NEW YORK — After a somewhat nomadic career, RHP Joel Peralta said he knew he had found a home when he arrived for his first spring training with the Rays in 2011. He just didn’t know how much work would be involved.
By pitching the eighth inning of Wednesday’s 6-3 win at Yankee Stadium. Peralta tied former Rays RHP Esteban Yan’s franchise record for career appearances by a pitcher at 266.
“It means a lot,” Peralta said. “It means I’m consistent. It’s something that probably stood for a long time. It’s something that I’m proud of.”
It also means Peralta is busy. Yan, who also spent some time in the Devil Rays rotation, played for the Rays from 1998 to 2002. Peralta needed less time to catch Yan.
When asked if he anticipated the heavy workload, Peralta said, “Not as much. At least not the last three years, but I’m glad it happened. It made me a better pitcher.”
In addition to his reliability, Peralta has been the leader of the bullpen since he arrived.
“He’s a solid fellow, and among the Hispanic players, he’s kind of been a beacon for all these guys,” manager Joe Maddon said. “He’s there to offer advice. His path to the big leagues was not necessarily rosy. He had to work his way to get here, and I think he’s got experiences to share, and he’s done all that. He’s been kind of a rock around here.”
Rays agree to terms with Rondon
The Rays have yet to confirm reports that they agreed to sign Dominican SS Adrian Rondon on Wednesday, which was the start of the international signing period.
Rondon, 16, is the top-rated international prospect by Baseball America. According to ESPN’s Enrique Rojas, Rondon will sign for $3.3 million when he turns 17 on Monday.
DH Ben Zobrist (twice), SS Sean Rodriguez and RF Kevin Kiermaier each made outs on the bases during Wednesday’s win.
Maddon said that is the downside to the Rays’ decision to be more aggressive on the bases.
“That’s one thing we’ve been trying to do is turn up the aggressiveness dial and take advantage of our athleticism,” Maddon said.
Maddon said he wasn’t upset when third-base coach Tom Foley waved Zobrist home in the fifth inning on Brandon Guyer’s single to left. Zobrist, who had doubled, was thrown out at the plate.
“Good throw, nice play by the catcher,” Maddon said. “We’ve been waiting for things to happen, and they haven’t happened. We have to make things happen.”
Peralta backs McGee
LHP Jake McGee’s ERA was an AL-low 1.21 after pitching a perfect eighth inning in Tuesday’s win.
The Rays are hoping McGee is selected for the All-Star Game.
“They better get McGee in there on that team,” Peralta said. “He deserves it more than anybody probably in the league. The stuff he’s doing is great.”
The Rays begin a four-game series tonight in Detroit against the only AL team they have yet to face this season. The Rays split six games with the Tigers last season but are 6-12 against them since 2011. The Rays averaged 2.3 runs and hit .212 during those 18 games.
“We’ve actually done well pitching against them, but we have not done well hitting against them,” Maddon said.
Former Rays RHP James Shields is scheduled to pitch Monday when the Royals and Rays begin a three-game series at Tropicana Field. … OF Mikie Mahtook, INF Wilson Betimit, LHP Mike Montgomery and RHP Merrill Kelly of Triple-A Durham were named to the International League All-Star team. … The Rays have won eight of their past 10 road games and are 7-3 this season against the Yankees, including 5-1 in New York. … 2B Logan Forsythe is hitting .455 with a double, a triple, two home runs and six RBIs in his past 12 games. ... LHP Cesar Ramos is expected to leave the team after Saturday’s game for the birth of his first child.