ST. PETERSBURG — CF Desmond Jennings underwent an MRI on Sunday to determine the extent of the hamstring injury he suffered during the sixth inning of the Tampa Bay Rays' 3-1 win against the Orioles.
Jennings strained his hamstring while beating out a bunt to begin the inning. He left after running to second base when 2B Ben Zobrist fouled a grounder up the third-base line. The team said Jennings is day-to-day and the MRI was precautionary.
“The tip was (Orioles RHP Scott Feldman) was really slow to the plate and he did not want to run,” manager Joe Maddon said. “When he ran to second on the ground ball, I went out there and said, 'I don't want you to get hurt and I want to run on this pitch.' ”
OF Sam Fuld replaced Jennings and broke for second as ball four to Zobrist skipped to the backstop. Fuld scored on a sacrifice fly, and Zobrist on a single by 1B James Loney to give the Rays a 3-0 lead.
Jennings likely will miss today's game at best. He followed his four-RBI game Saturday with two hits Sunday, including a third-inning double. He is hitting .312 in his past 14 games.
“Desmond has been playing well and I know that's why he wanted to stay out there,” Maddon said. “Everything has been rolling for him, but let's hope it's very minor.”
Nice job by the pen
If not for a ball hit by C Matt Wieters that struck the B-ring catwalk in right field, the Rays' bullpen would have thrown 4ß scoreless innings Sunday.
Regardless, RHP Brandon Gomes, LHP Wesley Wright, RHP Jamey Wright, RHP Joel Peralta and RHP Fernando Rodney combined to shut down the Orioles.
Gomes, who faced two batters and was awarded the win, and the Wrights each faced a batter in the sixth inning and teamed to strike out the side.
“It should be like that every inning,” Jamey Wright said.
The bullpen has held the Orioles to three runs in 18 innings during the first three games of this series.
“Everybody is pulling in the same direction now,” Gomes said. “It's all hands on board right now.”
Peralta has retired 10 straight hitters over three appearances since his loss in Minnesota on Sept. 15.
Rodney recorded his sixth straight save opportunity Sunday. He has 36 for the season.
Going, going, gone
LF David DeJesus finished a 10-pitch at-bat and opened the bottom of the first inning with his first home run as a Ray.
“I was able to battle the at-bat,” DeJesus said. “(Feldman) was pretty good. He was able to spot where he wanted, and I was able to take advantage of that one pitch that he threw over the plate and just got us off to the start that we needed and give our young pitcher (Enny Romero) a little room there to get going.”
It was the fifth leadoff home run in the major leagues since 1999 during an at-bat lasting at least 10 pitches.
3B Evan Longoria was scratched from the lineup before the game because of flu-like symptoms he'd been experiencing for the past several days. He did enter in the eighth inning as a defensive replacement for Kelly Johnson.
“Before the game he was pretty ill,” Maddon said. “I did not want him out there dehydrated and pulling a muscle. That was not an option.”
RHP J.D. Martin, recalled earlier in the day to provide insurance if Romero struggled, will be designated for assignment today to clear room on the 40-man roster for RHP Jesse Crain. ... Opposing runners had stolen 22 straight bases on C Jose Lobaton until he caught CF Adam Jones trying to steal second in the third inning. ... Since the eighth inning Friday, the Rays have held the Orioles to two runs over 29 innings.