8/20/2014 12:35 A.M. ET
Maddon says losing home mark out of norm
By Bill Chastain / MLB.com
ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays entered Tuesday night's series opener against the Tigers with a losing record at home (28-34), in deference to their road mark of 33-29.
Manager Joe Maddon has scratched his head all season about his team's troubles at home.
"We normally vacay back home," Maddon said. "We've been that group for a long time. To be upside down at home is really unusual for us. And that's where the season lies right now. We have not played well enough here.
"Why? Probably we just haven't hit as well here. It's a very good pitcher's ballpark. You may not understand that, but it is. We just have not hit as well. It's a pretty quick surface. The dimensions don't look big, but the ball doesn't carry. We just haven't hit here as well as we should."
Myers among injured Rays gearing for return
ST. PETERSBURG -- Of the Rays' walking wounded, Wil Myers (right wrist fracture) appears to be the closest to returning to action, according to manager Joe Maddon.
"Wil's getting real close," Maddon said before Tuesday's series opener against the Tigers. "He'll be hatched any day now. We'll wait and see. He's doing well."
Entering Tuesday night's action, Myers had played in six games in a rehab assignment with Triple-A Durham. On Sunday against Charlotte, he played the entire game at DH and hit a two-run homer in the seventh inning. He's batting .286 with two home runs and six RBIs.
Maddon allowed that Myers could return before the end of the current homestand.
Catcher Ryan Hanigan (left oblique strain) has been on the disabled list since July 17.
"Hanigan had another [good] day," Maddon said. "[Head athletic trainer] Ronnie [Porterfield] wants him to repeat today tomorrow and then we'll make that evaluation and get him playing."
Hanigan told reporters that he'd been pain free for a couple of days.
"When I first hurt it, I was real optimistic it wasn't going to be this long of a deal," Hanigan said. "But in the back of your mind, obliques can always be a real problem. ... Took longer than expected. It stinks."
Hanigan said he hopes to start activity on Wednesday.
"For me I don't feel like I'd need more than eight to 10 at-bats," Hanigan said. "If they want me to get more, I'll get more. I just want to get back with this team. Finish it out."
According to Maddon, David DeJesus (left hand fracture) is about at the stage Myers was at when he first began to rehab.
"I'm just excited to get out there," DeJesus said. "... We just made sure everything is all right. Is structurally OK. ... It's just something you're going to have to monitor. Just have to be smart with it."
DeJesus expects to play on Wednesday and speculated if he does it will be at Class A Advanced Charlotte.
DeJesus has been on the DL since June 19. Despite missing 51 games and counting, he has not been surprised by how long his return has taken.
"No, bones are like that," DeJesus said. "Especially in the area of the hands, those are the most important part as a hitter. You have to be able to swing a 32-, 33-ounce bat and swing it with force at a pitch coming 90 mph. Those little bones take the brunt of the force."
Belnome notches first MLB hit, RBI vs. Tigers
ST. PETERSBURG -- Vince Belnome is on the board. The Rays' designated hitter got his first Major League hit in Tuesday night's 8-6 loss in 11 innings to the Tigers.
The Rays had recalled the infielder from Triple-A Durham for the third time this season prior to Saturday's game against the Yankees. His accrued totals from the three trips to the Major Leagues showed an 0-for-7 before hitting a double to center field off Max Scherzer in the second inning.
Belnome later scored in the second, when Ben Zobrist singled him home to put the Rays up 4-0.
"People will always say the first one is the hardest," said Belnome, who finished 1-for-3 and recorded his first RBI with a game-tying sacrifice fly in the eighth. "But I've been having good at-bats and finally one fell in."
Counterbalancing the ecstasy of Belnome's first hit was the disappointment of having his first home run taken back via a crew chief review that overturned a call on the field, which had ruled a home run when he led off the fourth with blast into the right-field stands.
"I hit it and I was looking at it," Belnome said. "I couldn't really tell if it went around the pole or in front of the pole. The umpire called it a home run, so I was going to run around the bases. Then after looking at it, called up to the video guys and said it was 50-50, they couldn't tell. Then they [overturned it]."
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.