NEW YORK - RHP Alex Colome makes his second start of the season this afternoon when he assumes the spot in the order vacated by RHP Alex Cobb (concussion). Colome beat the Marlins in his lone start this season after holding them without an earned run in 52?3 innings in Miami. Colome said he wasn't nervous during his major-league debut, just excited. He expects to be a bit calmer today. I feel more comfortable, more confidence," he said. Manager Joe Maddon said Colome will remain in the rotation as long as he pitches well.
"The most impressive thing is just the overall package," Maddon said. "This guy's got really, really good stuff." A big part of that package is Colome's swing-and-miss stuff. There was a time when he would throw with his high velocity and not miss bats, but now he is," Maddon said. Ciuffo signs deal Nick Ciuffo, the 21st player selected in the draft this month, signed with the Rays on Friday morning and headed to Port Charlotte to join his new team: the Gulf Coast League Rays. "With the slot value where it was, it was just really too good of a deal to turn down," Ciuffo said. The 18-year-old catcher from South Carolina received a $1,974,700 signing bonus, which was what Major League Baseball suggested for that slot in the draft. Ciuffo, who last played in a game in mid-May while leading his high school to the state title, said he will need a few days to get back into game shape. After that, he said he's more than ready to start his pro career. "I've been on the edge of my seat since the day I heard my name called," he said. Ciuffo said he expects that hitting with a wooden bat will be a big adjustment, but not the biggest. "I think the biggest thing for me will be communicating with Spanish-speaking pitchers," he said. "You know, I've never really been around Spanish-speaking people, and in my mind, that's going to be my biggest adjustment, kind of adjusting to their style." Mr. Right Field On Thursday night, 3B Evan Longoria became the first visiting right-handed hitter to hit two opposite-field home runs at the current Yankee Stadium. Those were also his fourth and fifth opposite-field homers this season, which represent a career-high. He homered to right field 11 times during his entire career heading into this season. "I think I would say it's a conscious effort," Maddon said. "I've seen more of that myself. In game, I think he's cognizant of being pitched at away and down, and he's hitting the ball that way as opposed to trying to pull a pitch that's an out. So now it's turning into some positive form. I think that's the evolution of a good hitter." Longoria joined Victor Martinez and Jose Bautista for the most home runs by a visiting player (nine) at the new Yankee Stadium. She made it Melanie McCauley, fiancé of LHP Cesar Ramos, reached New York early Friday morning after taking the red-eye from Los Angeles. McCauley completed treatment this week for Hodgkin's Lymphoma and was cleared to travel. "Definitely a great feeling," Ramos said. "It's a huge relief having her here. Hopefully that's it with her battle. That's the end of it and it stays away." McCauley was diagnosed in November and began treatment in December. Quite the turnaround for Yanks' Sabathia LHP CC Sabathia, who starts this afternoon for the Yankees, was 7-1 with a 2.44 ERA in 11 starts against the Rays prior to joining the Yankees in 2009. Since then, Sabathia is 3-10 with a 4.08 ERA in 20 starts. He allowed seven earned runs on eight hits in seven innings against the Rays when he faced them on May 26. Noteworthy The Rays and the Royals will make up the May 2 game that was snowed out in Kansas City on Aug. 26 at 1:10 p.m. The game falls on an off day during a Rays homestand. . The Rays also signed 2B Kean Wong (fourth round), 3B Hector Montes (33rd) and 2B Ryan Hensley (40th). They have signed 28 of their 41 picks. . RHP Brandon Gomes (right lat strain) threw another bullpen session Friday. He said he expects to begin his minor league rehab Monday. . RHP Jeremy Hellickson and LHP Matt Moore gave the Rays back-to-back quality starts Wednesday and Thursday for only the second time in the last 24 games.