Devil Rays Inside Pitch 5/17

Devil Rays Inside Pitch 5/17

Rocco Baldelli appears headed to the disabled list, sidelined by a hamstring injury for the third time in two seasons. Baldelli, who strained his left hamstring Tuesday while running up the first-base line during his first at-bat, is scheduled for an MRI exam on Thursday, but he is expected to be out for four to six weeks.

INSIDE PITCH

Rocco Baldelli appears headed to the disabled list, sidelined by a hamstring injury for the third time in two seasons. Baldelli, who strained his left hamstring Tuesday while running up the first-base line during his first at-bat, is scheduled for an MRI exam on Thursday, but he is expected to be out for four to six weeks.

"My guess right now is that it's a DL situation," executive vice president Andrew Friedman said. "Just to be cautious, if (the MRI) comes back clean and he feels a lot better tomorrow, then we won't, but my guess is that it will be."

Baldelli, who has been in a 1-for-40 slump, missed the first two months last season with a strain in the same hamstring. He was sidelined this spring with a right hamstring strain.

Friedman said it was encouraging that the strain is in the upper part of the hamstring, where the recovery time is significantly less, but it still could be a lengthy absence.

"We're going to be very smart and very cautious with it," Friedman said.

Greg Norton, who has been recovering from right knee surgery on opening day, is expected to be activated.

DEVIL RAYS 11, RANGERS 8: The Rays got offense from throughout a lineup reconfigured with the absence of Rocco Baldelli. Ty Wigginton, Carlos Pena and Brendan Harris had three hits each, Crawford had a bases-loaded triple, Delmon Young had a second straight two-hit game, Elijah Dukes matched the team-high with his seventh homer, and B.J. Upton knocked in two runs.

NOTES, QUOTES

DH/1B Greg Norton, who has been recovering from right knee surgery on opening day, is expected to be activated, assuming CF Rocco Baldelli goes on the DL. Norton still has had some soreness and may be limited to pinch-hitting for at least a few days.

LHP Casey Fossum won for the first time in four starts Wednesday, but did not pitch well, allowing six runs in five innings, including three homers. His ERA went up from 7.43 to 7.80.

With CF Rocco Baldelli out, Elijah Dukes will take over as the primary leadoff batter and center fielder. Manager Joe Maddon said 2B B.J. Upton will get some playing time in center field too.

RHP Al Reyes converted his 12th save in as many attempts, breaking Danys Baez's record for most saves to start a season (2004).

RF Delmon Young, shaking off the remnants of a rough road trip, had his second straight two-hit game and knocked in his first runs since May 1. He has been taking more pitches.

BY THE NUMBERS: 6 -- Runs scored by the Rays in first innings of their first 37 games.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I just don't know if he'd look good in those bikini briefs." -- INF Ty Wigginton, suggesting teammate Jonny Gomes would be a candidate to participate in the team's upcoming pro wrestling promotion.

ROSTER REPORT

MEDICAL WATCH:

CF Rocco Baldelli (left hamstring strain) left the May 15 game. He will be re-evaluated on May 17, but is expected to be placed on the disabled list.

INF/DH Greg Norton (surgery on torn medial meniscus in right knee) began the season on the disabled list. He completed a rehab assignment with Class AA Montgomery in mid-May, but he was still feeling soreness. He might be activated if OF Rocco Baldelli is placed on the disabled list.

3B Akinori Iwamura (straining right oblique) was placed on the 15-day disabled list on April 24, and he was expected to miss four to six weeks. He took batting practice on May 15.

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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