8/27/2013 11:31 P.M. ET
Kansas City scene a familiar one for DeJesus
By Bill Chastain and Robert Falkoff / MLB.com
KANSAS CITY -- It was almost like the old days for David DeJesus on Monday -- he was playing center field and batting in the leadoff spot. But it was just "almost" because he was doing that for the Tampa Bay Rays, not the Kansas City Royals, as he did for many years.
DeJesus spent eight years with the Royals, one with Oakland and was in his second with the Chicago Cubs when he was dealt to Washington on Aug. 19. After four days, the Nationals flipped him to the Rays last Friday, and he suddenly he finds himself in playoff contention.
"So now I'm right smack in the middle of it and it's great, just being around these guys that are so talented but so relaxed," DeJesus said. "It's really something different than Chicago this year, where things were a little uptight."
It's quite a change being in manager Joe Maddon's laid-back clubhouse.
"The only thing he expects is be yourself and run the ball out," DeJesus said. "That's what he stresses, and I think he gets the most out of the players every day. And I'm excited to keep it going."
It was September 2003 when DeJesus first joined the Royals in Texas.
"I remember sitting between Carlos Beltran and Mike Sweeney, trying to not get in their way -- not trying to cause a ripple or anything like that," DeJesus said. "And Mike came up to me later in the day and gave me a hug and said, 'You deserve being here.' And that's one thing that still sticks in my mind -- a veteran guy that didn't have to do that but just loved on me and gave me that comfort to be who I am and deserved to be with the team. It was pretty cool."
DeJesus made his debut that night by playing the last two innings in center field.
"That's when they forgot to announce me into the game and my name didn't show up in the box score," he said. "And I'm like calling my friends, 'Yeah, I played yesterday,' and they're like, 'Sure, you did.' And I was like, 'I was in there, I swear to you.'"
Monday's makeup game marked the first time that DeJesus had been at Kauffman Stadium since 2011 with Oakland
"It's cool being here. I've been here before, so it's nothing different," he said. "Now it's just another jersey on, but I'm excited to play. I love playing in Kansas City -- so many good memories here. I love coming back. It's one of the most beautiful stadiums, in my opinion, in the Major Leagues."
Maddon is using DeJesus to lead off against right-handed pitchers, and he went 4-for-7 and scored two runs in his first two starts.
"I've done it all season with the Cubs, so I feel comfortable in the leadoff spot. That's nothing different," DeJesus said. "My job is to get on base in front of the guys behind me. And Longo [Evan Longoria] and Ben [Zobrist] are swinging it good, so something I've done my whole career is all I need to do. So there's no added pressure, just go out and be myself."
Maddon tossed for arguing called third strike
KANSAS CITY -- Rays manager Joe Maddon traveled a long way to see less than half a game from the dugout.
In Monday's makeup game vs. the Royals, Maddon was ejected by home-plate umpire Greg Gibson for arguing a called third strike against David DeJesus with the bases loaded and two outs in the fourth inning. The Rays trailed, 5-1, at the time.
DeJesus disputed the call initially and stood at home plate as Gibson got into a heated exchange with Maddon from the dugout. Maddon didn't come onto the field until after he had been thrown out.
It was the fourth ejection for Maddon this season, and the 31st of his managerial career.
Moore on track to make rehab start Thursday
KANSAS CITY -- Left-hander Matt Moore will make a rehab start on Thursday for Triple-A Durham at Gwinnett.
Moore is rehabbing from soreness in his pitching elbow.
"We think the weather is going to be better there," Rays manager Joe Maddon said on Tuesday. "We just don't want that to be rained out. That would really injure our plans. We just have to send him somewhere we believe he will pitch."
Moore would be on track to join the rotation Sept. 3 in Anaheim if there are no setbacks. The left-hander, who is 14-3 with a 3.41 ERA this season, has not pitched in a game since July 28 against the Yankees in New York.
Maddon takes steps to alleviate Rays' fatigue
KANSAS CITY -- As the Rays prepared for a quick business trip to face the Royals in Monday's makeup game, the biggest concern for manager Joe Maddon was the possibility of residual fatigue.
Only 21 active players made the one-game trip, as the four starting pitchers other than Jeremy Hellickson stayed home.
Evan Longoria was used as the designated hitter to get him off his feet, and Maddon gave Desmond Jennings the day off in 90-degree weather.
"It's maybe not so much the fatigue today, but the fatigue that follows," Maddon said. "You've got all these time changes and the travel component within it. If you can keep a fresh mind right now, the body will follow. It's about keeping a fresh mind."
The Rays were making a one-game trip for just the second time. In 2004, they went to New York for one game and absorbed a loss.
Jennings ready for 'Shop with a Player' event
ST. PETERSBURG -- Desmond Jennings will join a lucky Sweetbay Supermarket customer on Wednesday at 11 a.m. ET for its annual "Shop with a Player" event.
The Sweetbay Supermarket at 13508 North Florida Avenue in Tampa will host the event.
The Rays' center fielder will be joined by Queen Matthews, who will attempt to fill her basket with $1,000 worth of groceries in just 10 minutes.
Jennings will also present a $1,000 gift card, donated by Pepsi Beverages Company, to the Rays Baseball Foundation to benefit the Dugout Clubs, a program in which Jennings has participated for two seasons.
• Outfielder Brandon Guyer (fractured right middle finger) began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Durham on Sunday. He played right field and went 0-for-3 with a walk against Norfolk.
• Outfielder Jason Bourgeois cleared waivers Sunday and accepted his outright assignment to Durham.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. Robert Falkoff is a contributor to MLB.com. Dick Kaegel contributed to this story. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.