07/31/12 10:22 PM ET
Conrad sent down, Lueke called up
By Bill Chastain / MLB.com
Conrad was hitting .172 with two home runs and seven RBIs in 24 games.
The Rays felt like they needed an extra reliever to help replenish the bullpen following Monday night's 15-inning contest.
"Right now, obviously after last night we're really concerned about the bullpen," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "We've been in really good shape, and we're still in really good shape, but now is when you don't want to beat people up."
Maddon said when he talked with the front office everybody agreed that the Rays weren't "going to the dance without those guys being well and rested."
"The moment you start beating up the bullpen too badly, that's the part that's almost impossible to reproduce," Maddon said. "So, we thought we needed that extra arm to be protected."
Rays records struck down in 15-inning game
OAKLAND -- Monday night's marathon did not end the way the Rays would have liked, as they saw their two-game win streak snapped in a 4-3 loss to the Athletics.
The game also left a legacy for the Rays, who saw several records fall during the 15-inning affair.
For starters, it was the longest road game for the Rays in terms of time (5:09) and innings.
Rays pitchers set a club record by striking out the most hitters in one game with 21. This was the highest total of strikeouts in one game since the Athletics struck out 21 in a 9-7 win at Texas that went 13 innings. In addition, the combined total of strikeouts by both clubs (33) established a new mark for the Rays.
Rays pitchers struck out 29 hitters over their two games, which was the highest total in consecutive games.
In addition, the Rays added an odd note by becoming the fourth team since 1919 to have its pitchers strike out 20 or more batters in a game and walk 10 or more in the same game.
Entering the final game of July, the Rays have struck out a Major League-high 230 batters in the month, the most by an American League team since the 1964 Indians fanned 264 behind Sam McDowell's 44. Rays pitchers have struck out 10 or more batters in 11 of the last 16 games.
Keppinger was armed and ready for 16th
OAKLAND -- Jeff Keppinger was used as the Rays' designated hitter in Monday night's 15-inning loss to the Athletics. But if the Rays had escaped the 15th, the veteran infielder would have been the guy to replace Kyle Farnsworth on the mound.
"Yeah, that's what they said," Keppinger said. "They said Farnsworth's going to go one inning. I was coming up to lead off the next inning, so I don't know, maybe if we'd have gotten the lead they might have changed their mind and left Farnsworth in there. But they said I was going to get a chance to get in there and do what I have to do."
Keppinger actually went down to the bullpen and warmed up in anticipation of entering the game.
"I felt all right [warming up]," Keppinger said. "I was just trying to throw strikes, get the ball over the plate into the catcher's mitt."
Keppinger thinks the last time he pitched in a game came during his freshman year at the University of Georgia.
"I believe I got a save," Keppinger said.
Had Keppinger entered the game, he planned on doing some pitching.
"I was throwing everything I got," he said. "I wasn't just going to go in there and lay them in. I was going to compete."
When asked about his pitching repertoire, Keppinger noted: "I can't tell you. Then they're going to know if I get in there sometime."
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.