Kiermaier back in the lineup after HBP

Kiermaier back in the lineup after HBP

ST. PETERSBURG -- Kevin Kiermaier was back in the lineup Saturday afternoon, a day after getting hit by a pitch on the hand.

After Friday night's game, the Rays' center fielder told reporters that he wasn't happy about getting hit by Blue Jays starter Francisco Liriano. Rays manager Kevin Cash was asked on Saturday whether or not he felt that Liriano had thrown at Kiermaier.

"Look, I personally don't think there was any intent," Cash said. "But I respect K.K.'s frustrations, simply because he's been hit in the hand before. And it doesn't feel good. It kept him out of the lineup for a time.

Kiermaier exits after HBP

"Look, nobody likes to get hit. Not our guys, not their guys. It's part of the game, but I think you're allowed to be frustrated a part of the time with that."

Liriano struggled with his control, walking five in his 3 2/3-innings stint that saw him throw 96 pitches of which 51 were strikes.

Cash allowed that it was a "big relief" that Kiermaier's injury did not keep him out of the lineup.

"Probably in my two years, no bigger impact from an injury standpoint when we missed him for eight weeks," Cash said. "So we're very fortunate that didn't happen."

Cash said they dropped him in the lineup Saturday from second to eighth.

"Simply because he's still sore and we want to manage that a little bit," Cash said. "It has nothing to do with performance or anything like that."

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.