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Rays think positive in post-game chat


© St. Petersburg Times,
published June 27, 2001

BOSTON -- The Rays are trying to talk their way into getting some relief.

Manager Hal McRae gathered pitching coach Bill Fischer and the pitching staff into his small office after Tuesday's game to discuss what they can do differently, and better.

McRae wouldn't share details, but he said the tone of the meeting was positive and the message was supposed to be encouraging.

"We want to focus on changing things and ways to change things and ideas to change things and not be consumed with losing, not be consumed with what happened tonight, not be consumed with what happened last night," he said.

"That doesn't help us going forward. We're trying to come up with a way to change things."

REHAB REPORT: Wilson Alvarez felt fine after Monday's four-inning rehab outing for Triple-A Durham. It was the results -- six runs and six hits allowed and 87 pitches thrown -- he didn't like.

"He was disappointed with the way he pitched," trainer Jamie Reed said.

Alvarez, recovering from May 2000 shoulder surgery, was said to have hit 91 mph on the radar gun, the highest reading of his rehab, and averaged 87-88 mph with his fastball.

Alvarez expressed optimism last week that he was ready to return to the majors, but it seems likely he will make another rehab appearance for Durham on Saturday and possibly one more. That would put him on a schedule to rejoin the Rays after the All-Star break.

BALL GAME: Brent Abernathy got an unexpected souvenir from Monday's big-league debut.

Abernathy's first hit was a sixth-inning home run into the screen atop Fenway's fabled Green Monster. After the game, his dad presented him with the ball. Mike Abernathy explained the situation to a stadium security official, and someone was sent up to get the ball.

"It even had a little mark on it where it scraped the top of the wall," Brent Abernathy said.

LOST IN THE LIGHTS: Boston centerfielder Carl Everett hasn't played since bruising his right knee diving for a ball Thursday at Tropicana Field, and he isn't happy.

"I blame it on the stadium, those inside lights," Everett said. "If it wasn't for those lights, I would have never fell.

"I didn't dive, I fell. I kind of close my eyes. I didn't want the ball to hit me in the face, so I kind of turned my head."

HE'S BAAAAACK: Veteran reliever Rusty Meacham, designated for assignment last week, cleared waivers and accepted an outright assignment to Triple-A Durham. ... Right-hander Ariel Prieto, who pitched in three games after being acquired during spring training, is out for the season after shoulder surgery.

RAYS BITS: Gerald Williams, released Sunday, is expected to clear waivers at 1 today and is free to sign with any team for a prorated share of the $200,000 minimum salary. ... Jose Guillen will have his injured left knee examined Thursday i St. Petersburg.

Tonight: Rays at Red Sox, 7:05

WHERE: Fenway Park, Boston.

TV/RADIO: Fox Sports Net; WFLA-AM 970, WLCC-AM 760 (Spanish).


4/6 -- 4-11 L at Boston

4/7 -- 2-6 L at Boston

4/8 -- 0-3 L at Boston

4/17 -- 0-10 L at Trop

4/18 -- 1-9 L at Trop

4/19 -- 3-8 L at Trop

6/19 -- 4-5 L at Trop

6/20 -- 2-8 L at Trop

6/21 -- 4-7 L at Trop

Monday -- 8-12 L at Boston

Tuesday -- at Boston, late

Tonight -- at Boston, 7:05

Thursday -- at Boston, 7:05

9/11 -- at Trop, 7:15

9/12 -- at Trop, 7:15

9/13 -- at Trop, 7:15

9/18 -- at Boston, 7:05

9/19 -- at Boston, 7:05

9/20 -- at Boston 7:05

The pitchers

ALBIE LOPEZ: Lopez (3-10, 5.65) hasn't won since April 24 and has lost a team-record nine straight, posting an 8.36 ERA in the 10 starts. The Rays were encouraged by his last outing, when he went seven against the Yankees, allowing six runs (five earned) and six hits.

HIDEO NOMO: Nomo (6-4, 3.80) is pitching well but has one win in his past five starts. He is especially tough at Fenway Park, posting a 5-1 record and 2.95 ERA. Nomo, who opened the season with a no-hitter at Baltimore, is averaging better than a strikeout an inning.

Outta leftfield

Coaches Wade Boggs and Darren Daulton took a few swings before batting practice Tuesday, and both had some impressive blasts off bench coach Billy Hatcher. Hatcher, an outfielder for 12 seasons in the majors, said he had no desire to step into the cage. "I'm through with that," Hatcher said. "I'm a pitcher now."

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