Rays News And Notes

The Tampa Bay Rays have done a good job winning series -- 11 of their last 15 overall and eight straight at home, the longest such streak in the majors this season.

The Tampa Bay Rays have done a good job winning series -- 11 of their last 15 overall and eight straight at home, the longest such streak in the majors this season. Not as good in completing sweeps, however.

With a chance to sweep the Marlins in advance of a big series with the major-league best Cubs that starts Tuesday, the Rays were shut down, and nearly shut out, by Florida's Ricky Nolasco.

At least they weren't happy about it, which manager Joe Maddon said was a sign of progress by itself.

"That's our goal, and it's wonderful that we're disappointed," he said. "That's something that hasn't happened here in the past. The expectations have been raised."

The Rays have four sweeps, two more than all of last season. Their team record for a season is five, in 2004 and 2005 under former manager Lou Piniella.

MARLINS 9, RAYS 3: Florida RHP Ricky Nolasco was on his game and Rays RHP Edwin Jackson was not, and that made for a huge difference on Sunday. Jackson allowed a pair of three-run home runs while Nolasco scattered six hits while pitching into the ninth.


--OF Rocco Baldelli, who hasn't played in a major-league game since May 15, 2007, will take the next step in his comeback by joining Class A Vero Beach for a rehab assignment starting Monday. Baldelli, sidelined with a rare condition that causes muscle fatigue in his legs, will be the DH on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and then be re-evaluated.

--RHP Matt Garza took what he and the Rays said was a big step in controlling his emotions in a strong seven-inning performance in Saturday's win over Florida. "It was a huge step for me in the right direction," Garza said. "There were times where I got a little upset, but I was able to step off and regroup and then come back to get the next guy."

--DH Jonny Gomes was in the lineup Saturday for the first time since serving his five-game suspension and hit the first pitch he saw out of the park, for a solo home run off ex-Ray Mark Hendrickson.

--The Rays got their 40th win on Saturday in their 68th game; last year, they didn't win No. 40 until their 105th game. They also lost the 1,000 game in franchise history this week as well.

--RHP Edwin Jackson followed up a win in his last start at Anaheim with a shaky effort on Sunday, allowing a pair of three-run homers in a five-inning outing. Jackson also walked three, hit a batter and threw a wild pitch.

BY THE NUMBERS: 1,683 -- Number of games it took for the Rays to lose 1,000 times, matching the Padres for fewest among the 14 expansion teams.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "He's kind of like a recovering emotionalist." -- Manager Joe Maddon, on RHP Matt Garza working to keep his emotions in check.

MEDICAL WATCH: RHP Al Reyes (right shoulder tendinitis) was placed on the 15-day disabled list June 15. Reyes has been on the DL twice this season.

RHP Troy Percival (left hamstring strain) went on the 15-day disabled list May 29. He began throwing bullpen sessions June 4 and was activated on June 13.

1B Carlos Pena (fractured left index finger) went on the 15-day disabled list June 4. He likely won't be ready when eligible June 19, but manager Joe Maddon said he expects it to be only a "minimal time" after that.

OF/DH Rocco Baldelli (leg fatigue) opened the season on the 60-day disabled list and is out indefinitely because of a condition that saps his leg strength, even after a short workout. He was playing in extended spring training games in early June and was scheduled to begin a rehab assignment June 16.

RHP Chad Orvella (sore right shoulder) opened the season on the 15-day disabled list, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on April 13. He had season-ending surgery May 23 to repair an impingement.

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