05/13/12 2:54 PM ET
Rays put pink bats to good use
By Bill Chastain / MLB.com
Seven of the first nine Rays using pink bats reached base via a hit or a walk, while the first five not using a pink bat made an out.
Rays players, coaches and the manager Joe Maddon all fully embraced Major League Baseball's Mother's Day initiative that brings awareness to the fight against breast cancer.
"That's the most important part of it, just raising awareness," Carlos Pena said. "It's cool that most everyone participates. It's great because things like that are more important than the game we play. I think we have a platform we're using the right way. I like and I respect it. I appreciate that."
Luke Scott added: "The cause is great to help fight against breast cancer. I think it's cool. It's always good to honor moms. I've been blessed to have a wonderful mom. It's just a day to sit back and appreciate."
In addition to players using pink bats, most wore pink sweatbands and some wore pink shoes and generally seemed to have a good time with it.
"It's kind of cool [using a pink bat]," Pena said. "Some guys wanted to use the pink bat [Friday]. Their excuse was, 'It's Mother's Day weekend.' Some guys like the pink bat. I was like every day should be Mother's Day because mothers are so special, right? So we should be able to use a pink bat every day, because every day should be Mother's day."
Rays tie team mark for errors on Saturday
BALTIMORE -- The Rays committed five errors Saturday night, tying the club record (previously on May 12, 2000 vs. Toronto and April 15, 2001 vs. Toronto). However, Saturday night's error-fest was the Rays' first in which five different players committed errors.
Entering Sunday's contest against the Orioles, the Rays had committed 28 errors, the fifth most in the Major Leagues, after committing a Major League-low 73 errors last season. They have twice as many errors as they had last season through 34 games (14). This is their highest total through 34 games since 2007.
Combined with Baltimore's two errors, the seven errors were the most ever in a game involving the Rays. The previous high was six, done four times, most recently May 18, 2011 at Toronto when the Blue Jays made five errors and the Rays made one.
Gimenez having trouble avoiding interference
BALTIMORE -- Chris Gimenez earned a dubious distinction Saturday night when he was called for his third catcher's interference this season. In doing so, he became the first catcher to commit three in one season since Mike Napoli did it with the Angels in 2006.
The interference took place when Luis Exposito led off the Orioles' fifth against Matt Moore.
"I'm shocked," Gimenez said. "I can't tell you when that's ever happened to me before that. I was talking to the umpire [during Saturday night's game] and I said I don't move up at all. Unless the guy's way up in the box, I'm in the same spot all the time. I felt like he kind of took a later swing on it.
"It was just a pitch that was up and in and I reached up to grab it. And the next thing I know, he swiped the blade of my glove and it was just like, 'Are you kidding me, I can't get away from that now.' I don't know what the heck to do, it's just one of those things."
Gimenez's miscue Saturday night, which is classified as an error, extended his own club record for catcher's interference in a single season. He has committed three of the seven catcher's interferences in the Major Leagues this season.
"I think it's freaky," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "Sometimes there's just certain hitters you have to log that you have to play a little bit further back ... Overall I don't see anything awful."
Rays pitchers have some fun in batting cage
BALTIMORE -- Getting the starting pitchers prepared to hit during Interleague Play is a job that pitching coach Jim Hickey takes seriously. The goals are to not have a pitcher get hurt and perhaps to enable the pitcher to be able to help his own cause with the bat.
But the Rays starters have fun as well.
Jeremy Hellickson and Matt Moore each showed up at the batting cage in t-shirts with the sleeves cut off to display a "gun show" with their alleged bulging biceps. David Price borrowed a sharpie from a fan in the stands to draw a heart on the outside of Hellickson's upper arm and he wrote "Mom" inside the heart.
Hickey has to rein in the pitchers before letting them swing for the fences. Each had to bunt then hit balls to the middle of the field before the final act came, which allowed them to aim for the cheap seats.
Price continues to be the biggest ham on the staff. After hitting his first of four batting practice home runs, the Rays lefty ran the bases to the delight of the Mother's Day crowd at Camden Yards.
Moore was the only other in the group to reach the seats, which he did five times.
• Jeff Keppinger struck out looking twice for the first time in his career Saturday night. He has struck out only four times this season, all looking.
• Sean Rodriguez, who has a 10-game hitting streak, was not in the lineup Sunday due to soreness on the left side of his chest. The Rays infielder said he irritated the area in Saturday night's game while diving to his left for a ground ball.
• Jeremy Hellickson made his 40th career start Friday night and received a no-decision. The second-year right-hander has used his 40 starts to shape a 19-10 record and a 2.86 ERA. According to Stats Inc., that is the lowest ERA of any active starting pitcher through his first 40 starts.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.