TORONTO -- Elliot Johnson, penciled in as the No. 9 hitter Monday against the Blue Jays, has done a lot of things that have impressed Rays manager Joe Maddon.

Johnson is coming off his best game of the season, where he went 3-for-4 with a homer against the Orioles on Sunday. Maddon said Johnson needs to be a little bit more patient, if anything, look for his pitch and stop expanding the strike zone. Maddon said Sunday's game is the kind that Johnson should build on, but is not sure if Johnson's role will increase.

"I don't know, he's doing well right now," Maddon said when asked if Johnson would see more playing time. "I don't want to push the envelope. He can be as good as he wants to be as he continues to play the entire game and not just try to play a big game offensively. He plays the whole game offensively. He's a really good defender anywhere you put him. He runs well, has a great arm. He has all the attributes you're looking for. The part that has held him back is probably the offensive side, and right now, he's playing it properly, meaning he is just not trying to put the ball in the seats.

"He has enough power to be a bad hitter ... when you walk into one, all of sudden, you want to walk into one every at-bat ... and then you start swinging at balls and you're not nearly as attractive a hitter."

Johnson has played four different positions this season and has seen a lot of playing time, despite not having a set role on the club. He entered Monday's contest riding a career-best five-game hitting streak.

Left knee sprain sends Jennings to 15-day DL

TORONTO -- Rays outfielder Desmond Jennings, who suffered a left knee sprain May 6 against the A's, has been placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to Saturday.

Stephen Vogt has been called up from Triple-A Durham and was making his way to Toronto. Vogt has appeared in seven games with the Rays this season, going hitless in 13 at-bats.

Before Monday's game, manager Joe Maddon wasn't discouraged with Jennings' recovery, despite him landing on the DL.

"Pretty much the same, not any better, not any worse," Maddon said. "We're still evaluating it. Again, no regress or progress."

Jennings went 0-2 in two pinch-hit appearances since suffering the injury.

Rodriguez back in lineup, playing third base

TORONTO -- Sean Rodriguez, who got the start at third base for Monday's series opener against the Blue Jays, was back in the lineup after not starting Sunday's game due to a strained intercostal muscle.

The 27-year-old didn't start against Baltimore on Sunday, but entered the game as a pinch-hitter and went 0-for-1, snapping his 10-game hitting streak.

"He said he's good enough to play," Rays manager Joe Maddon said before Monday's game. "On this turf, it's a pretty quick field ... the ball really scoots off this stuff pretty quickly, so it's good to get him out there at third base on this field."

Rodriguez injured the pectoral muscle diving for a ball in a game May 12. He entered Monday's contest batting .228 with two homers and nine RBIs.

Rays sign Garko to Minor League contract

TORONTO -- The Rays signed first baseman/outfielder Ryan Garko to a Minor League contract Monday.

Garko, who had been playing in the independent Atlantic League, will report to Double-A Montgomery.

The 31-year-old played in Korea last year and spent parts of six seasons in the Majors with the Indians -- who made him a third-round Draft choice in 2003 -- the Giants and Rangers.

Garko is a .275 career hitter with 55 homers and 250 RBIs.

Worth noting

• Brandon Allen, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right quad strain, is showing improvements and could return soon.

"He's doing fine, he's been swinging the bat, he should be pretty much the normal length of time, I would think," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "Although he's going to have to go back on rehab, we'll have to get that set up pretty soon. [He's] a good young man, great guy."

The first basemen/outfielder was placed on the DL on Thursday. He's batting .100 over 20 at-bats this season and has collected both his hits in a Rays uniform after starting the season with Oakland.

• Maddon can sympathize with his catcher Chris Gimenez, who has three catcher's interference calls against him this season. He became the first catcher to commit three in one season since Mike Napoli did it with the Angels in 2006.

"I had three in one game one time at Quad City Iowa ... it killed my fielding average," Maddon said. "I was not shy about coming out of the shoot. I told him the story."