Smyly, Jennings move closer to returns

Rays lefty allows five runs in second rehab start; outfielder begins rehab assignment

Smyly, Jennings move closer to returns

BOSTON -- Drew Smyly and Desmond Jennings continued to make progress Friday night in their bids to return to the Rays from the disabled list.

Smyly (torn left labrum) made his second start on his rehab assignment, earning a no-decision in Class A Advanced Charlotte's 9-7 loss at Lakeland. The left-hander allowed five runs on nine hits in 3 1/3 innings, striking out four and surrendering a home run.

"It wasn't good," said Rays manager Kevin Cash about Smyly's line. "I heard everything from a health factor was fine. I don't know about the game report. I know he gave up some hits. The velocity was good. He got his pitches in. So that was the priority. We're really not going to start evaluating the numbers right now. We need to keep him going. He got his pitches, he threw close to 70 pitches."

Smyly will continue to pitch every five days.

"Day off today, come back to throw a bullpen, then we'll line him back up," Cash said.

When asked if Smyly will make six starts prior to his return, Cash did not sound certain about Smyly's schedule.

"I think that all kind of goes in part with where we're at in the season with the off-days, we have to factor that in," Cash said. "I know he's itching to get back, but we have to make sure he's ready before we commit to having a set time."

Jennings (left knee bursitis) began his rehab assignment at Triple-A Durham Friday night as the Bulls' DH and went 0-for-3 with two walks in an 8-4 loss to Gwinnett.

"He ran on his last [at-bat] on a ground ball," Cash said. "Felt fine, so that was a good day."

Jennings will play six or seven innings in the outfield for Durham on Saturday night.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.