CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

Notes: Camp settles in after rocky start

Notes: Camp settles in

ST. PETERSBURG -- Shawn Camp had a solid season out of the Devil Rays' bullpen in 2006. But he did not fare well in his first two outings this season before getting back on track Saturday night.

In Monday's opener at Yankee Stadium, he gave up a single to Derek Jeter that drove home two runs to tie the score, 5-5.

"I think the first game was kind of just like the Opening Day-type atmosphere where I got a ground ball, but obviously it was a 3-1 count," Camp said. "And [Jeter] was able to pick location and everything."

Friday night, Camp surrendered a go-ahead, two-run homer to Troy Glaus.

"I just left one hanging up there to Glaus, just a terrible pitch," Camp said. "Any intelligent hitter like himself is not going to let that get away. I knew when I threw it. It backed up on me."

Camp expressed accountability for his actions to manager Joe Maddon.

Camp "knew he made a mistake to Glaus," Maddon said. "We talked about it before the game yesterday during the stretch. The thing I liked about Camper is he was very accountable about the situation. He knew he messed up. He didn't say he made his pitch and Troy hit it. He said, 'I messed up.' And it's so cool to hear that when our guys do say something like that and show that kind of accountability."

Maddon believes that type of accountability will help Camp improve.

"I have a lot of faith in Shawn Camp," Maddon said. "He had a very good year last year. ... He made a bad pitch and Glaus did not miss it. That's going to happen."

Camp said it meant a lot to him that Maddon went back to him Saturday night.

"I talked to [Maddon] before the game, and we went over the whole situation and we talked about what happened the night before," Camp said. "That's the thing about the manager and the coaching staff, they don't make you feel bad about things you've done wrong. You know when you've messed up."

Camp responded to his manager's faith by returning to form Saturday night, when he pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing one hit, an intentional walk and striking out two.

"When I'm aggressive and just go out there and pound the zone low, more often stuff will go my way, like [Saturday] night," Camp said.

Baldelli back to DH: Rocco Baldelli returned to DH Sunday, the day after his first stint of the season in center field. But the move wasn't made because of anything physical.

"I felt fine [playing center field Saturday night]," Baldelli said. "Everything went well."

Baldelli said the sore right hamstring was out of mind when he was chasing down fly balls Saturday.

"Yeah, I don't think about it when I'm running around," Baldelli said. "I feel pretty much normal. I still come in and do my stuff with heat and stuff with the trainers, but I feel fine."

Elijah Dukes has played well in center field. B.J. Upton also is available for duty in center, which has taken some of the pressure off Baldelli.

"No one's putting any pressure on me, and I haven't put really any pressure on myself," Baldelli said. "Obviously, I want to be out there. But it hasn't been a pressure kind of situation.

"I think in time, I'll be out there more and more. I want to. But I have no problem with a day like today, coming in and [being the DH]."

This and that: Gary Glover's relief outing Saturday night was significant for the right-hander since it was his first appearance in the Major Leagues since Oct. 2, 2005. He did not allow a hit in 2 1/3 innings Saturday. ... Casey Fossum hit Reed Johnson Saturday. Fossum now has hit 42 batters since 2004, a number that ties him for the Major League lead over that period of time. ... When Carl Crawford homered in the first inning of Saturday night's 8-5 loss, he scored his 400th career run, tying him with Aubrey Huff for the most in team history. ... Jeff Niemann, the Rays' first-round draft pick in 2004, allowed two runs and struck out seven in five innings in his debut Saturday with Triple-A Durham. ... Catcher Shawn Riggans is the 2007 winner of the Al Lopez Award, which is given annually by the Rays to the top rookie of Spring Training. Riggans batted .316 in 17 games with five doubles and five RBIs. Al Lopez III, the grandson of the only Tampa native in the Hall of Fame, presented the award prior to Sunday's game. Delmon Young accepted the award for Riggans, who is at Durham.

Up next: The Rays begin a seven-game road trip with the first of three games against the Rangers at 8:05 p.m. ET Monday at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Right-hander Edwin Jackson will make his first start of the season and will be opposed by right-hander Brandon McCarthy.

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

{}
{}