By MIKE READLING
© St. Petersburg Times, published May 19, 2001
ST. PETERSBURG -- The fact that Jose Guillen could walk in and out of the clubhouse with only a slip-on brace around his left knee probably amazed anybody who saw his vicious wipeout in Kansas City on Thursday, but for the Rays it was still cause for concern.
Enough concern that the team put Guillen on the 15-day disabled list Friday afternoon, calling outfielder Jason Tyner up from Triple-A Durham to take his place.
Guillen slipped off a wet first base, sticking his spikes in the mud and hyperextending his knee in the seventh inning. As his leg buckled, Guillen spun and smashed the back of his head on the ground before being carried off the field on a cart.
Despite saying most of the pain had dissipated within an hour of the fall, Guillen had an MRI Friday morning in St. Petersburg and met with team orthopedic physician Koco Eaton and trainer Jamie Reed.
"We didn't find anything torn but he stretched out some tissue in the back of his knee," Reed said. "It will be at least a couple more weeks before we can have him running again. This was the best-case scenario. He's very lucky as far as what he didn't suffer."
Guillen said he didn't think he would need 15 days to recover fully. He also said he had a "big" headache and didn't sleep all night. Like most people, Guillen didn't have to see the replay more than once to realize how lucky he is.
"I started to watch it but then I decided I don't need to watch this anymore," Guillen said. "It was pretty ugly. Anybody who watches the replay can see it. ... God came down from upstairs last night."
WHO'S IN RIGHT?: With Guillen out of the mix, manager Hal McRae said Randy Winn would get most of the time in rightfield the next couple weeks. If Tampa Bay can get on the winning track, McRae said he may play Steve Cox in the outfield for a game or two.
Winn started Friday night's game and will start again today as McRae rests Ben Grieve, playing Greg Vaughn in left, using Fred McGriff as a DH and letting Cox play first base for the second straight game.
LOPEZ TO GO: Albie Lopez said short of "falling down those stairs over there" he will make his scheduled start today.
The Rays ace has not pitched since May 9, when he came out of a game against Baltimore in the fourth inning with a strained groin. Lopez was held out of his next start as a precaution.
RUINING THE STREAK: When Damian Rolls led off the sixth with a double and later scored on Gerald Williams' double, the Rays ended Tiger pitcher Victor Santos' streak of innings without allowing an earned run at 271/3. Santos' run is the longest streak for a rookie since Fernando Valenzuela shut down opponents for 34 innings over the 1980-81 seasons.
The win was Santos' first in the major leagues.
HOT, HOT, HOT: Durham's Joe Kennedy pitched seven shutout innings against Louisville on Friday to earn his first Triple-A win. With his Double-A stats, Kennedy carries a 6-0 record with a 0.74 ERA.
RAYS REACH OUT: The Mitsubishi Outreach Program, in which the Rays visit youth leagues and recreation centers, makes its first stop at 9 a.m. today at Clearwater's Sid Lickton Park. Second baseman Russ Johnson and broadcaster DeWayne Staats will join Raymond. The Devil Rays Express traveling museum also will be present.