BOSTON -- Dan Johnson isn't superstitious by nature, but when he was offered No. 24, he took it.
Manny Ramirez took over No. 24 prior to the season and Johnson switched to No. 29. Johnson had worn No. 24 during his previous time with the Rays, and decided to take it back after Ramirez retired on Friday.
Changing "can't hurt," Johnson said of returning to his old number. "Some of my biggest hits have come wearing that number."
Maddon details conversation with Manny
BOSTON -- Joe Maddon and Manny Ramirez talked on Friday, the day Ramirez retired from baseball.
The Rays manager said prior to Monday night's game against the Red Sox that the two played phone tag before one of Ramirez's calls got through to Maddon.
"I was pretty much taken aback by it, because I didn't expect that to happen," Maddon said. "The fact that he and I have only been together a brief period of time, personally and as an organization, I didn't know if he would be moved or motivated to do that. But he was, and he was very kind in his comments. He expressed disappointment in himself also. But he also had high praise for us as an organization as a group. So I felt pretty good about that."
Maddon said he is not a judgmental person, so he took Ramirez at his word.
"I just asked him, in the future, when our paths cross, I want to consider him a friend," Maddon said. "And I want him to be open to conversing, etc., and he felt pretty good about that."
The Rays were counting on Ramirez to be the team's No. 4 hitter before he shocked the baseball world by retiring on Friday, thereby leaving the Rays in a lurch.
Ramirez retired in the wake of being notified by Major League Baseball of an "issue" under MLB's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment program. The New York Times, citing two sources, reported that Ramirez tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug during Spring Training.
Having served a 50-game suspension in 2009 after testing positive for a fertility drug, Ramirez was facing a 100-game suspension for a second offense.
Ramirez did not apologize, Maddon said.
"He just said he was disappointed," Maddon said. "He didn't apologize. And I wasn't looking for an apology, actually. I wasn't. He spoke to me kind of like man-to-man, person-to-person, manager-to-player kind of thing. So I didn't think he owed me an apology."
Sonnanstine helps preserve 'pen for Sox series
BOSTON -- Andy Sonnanstine threw 5 1/3 innings in relief of Jeff Niemann in Sunday's loss to the White Sox.
After the game, manager Joe Maddon saluted Sonnanstine for saving the bullpen prior to the team's big series against the Red Sox. Members of the bullpen also heaped praise on the right-hander.
"Sonnie was a beast yesterday," Adam Russell said. "That could have been pretty tough on us, getting everybody ready. We'd all been pitching every other day, pretty much. Just to get that extra day off, that was a huge boost for the bullpen. He killed it. He did an amazing job and we all appreciate what he did."
Added Kyle Farnsworth: "You know that's the luxury of having him down there. He used to start. He did a great job filling in, kept us in the game and he kept us fresh for [Monday night]."
Sonnanstine, who has a 2.70 ERA in three appearances this season, said the outing was "probably the most I could have asked for."
"We're coming in looking at a full bullpen to go," Sonnanstine said. "So that was great. I was extremely happy to be able to save those guys for the series."
A solo home run to Paul Konerko was the only blemish on Sonnanstine's line; he allowed just two other hits.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.