04/10/12 1:50 PM ET
Shields familiar with Masters winner's game
By Bill Chastain / MLB.com
Count Bubba Watson among those Shields has played with in the past. So Shields was pleased that Watson won this year's Masters on Sunday.
"He's a real good guy, man," Shields said. "He's wanted [to win The Masters] for a long time. I read something, or he tweeted something, that when he got home, he checked his suitcase four times just to make sure his jacket was still there."
Shields said he played with Watson in a charity event in Arizona sponsored by Northern Trust Bank. Shields can drive the ball a long way, but he said watching Watson hit a golf ball was totally different than what he's used to seeing.
"It's amazing when you play with those guys the way they shoot," said Shields somewhat in awe.
A reporter pointed out to Shields that Watson might encounter similar awe if he played catch with Shields or hit against him.
"Yeah, I would imagine if he stepped in the box, he'd be feeling the same way," Shields said with a smile.
Hamstring still tight, but Scott says DL unlikely
DETROIT -- Luke Scott continues to suffer from a tight left hamstring.
The Rays designated hitter felt tightness during Sunday's game against the Yankees and had to leave early. Scott has since had an MRI exam "that showed a lot of inflammation" in the hamstring, but he doesn't believe the injury will put him on the disabled list. Instead, he thinks he'll be out for three to five days.
"I don't know, it's going to be all about how it feels," said Scott, who noted that while the competitive part of him wants to battle through the injury, he knows he must be patient so the injury doesn't escalate into something that would make him miss a significant amount of time.
Scott didn't sound too enthusiastic when asked if he would be available for pinch-hitting duties, but he did say, "I'll be ready to do whatever the manager wants me to do."
When asked about Scott, Rays manager Joe Maddon commented: "It's just basically a very tight hamstring, so we're going to have to play it out. I have a lot of faith in our training staff. ... We're going to follow their lead. So hopefully in three or four days, we're going to have him back. But I'm not 100 percent sure of that yet."
Longoria enjoys aerobatics flight over Tampa
DETROIT -- Evan Longoria recently took a walk on the wild side when he flew in an aerobatics plane over Tampa, Fla.
The flight took place during Spring Training when he joined pilot Kirby Chambliss, a five-time U.S. National Aerobatic Champion and two-time Red Bull Air Race World Champ. Chambliss served as the pilot for the custom two-seat Edge 540 plane. Longoria saw local landmarks, including Tropicana Field and the Sunshine Skyway, during the flight, which included snap rolls, upright blind spins and going nose over tail several times. The plane also went straight up at nearly 100 mph backward.
Longoria called the experience fun, but he was clearly uneasy at the outset.
"I was pretty good throughout most of it, until the end," Longoria said. "I was ready to get on the ground. ... I was pretty nervous."
B.J. Upton began a rehab assignment with Class A Charlotte on Monday night as he recovers from lower back stiffness, going 0-for-2 with an RBI. The Rays center fielder will not play Tuesday night, but he is scheduled to play again in Wednesday night's game at Port St. Lucie.
The Rays' weekend sweep against the Yankees made them the first team since the 1985 Red Sox to sweep a season-opening series of three or more games from New York.
The Rays have used a starting pitcher they drafted for the past 168 consecutive games, a Major League record. The last game started by a pitcher drafted by another organization was Sept. 30, 2010, when Twins draftee Matt Garza started against the Royals in Kansas City. Tampa Bay has only used 13 different starting pitchers since 2008, the fewest in the Major Leagues.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.