Notes: Fossum set to go Wednesday

Notes: Fossum set to go Wednesday

TORONTO -- Casey Fossum came up with a mild strain of his left groin on Friday night, forcing him to leave his start against the Marlins after four innings. On Monday afternoon, the news was a little better.

Fossum threw in the bullpen prior to the game, and now it appears that he'll make his next scheduled start on Wednesday against the Blue Jays.

"Right now, it feels good," Fossum said. "See how it feels tomorrow, and we'll take it from there."

Manager Joe Maddon said that Fossum has experienced a similar injury in the past.

"I don't anticipate any problems," Maddon said. "He was walking around much better yesterday. I saw it on TV (when Maddon was in California watching the game while attending his girlfriend's graduation from law school), then I talked to him [on Sunday]. I just saw him walking around, and he looked fine.

"He might be right -- it just happens once in a while, then he's fine. You pull a groin, and normally, that's going to require more than coming out of the game and making your next start. Hopefully, he's fine."

Winning when you should: While the Rays are not the beast of the American League East, they have shown improvement this season, and they look like a team on the way up. One nice trait the team has shown thus far is not letting down against teams that have not been doing well.

In six games against the Royals and Marlins -- two teams that got off to slow starts -- the Rays are undefeated.

"We've played all the contending teams -- Yankees, Red Sox, White Sox and these guys, [the Blue Jays]," Maddon said. "And every game, even if we haven't won all of those, we have played in a very high energy manner in those games, and that's a good thing. We played Kansas City -- obviously their record wasn't that good. Not that ours was great, but you just don't want some kind of mental let down, because you get so used to playing teams that are in first or second place, which normally brings out the best in you, because there's no chance to relax. That will push you.

"So when you're playing teams that aren't in first place, my concern was [that] we wouldn't react the same way mentally. But we did, and that's good."

Maddon said that when he was the Angels' bench coach, he used to notice the same thing when they were struggling to become a good team.

"Before we became good there, that was a problem, where you'd play the better teams hard and [against] the lesser teams, you wouldn't really have that same mental edge going," Maddon said. "And we can't afford that. We have to have that same edge every time we play, regardless of who is wearing the other uniform. And we did that."

Baldelli in Durham: Rocco Baldelli's much-awaited debut for the Triple-A Durham Bulls -- to finish off his rehab for a strained hamstring -- should begin on Tuesday night in Richmond.

"We would like him to be down there 20 days so he can get in a rhythm," Maddon said.

Maddon added that he would like for Baldelli to knock off all the rust from not playing before he rejoins the team.

"Have him play, take his day off and see how it all comes together for him," Maddon said. "There's no rush with that. When he comes back, I want him to be back, period -- and no slipping back to the Minor Leagues or a rehab assignment."

By the numbers: Entering Monday's game against the Blue Jays, the Rays had a 59-58 record since the 2005 All-Star break, matching the Blue Jays for third place in the AL East since then.

Did you know? At 22 years, three months, Scott Kazmir is the youngest to reach seven wins by May 21 since Fernando Valenzuela, who got his seventh win with the Dodgers on May 8, 1981, at 20 years, seven months. He is the youngest AL pitcher with seven wins on May 21 since Vida Blue with Oakland in 1971. Blue won his seventh game on May 5 at the age of 21 years, 10 months.

Coming up: The Rays will play their second game of a three-game series against the Jays with a 7:07 ET Tuesday night contest at Rogers Centre. Left-hander Mark Hendrickson (3-3, 3.57 ERA) will start for the Rays, and he'll be opposed by right-hander Roy Halladay (5-1, 3.04 ERA).

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