Devil Rays Inside Pitch 5/9

All of the latest on the Juan Salas situation and other news and notes on the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

Teammates of Devil Rays right-hander Juan Salas were shocked upon hearing news before Monday's flight to Baltimore that Salas had been suspended for 50 games for testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance.

"I guess you would kind of think it wouldn't be an issue anymore," Rays infielder Ty Wigginton said. "Obviously, everybody is well aware of the rules and all that. And when you break them you have to pay the consequences. It's like anything else, you make a choice."

Said Rays outfielder Carl Crawford: "You're disappointed because we want to get that stuff out of the game. It's not something anybody's proud of."

Salas, who was 1-1 with a 3.95 ERA in 15 games, returned to his home in the Dominican Republic and will come back at a later date to work out at the team's minor league complex until he can return on July 2. Rays first baseman Carlos Pena said he and other teammates have tried to call Salas but they have yet to talk to him to express their support.

"He made a mistake, and we hate to see a teammate go through this sort of thing," Pena said. "He's one of us."

Rays closer Al Reyes was more surprised than most to hear the news. The 36-year-old veteran had just told Salas, whose locker is next to his and sits next to him regularly in the bullpen, the keys to pitching: Being aggressive, throwing strikes and letting the hitters put the ball in play, that you don't need to throw 95 mph to be successful in the big leagues.

"I was shocked when I heard," Reyes said. "He was throwing the ball good."

ORIOLES 8, DEVIL RAYS 3: Rays right-hander Jae Seo lasted just three innings and allowed five runs on six hits as his early-season struggles continued and his ERA ballooned to 8.82. Eight of the 17 batters Seo faces reached base, as Seo allowed two big, two-out hits -- a first-inning two-run single by Melvin Mora and a two-run homer by Nick Markakis. With the loss, Seo dropped to 0-3 with a 10.89 ERA in five starts on the road.


Newly recalled RHPs Tim Corcoran and Chad Orvella might figure into the crucial late-inning moments that have decided many of Tampa Bay's losses --- eventually -- but Rays manager Joe Maddon said Tuesday that he will keep the bullpen roles the same for now, with RHPs Shawn Camp, Brian Stokes and Al Reyes handling the pivotal late-inning situations. Corcoran and Orvella, who both flourished out of the pen in Durham, were among the last cuts this spring.

"It's just going to be contingent on where they're at mentality and physically and see what we can get from them, but I'm not going to shy away from either one," Maddon said. "I have a lot of faith in both of them actually."

After Baltimore took a two-run lead over Tampa Bay in the first inning Tuesday, the Devil Rays have been outscored 31-4 in the first inning. Their four runs scored are second fewest in the majors (St. Louis, 3).

Before Tuesday's pair of roster moves to recall RHPs Tim Corcoran and Chad Orvella from Class AAA Durham, the Rays had used just 26 players this season, fewest in the majors. At this time last season, the Rays had used 35 players, most in the majors.

2B B.J. Upton extended his hitting streak to a career-high 10 games with his seventh-inning single Tuesday. He is batting .366 and still holds the AL lead.

RHP Jae Seo has given up 56 hits and 37 runs, both AL highs. He has also allowed 70 baserunners in 32 2/3 innings.

BY THE NUMBERS: 3 -- Number of times the Rays have won after trailing in the ninth inning or later, matching the most in the majors and equaling their entire 2006 total of such wins.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "That's what three rafters in two games? I think that's a modern day baseball record. You probably want to check that with the Elias Sports Bureau." -- Manager Joe Maddon, after Carlos Pena hit the Tropicana Field catwalks twice Wednesday and again on Thursday.



INF/DH Greg Norton (surgery on torn medial meniscus in right knee) began the season on the disabled list. He began a rehab assignment with Class AA Montgomery on May 4 but still was having trouble with the knee.

3B Akinori Iwamura (straining right oblique) was placed on the 15-day disabled list on April 24. He will miss four to six weeks.

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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