06/18/06 2:25 PM ET
Notes: Fossum's next start pushed back
Rays being careful after lefty took two liners off right shin
By Zachary Levine / MLB.com
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.