09/09/11 8:34 PM ET
Lobaton tweaks left MCL, remains sidelined
By Bill Chastain / MLB.com
The Rays' catcher already missed 43 games with a left knee sprain before this latest setback.
Lobaton caught a bullpen session Friday and said if he feels fine in the morning, he will likely catch Saturday against the Red Sox.
"Right now, it's tough," Lobaton said. "[I've] got a lot on my mind. I want to play at 100 percent, not 90 percent. ... If they say I can play, I can play."
Manager Joe Maddon said Monday that Lobaton and John Jaso would get the bulk of the catching duties for the remainder of the season, leaving Kelly Shoppach as the odd man out because the Rays want to get a good look at Lobaton.
Lobaton hit .293 with eight home runs and 31 RBIs at Triple-A Durham and he threw out 12 of 39 attempted basestealers. Lobaton is just 1-for-14 for the Rays, but he has played in just six games due to the injuries.
Well-rested Damon returns to Rays' lineup
ST. PETERSBURG -- Johnny Damon was back in the lineup Friday night after not starting in the previous three games. Though he pinch-hit Wednesday afternoon against the Rangers, Damon has had a pretty good rest, particularly when factoring in Thursday's off-day.
"I like the idea of John after four days' rest being kind of frisky right now," manager Joe Maddon said. "Here's a guy that has a tendency to do well in big moments. So let's put him in a more fruitful potential moment where he has a chance to drive in some runs."
Damon hit in the fifth spot Friday night behind Ben Zobrist.
"I like the idea of John hitting behind [Zobrist] and possibly fulfilling a different role," Maddon said, "because I know he's been there before and he's always been good in big games -- and I like him."
The Rays' wives and All Children's Hospital have partnered to hold the inaugural Mystery Ball and Silent Auction on Saturday night. Each $30 donation will allow the donor to choose one mystery ball, which is autographed by a current Major League player or coach. A total of 600 baseballs will be sold at Gates 1 and 5. In addition, a silent auction will be held in the Whitney Bank Club through the end of the seventh inning.
With one more home run by B.J. Upton (19 home runs, 27 stolen bases), he and Justin Upton (29 home runs, 20 stolen bases) will become the first brothers to hit 20 home runs and steal 20 bases in the same season. They would also become just the seventh set of brothers to each hit 20 homers in a season. They are two home runs away from becoming the eighth set of brothers to combine for 50 home runs in one season.
Along with Kansas City's Jeff Francoeur, Ben Zobrist entered Friday night's action with a Major League-leading 44 doubles, leaving him three doubles shy of the club record held by Aubrey Huff.
Members of the "Blue Man Group" were on hand before Friday night's game, allowing manager Joe Maddon the chance to ham it up with the group. Throughout Maddon's pregame gathering with the media, he was flanked by the blue entertainers, with one managing to spot Maddon's nose with some blue paint.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.