ST. PETERSBURG - The play to end the eighth inning Monday during the Rays' 2-1 win at Boston was still the topic of conversation Tuesday as the Rays prepared to open a two-game interleague series against the visiting Diamondbacks. LF Sam Fuld threw out Red Sox pinch-runner Daniel Nava at the plate, according to home plate umpire Jerry Meals. After the game, Meals said he blew the call, that Nava's foot got under the shin guard of C Jose Molina before Molina could apply the tag. The play rekindled the cry for expanded use of instant replay. "Of course if there were replay the play probably would have been reversed. Understood," manager Joe Maddon said. "We've had a lot of close calls go against us. Sometimes a call goes for you. It's part of the game. More than anything, the thing I learned from yesterday was the respect I have for Jerry Meals."
The Red Sox would have tied the game at 2 had Nava been called safe. But Fuld, referencing the called third strike on 2B Ben Zobrist on a ball that was way low and way away that ended the Rays' 5-4 loss at Texas on April 8, said the call by Meals did not cost the Red Sox a win. "It's one of those things we had to swallow that pill and move on," Fuld said. "If he calls him safe there, it's 2-2. The game's not over. It's still anybody's game. Just like if Ben had gotten the ball call there, it's not like we would have won automatically. You kind of have that feeling like you totally got gypped and we would have won no matter what. That's not the case. It's still anybody's game. We've been on both sides of that. It's part of the game, and you try to move on from there." Molina agreed. "That's the game," he said. "Sometimes, it goes their way. Sometimes, it's going to go our way. Just take it and just leave it there and turn the page. How many times did that happen to us and we just had to turn the page and keep going? It is Boston and everybody is making it a bigger deal. Just stop the crying. Just stop crying. Just keep going and play the game." Trade deadline today The non-waiver trade deadline expires today at 4 p.m. The Rays are exploring options, but nothing seemed imminent as of Tuesday night. RHP Jesse Crain, acquired Monday from the White Sox, is expected to join the team today. Executive vice president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said Monday the Rays will gain a better idea today of when Crain can return from the shoulder strain that has sidelined him since the end of June. Cobb making progress RHP Alex Cobb threw about 50 pitches Tuesday afternoon in a simulated game in Port Charlotte. Cobb threw with the blister on his right index finger covered with tape. He said the blister is healing and that he is scheduled to pitch Saturday for Class A Charlotte. Since Cobb is back to square one in his minor league rehab, he will throw four innings/60 pitches. If all goes well, Cobb will make another start Aug. 8. "We'll re-evaluate when that time comes," Cobb said. Cobb said the blister, which has delayed his comeback from a concussion, has been very frustrating. "Same thing with the head (injury), you got to wait," Cobb said. "You can't rehab that, either." Cobb said the effects of the concussion are nearly gone. His headaches are infrequent. "It's beyond immeasurable from where it was in the beginning," Cobb said. Noteworthy RHP Brandon Gomes (right lat strain) was pleased after his 1ß innings Monday in a rehab outing with Charlotte. "I'm very happy with how it went," he said. . Double A Montgomery hitting coach Ozzie Timmons will be the hitting coach for the Salt River Rafters in the Arizona Fall League. . According to Elias, closer Fernando Rodney is the first pitcher since the save rule was introduced in 1969 to record three saves in a 10-day span that ended with the go-ahead run on second base.