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News » Tampa Bay Rays Inside Pitch 2008-05-29

Tampa Bay Rays Inside Pitch 2008-05-29

Tampa Bay Rays Inside Pitch 2008-05-29
The Rays won Wednesday's game but suffered a potentially jarring loss when closer Troy Percival had to leave due to tightness in his left hamstring.

Percival, who had a similar but not as severe problem in the May 20 game, underwent an MRI exam after the game, with the results expected to be announced Thursday. At the least he is expected to miss a few days, and the disabled list is a possibility.

"For him to take himself out of the game, it made me worry a little bit," reliever Dan Wheeler said. "We're just keeping our fingers crossed. He seemed in good spirits, and he doesn't think it's too bad. Hopefully we'll be able to hold the fort down while he's gone."

Percival had gotten one out and allowed a hit when he struck out Brandon Boggs for the second out but fell over as he delivered his eighth pitch of the inning. He tried a warm-up pitch that didn't look right, then shook his head and walked off the mound.

With Percival out, the Rays are likely to move Wheeler and/or Al Reyes into the closer's role. Right-hander Grant Balfour would seem the likely candidate for a promotion given his extraordinary numbers at Class AAA Durham -- 1-0 with eight saves and a 0.38 ERA (allowing one run in 23 2/3 innings) though he would have to be re-added to the 40-man roster. If the Rays prefer a reliever on the roster, they could call up lefty Kurt Birkins, who was effective earlier this season.

RAYS 5, RANGERS 3: Matt Garza pitched eight strong innings to improve to 4-1. The Rays drew two bases-loaded walks in a four-run fifth inning to maintain the best record in the majors at 32-21.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 29, 2008

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