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Davis takes hard shot off ankle, stays in game

AP - Sports

JUPITER, Fla. (AP) After watching Wade Davis take a one-hop smash off his right ankle and stay in the game, Joe Maddon could make light of it.

''The moral of the story is to hit him in the foot, hard, with a blunt object before he goes out to pitch,'' the Tampa Bay manager said, ''because he was entirely different after that ball hit him on the foot.''

Davis allowed one run and three hits over five innings Tuesday during the Rays' 3-2 win over the Miami Marlins. He struck out five and walked none.

Donnie Murphy's grounder hit Davis with two outs in the second inning. The ball bounced into right field for a double and left the pitcher limping. After he was attended to by a trainer, Davis took some practice jogs on the infield.

''It was numb for a little bit, but nothing to take me out,'' Davis said.

Maddon had an unusual dugout companion: football great Joe Namath. Maddon grew up in Pennsylvania idolizing the quarterback.

''For me personally, it's quote 'a moment,''' Maddon said. ''I'm not usually star-struck but I have been today.''

Namath lives in Tequesta, about 10 minutes from the Marlins' complex, and said he's a Maddon fan.

''I just like Joe's style and what I've read about him,'' Namath said. ''I was flattered that he invited me to practice.''

Marlins starter Josh Johnson gave up two runs and four hits in 4 2-3 innings with four strikeouts and one walk. He has a 2.33 ERA in four starts, is likely to have two more exhibition outings and is lined up to start the major league opener against St. Louis on April 4 - the first official game at Marlins Park.

Johnson, who made just nine starts last year because of a sore shoulder, threw 48 of 75 pitches for strikes. His fastball topped out at 96 mph.

''He threw the ball well once again,'' manager Ozzie Guillen said. ''Every day his progress is on the right track.''

Johnson retired his first eight batters, then gave up three straight hits. Jesus Feliciano and Despond Jennings singled and both scored on Will Rhymes' double.

''The first two innings I found somewhat of a rhythm, then it kind of went away for the last three. I had to battle and battle,'' Johnson said. ''My arm strength feels like it is getting there.''

Rhymes also had an RBI single in the seventh.

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