tbo: Tampa Bay Online.
Tuesday, Jun 19, 2018
  • Home
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays notes: Myers making himself at home

ST. PETERSBURG - Less than a week after his major-league debut, Rays RF Wil Myers stepped onto the turf Monday at Tropicana Field for the first time in a Tampa Bay uniform.
And when he stepped up to the plate for his first at-bat before the home fans, he introduced himself in memorable fashion.
After falling behind 0-2 against Toronto starter Esmil Rogers, Myers took a 1-2 fastball clocked at 95 mph to the deepest part of the ballpark and over the fence in straightaway center field for a solo home run that landed beyond the 404-foot sign.
"He's a really good athlete,'' Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "We got a look at him in Boston and New York and he did really well, both places. He was not overwhelmed nor intimidated by either venue and played really well all game. What he is showing is that he is a complete player and not just a hitter. ... He's a baseball player.''
There were plenty of new surroundings for Myers to familiarize himself with in his ballpark, most importantly the domed roof that can often wreak havoc for outfielders. So before the game, Myers was out early taking fly balls, with the lights on and the lights off, for a crash course in how to deal with the unique surroundings.
"It was kind of difficult at first just to learn a little bit about it, but I think I have a good feel for it now,'' Myers said. "You don't want to take your eye off the ball."
Myers had a productive first road trip and carried a six-game hitting streak into Monday's game, although he admitted the way he was pitched in his first seven games was a bit unusual.
"I noticed they like to pitch backwards a lot,'' Myers said. "I thought when I got up here they would challenge me a lot more, but they pitched me backwards a lot. I think in New York I got one first-pitch fastball.''
In his first at-bat Monday, Myers fell behind on a pair of fastballs before Rogers came back with back-to-back sliders. Myers then drilled another fastball for his second career home run.
Hat trick
The Rays hit three consecutive home runs in the bottom of the second Monday, marking the first time in team history Tampa Bay pulled the trifecta at Tropicana Field.
James Loney, Myers and Sam Fuld accomplished the feat off Rogers.
The only other time the Rays hit back-to-back-to-back home runs came at Angels Stadium in Anaheim when Evan Longoria, Willie Aybar and Dioner Navarro did it June 9, 2008.
Price is right
LHP David Price remains on track to make his second rehab start Wednesday for Single-A Charlotte after feeling no effects from his first outing Friday, when he threw 49 pitches in 2ß innings. Price played catch Saturday and threw a bullpen session Sunday.
Price was placed on the 15-day disabled list May 16 with a strained left triceps muscle and had his first rehab assignment pushed back after experiencing soreness after throwing a simulated game June 13.
"I didn't have any (soreness or stiffness) after my game in Bradenton. ... Everything felt good and back to normal,'' Price said Monday.
Should everything continue to trend in a positive direction, it's plausible that Wednesday's outing could be the final step before being activated off the DL.
"It's not impossible,'' Maddon said. "We'll see how it all plays out. We don't know right now, although he felt really good today and that soreness has really dissipated. But we'll let him go out there and pitch and evaluate it probably on Thursday and see how he feels.''
Day off for Desmond
CF Desmond Jennings was given a routine day off by Maddon, who often monitors Jennings at home games.
"I just wanted to really watch him coming back (home). It was really hot in New York the last couple of days, but I just want to watch him (at home) primarily,'' Maddon said.
The move paid off early as Fuld launched his second home run of the season in the second inning.
Jennings entered the game as a defensive replacement in the ninth inning.
RHP Jeremy Hellickson had gone 26 consecutive innings without walking a batter before Colby Rasmus drew a one-out base on balls in the top of the second. ... Blue Jays DH Edwin Encarnacion lost two bats in his first at-bat, losing his grip twice and sending the bat flying into the third-base stands, the second of which came on strike three. ... Fuld's two home runs are one short of a career high set in 2011, his first season with Tampa Bay. ... RHP Brandon Gomes threw one scoreless inning in his rehab start with Charlotte on Monday, allowing one hit and striking out one while facing three batters.
Weather Center