Notes: Fossum's next start pushed back
Rays being careful after lefty took two liners off right shin
PHILADELPHIA -- Rays manager Joe Maddon gave his starting rotation a bit of a tweaking heading into the series against Arizona.Casey Fossum, who had been slated to start on Wednesday, will have his start delayed after taking two comebackers off his right shin in his last start in Detroit. Mark Hendrickson will start on his normal day on Tuesday. He will be followed by James Shields and Scott Kazmir. Both Shields and Kazmir picked up wins against Philadelphia, and because of Monday's off-day, both will start on their regular days. For the following series against Atlanta, the rotation is still not definite. "With Casey, we want to make sure he's well, and we'll see how Seth [McClung] comes out of [Sunday's] day game," Maddon said. "It could be Casey-Seth or Seth-Casey. We're not sure." In his start on Saturday, Kazmir lived and died by the slider. The pitch was his best friend in the first inning as he struck out David Bell swinging a slider and got the next batter, Bobby Abreu, looking at a slider. But his back-to-back sliders in the second inning weren't as impressive. Abraham Nunez and Sal Fasano both hit hanging sliders into the left-field seats for solo homers. "Besides those two hanging sliders that were home runs, I thought that I was getting a better feel for that pitch," Kazmir said. Maddon described the pitch as "hot and cold." "I saw some good ones. It was better than the last time out, so I thought he was starting to recapture it," he said. The left-hander admits he had been having trouble with the pitch. "I was getting under it and just hanging it. It felt like a BP fastball," he said. "I was able to actually get a little bite on it.
Baldelli not changing approach: Rocco Baldelli isn't letting his first home run of the season go to his head.The center fielder, who missed nearly 1 1/2 seasons recovering from a torn ACL, hit his first long ball since Oct. 1, 2004, on Saturday. But his approach isn't changing one bit. "I don't really try to change my swing," Baldelli said. "I'm happy hitting line drives, and if I hit the occasional home run, that's cool, too." According to his manager, the approach is a reflection of Baldelli's personality. "I'm sure it bolsters him somewhat," Maddon said of the home run. "But this guy is so much the same every day. He might be screaming inside his head but you would never know it." Baldelli's reward for the first homer: a day off in the 90-degree heat on Sunday. This and that: Maddon's mother, Beanie, and his Little League manager, Ray Saul, attended Sunday's game, as did a busload from the skipper's hometown of Hazleton, Pa. ... United States Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito threw out the ceremonial first pitch before Sunday's game. ... Russell Branyan homered in the second inning, making Sunday the fifth straight game in which the Rays scored first. ... Carl Crawford got his first start of the season in center field. He hadn't played a position other than left field all season. By the numbers:
107: Combined lifetime starts for the six starting pitchers coming into the Rays-Phillies series. Shields (3), Kazmir (53), McClung (36), Cole Hamels (4), Scott Mathieson (0), Ryan Madson (11).
1,151: Combined lifetime starts for the six starting pitchers coming into the Red Sox-Braves series.Up next: The Rays, now finished with their 10-game road trip, return home to face the Diamondbacks on Tuesday at 7:15 p.m. ET. Lefty Mark Hendrickson takes the mound for Tampa Bay against righty Miguel Batista.
Zachary Levine is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.