven innings for the second straight game, and he is 1-0 with a 3.21 ERA in those starts after a rough season debut.

BY THE NUMBERS: 4 -- Wins in nine road games this season, one more than the Rays had in their final 36 last season, from July 1 on.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Every day that guy pitches it's like Friday the 13th." -- Rays outfielder Rocco Baldelli, going into Friday's game against Johan Santana, which the Rays won.


INF/DH Greg Norton (surgery on torn medial meniscus in right knee) is expected to be out until May. He opened the season on the disabled list.

RHP Shinji Mori (torn labrum) is rehabbing without surgery and might be ready by midseason.

RHP Doug Waechter (shoulder surgery) is rehabbing and is expected to be game-ready by June.

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