9/2/2014 7:35 P.M. ET
Boxberger making mark for Rays with his K's
By David Adler / MLB.com
ST. PETERSBURG -- With three strikeouts in Monday's 4-3 win against the Red Sox, Brad Boxberger tied the Rays' single-season record for K's by a relief pitcher.
The right-handed Boxberger, who has been one of the club's best relievers this year along with Jake McGee, had 92 strikeouts in 58 1/3 innings before Tuesday's series opener against the Blue Jays. That tied former Rays reliever J.P. Howell's mark, set in 2008, when Tampa Bay made its only World Series appearance.
"I think looking back on it, it would be more meaningful than it is right now," Boxberger said of tying, and potentially setting, the club record. "It's just, in-season type things aren't something you really think about."
Boxberger entered Tuesday with a 14.19 K/9 ratio and is striking out 41.6 percent of opposing batters. He is doing it with a fastball-changeup combo reminiscent of former Rays closer Fernando Rodney and a cross-body delivery that can be troublesome for hitters.
Boxberger tied Howell's record despite spending the first month of the season mainly at Triple-A Durham.
"Strikeouts are just part of the game," Boxberger said. "I've been fortunate enough to ... I guess to have a good amount of them this year, and would obviously have a lot if I was up all of April too -- so we would've probably been talking about this at an earlier time."
Myers seeing ball better with desired results
ST. PETERSBURG -- On Monday, Rays manager Joe Maddon moved Wil Myers into the No. 2 hole, partially in an attempt to give the struggling outfielder better protection in the lineup, so he would get better pitches to hit.
In Monday's series finale against Boston, a 4-3 win, Myers went 3-for-4, including an opposite-field RBI double. After his best game since returning from the disabled list Aug. 20 -- Myers had been hitting .143 with 16 strikeouts before Monday -- Myers was hitting second again for Tuesday's series opener against the Blue Jays.
Myers wasn't sure if his 3-for-4 day actually had to do with hitting in front of Matt Joyce and Evan Longoria, saying it might just have been him seeing the ball better than he has in recent games.
"I've been getting a lot of good pitches since I've been getting back anyway," Myers said.
Myers just hadn't been hitting them until Monday, when Red Sox starter Rubby De La Rosa posed a good matchup for Myers, Maddon said.
"The type of pitcher that De La Rosa is, in the zone, he doesn't throw certain pitches -- he was fastball-changeup, is what I'm getting at -- so I think that Wil saw more pitches that were to his liking," Maddon said on Tuesday. "I don't know if that was a function of hitting in the two-hole, or a function of the kind of pitcher that De La Rosa is."
As in, De La Rosa wasn't feeding Myers the type of outside-corner breaking balls that have often plagued him?
"I didn't say that," Maddon said
Geltz set for any situation out of Rays' bullpen
ST. PETERSBURG -- Reliever Steve Geltz, despite a blown save against the Red Sox in his Rays debut on Monday, was happy to be thrown into a high-leverage situation, the right-hander said on Tuesday afternoon.
"It's my job," Geltz said. "I shouldn't expect to pitch in any situation other than what they tell me. I'm not gonna say, 'Hey, I need to pitch in this ...' No. You can pitch me up 10-0, or losing 10-0, or if it's 1-1."
Geltz, one of the club's September callups, entered Monday's game in the eighth inning with two outs, the potential tying run on second and Yoenis Cespedes up, to protect Tampa Bay's 3-2 lead. Cespedes greeted Geltz with a game-tying single to left before Geltz struck out Mike Napoli to end the inning.
The Rays eventually won, 4-3, on Matt Joyce's 10th-inning walk-off single.
Geltz hadn't pitched since 2012, when he logged two innings in two games for the Angels. Throwing him into a key spot was right in line with manager Joe Maddon's philosophy on using callups.
"Once you get them absorbed, then they can really help you," Maddon said. "If a guy comes up and sits around for four or five days, he feels like he's on the periphery all the time, really not part of this. So then all of a sudden, you ask him in a crucial moment to come on in the game, and the guy hasn't pitched -- that's just really a bad way to do business, I think."
Also, the Rays can't just give the ball to Brad Boxberger and Jake McGee every time.
"I believe -- I know -- to get Geltz and [Jeff] Beliveau and [Kirby] Yates involved, and pitching like they can, can really help us this last month," Maddon said. "Because to win a lot of games, we can't rely on just two guys."
• Center fielder Desmond Jennings was not in Tuesday's lineup for a fifth straight game due to left knee soreness. Jennings said before the game that his knee felt the same as it did on Friday, when he was first scratched, and he's not sure how soon he will be able to return to the starting lineup.
• In Monday's series finale against the Red Sox, the Rays were error-free for the first time in eight games. The eight consecutive games with an error was Tampa Bay's longest such streak since 2004, when it went a club-record 11 straight games with an error.
David Adler is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.