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Friday, Apr 20, 2018
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Rays Notes: Maddon ‘loves’ day/night twin bill (not really)

— If there is one thing manager Joe Maddon dislikes more than interleague play it is day/night doubleheaders.

Maddon was sarcastic with his answer before Wednesday’s game when asked about today’s doubleheader with the Orioles that kicks off the Rays’ 11-game, three-city trip.

“Love ’em,” Maddon said. “That’s a great concept to have a group there at 10 o’clock in the morning and finish at 11 o’clock at night and then play a 4 o’clock game (Saturday). That’s just the way baseball was drawn up and meant to be played.

“Abner (Doubleday), back in the day as he sat around drawing up the field and the dimension, was really looking forward to the day when you can play three games within 24 hours and then, furthermore, just split the first and the second game on that particular day, because it’s always generated with one thought in mind and I understand that. It does pay the bills. But when it comes down to the health of individuals it makes no sense whatsoever.”

Today’s doubleheader was made possible when the Rays and O’s were rained out April 15.

Ready for anything

Since he left the rotation and returned to his old role as long-man in the bullpen, LHP Cesar Ramos has been used in a variety of ways — pitching as many as 42⁄3 innings and as little as one-third when he needed just one pitch to retire the batter.

“Pitching is still pitching, but, it’s just my body, my arm,” Ramos said. “Sometimes my arm just doesn’t know what’s going on. That’s not how the arm is working. Luckily it’s responded. That’s why some days it will be 88 to 90 (mph on the fastball) and other days I’m 91 to 93. The arm is just in shock constantly.”

His past four appearances have been three innings, one, one-third and 21⁄3.

“It’s still pitching, whether you’re starting or in the bullpen,” Ramos said. “It’s just how your arm is going to respond. Is it your best stuff? Might not be for a week or two.”

Welcome back

RHP Jake Odorizzi makes his second start of the season at Baltimore during the second game of today’s doubleheader. He went five innings and allowed three runs on five hits in his first start, pitching on a 39-degree afternoon in the Rays’ 3-0 loss.

Odorizzi is a different pitcher than the one the Orioles saw during the third week of the season.

“I think I’m just starting to get to the point where I’m confident in what’s going on, the process and how things are coming out,” Odorizzi said. “I have a good plan going in to things. ... It’s nice to go back and hopefully redeem myself from the previous time.”


C Ryan Hanigan (stiff neck) and SS Yunel Escobar (sore right shoulder) are expected to rejoin the lineup today. ... Melanie Ramos, wife of Cesar, is not expected to deliver the couple’s first child until next week, so Ramos will start the road trip with the team. ... 1B James Loney has four consecutive multihit games and 25 this season.

Roger Mooney

Remember Toe?

ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” will feature former Devil Rays prospect Toe Nash at 9 a.m. Sunday.

A high school dropout who was discovered while playing semi-pro baseball, Nash signed with the Rays in 2000 and was released two years later after serving time for having sex with an underaged girl.

“He hit right-handed. He hit left-handed. Homer. Homer. Both sides. I mean, no one’s hitting opposite-field home runs at will, in rookie ball. He’s in left field, just throwing the ball on a line to home plate. It was almost like, ‘What’s Toe going to do today?’ ” former Ray Jonny Gomes said during the feature.

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