5/18/2014 5:24 P.M. ET
Home runs emerge as problem for Gomes
By Bill Chastain / MLB.com
ANAHEIM -- Brandon Gomes has allowed home runs in four of his past five appearances since May 7 against the Orioles. Prior to that stretch he had a 2.87 ERA, and 13 of his first 15 appearances were scoreless.
"Just the home run ball has hurt him a little bit," Rays manager Joe Maddon said.
"It's just a matter of executing his pitches," Maddon added. "His stuff is really good. He came out, he was throwing the ball really well. I liked the elevated fastball. He made some really good pitches. It's kind of like one mistake that's hurting him per outing."
Entering Sunday's action, the five home runs Gomes had surrendered this season tied him for third among American League relievers. Four of the five came against right-handed batters.
"I've got to start making better pitches; it's not that complicated," Gomes said.
Hanigan expects to rest through Rays' off-day
ANAHEIM -- Ryan Hanigan did not start again Sunday and was not available to play save for an emergency. And even then, maybe not.
The Rays catcher left Friday night's game prior to the bottom of the eighth because of a right hamstring problem that arose when he grounded out to end the seventh.
Hanigan continues to receive treatment for the issue, which he felt was caused by either cramping or a mild strain. Prior to Sunday's game he stuck with the idea that rest would allow him to play Tuesday after Monday's off-day.
Hanigan said he could have played Saturday night in the event of an emergency.
"If I had to," Hanigan said. "Probably wouldn't have been the smartest thing to do. But yeah."
When asked if he was looking at a stint on the disabled list, Hanigan answered: "No. Stamp it."
Rays manager Joe Maddon does not think Hanigan will need to go on the DL, but he was not as positive as Hanigan.
"I can't say it's impossible; I don't know that," Maddon said. "Hanny's a pretty tough guy. And that's part of the difficulty regarding evaluating this entire moment. The fact that he's pretty adament he's fine. So we're going to have to continue to look at this and try to evaluate it. But as of right now, no. But I can't tell you that with 100 percent certainty that it won't change."
Kiermaier shows speed in field, on basepaths
ANAHEIM -- Kevin Kiermaier showcased his much-hyped defense when he started in center field Saturday night against the Angels.
"He's got really good feet," Rays manager Joe Maddon said before Sunday's series finale, in which Kiermaier denied Erick Aybar of extra bases with a leaping catch at the wall in the second inning. "He's got a quick release with a lot on it as you saw. He's a really good technical outfielder."
Maddon cited a ball to right that Wil Myers caught near the right-field line.
"Semi-routine, he, Kiermaier was pretty much 25 feet away from him," Maddon said. "He's always moving. You always try to get your guys to understand the concept that you always have something to do on every play. I don't even know if 75 percent get that. I don't know if 80 percent get that. But he gets it better than anybody."
Kiermaier, rated the Rays' No. 10 prospect by MLB.com, also collected his first Major League hit Saturday night, when he beat out a ground ball to shortstop in the sixth inning.
"It felt good to finally get that off my back," Kiermaier said. "I felt good the whole night. I knew it would happen sooner or later if I kept swinging the bat well. It was a nice relief to get it out of the way."
After collecting the hit, Kiermaier stood on first next to first baseman Albert Pujols, one of the great hitters in Major League history.
"He just said, 'Good swing, buddy,'" Kiermaier said. "Pretty cool to hear it from him after watching him on TV all these years. Pretty cool moment."
Oviedo shows little rust in return to Majors
ANAHEIM -- Juan Carlos Oviedo has not allowed a run in May, covering 8 1/3 innings in seven appearances, while conceding just two hits. Ten of his 11 appearances this year have been scoreless.
Saturday night he allowed a hit and two walks while striking out one in 1 1/3 innings.
"I've really been kind of careful with him; I talked to him about that [Saturday]," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "I thought we were pitching him too much for a bit. ... He's stretched out pretty well now. Again, I explained it to him very carefully, because I did not want him to misunderstand not pitching. I think he's doing really well actually."
On April 24, Oviedo made his first Major League appearance since Sept. 21, 2011, when he pitched for the Marlins (he was then known as Leo Nunez). In between he underwent Tommy John surgery and the rehab that followed.
"I don't care how he uses me," Oviedo said. "Everything is good. He gives me the rest I need. Every time I pitch I feel better. So I'm ready to go. Stronger than before [Tommy John surgery]."
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.