Rays’ Ryan Pepiot exits vs. Mets after taking line drive to the leg

ST. PETERSBURG — Ryan Pepiot has a bruise with seams on the side of his left shin, but no broken bones.

The Rays right-hander was confident that he would not miss a start after leaving in the third inning Sunday after being hit by a 107-mph Starling Marte come-backer.

“It shouldn’t be a problem. It was negative (for broken bones) with a test right away so we’ll just do whatever we can to get swelling down now,” Pepiot said. “It was mostly calf, a little bit in the shin but mostly muscle. So it’s just sore. It’ll be alright, just give it a couple of days.”

The Rays have an off day Thursday to push back their rotation or reset it if they feel Pepiot needs extra time. They also have Taj Bradley likely coming off the injured list and ready to go into the rotation this homestand.

Pepiot tumbled off the mound clearly in pain, but climbed back up and tried to remain in the game against the Mets. With head trainer Joe Benge and manager Kevin Cash watching, Pepiot threw two test pitches before Cash took the ball from Pepiot and called for a replacement.

“The first (test throw) felt a little better. I think adrenaline got that one,” Pepiot said. “And the second one I really tightened up. It was like a little tight ball in my calf. So after the second one, they saw how I kind of went through the ball. So it was a smart decision to take me out.

“And then credit to Manny (Rodriguez) for going in there in that situation and getting out of it. It was a hell of a job.”

Pepiot was attempting to work his way out of trouble. With a 3-2 lead, he gave up a lead-off single and then hit Brandon Nimmo. Marte’s line-drive single loaded the bases. Rodriguez gave up one run but got the Rays out of the top half of the inning tied at 3.


Jose Caballero has the green light.

The shortstop stole four bases Sunday, only the second player in Rays history to swipe four bases in a game, and that led the Rays’ assault on the basepaths. Carl Crawford stole at least four in a game twice for Tampa Bay, including a whopping six on May 3, 2009.

Tampa Bay had a season-high seven stolen bases in their 7-6 walkoff win against the Mets.

“The coaches gave me the freedom,” Caballero said. “They gave me the opportunity to be myself and to play my game. And I’m just having fun out there trying to steal bases. I love doing that.”

Caballero stole third in the Rays’ dramatic 10th inning, but perhaps his most impactful theft of the day came in the third inning when he swiped second, eventually coming home on Jonny DeLuca’s single to break a 3-all tie.

“It is pretty game-changing speed,” Cash said of Caballero on the basepaths. “I feel like we’re making good decisions on the bases. It’s one thing to run just to run, but Cabby is very instinctual out there. Today it showed.”

The 27-year-old Caballero, acquired from the Mariners during the winter, also walked three times. He had three total walks on the season coming into the game.

Next stop ... Tampa Bay?

Outfielder Josh Lowe was removed from his rehab start with Triple-A Durham after three at-bats Sunday and video on social media showed him getting hugs in the dugout as he left. Cash would not comment on speculation that Lowe, who started the season on the injured list, was returning to Tampa Bay to be activated.

“They must like him a lot down there,” Cash said when asked about the video.


Isaac Paredes extended his home on-base streak to 16 games with a double and two walks. … Yandy Diaz went 2-for-4 with two RBIs. He was 6-for-13 over the last three games after coming back from the road trip on a 0-for-15 skid. … Alex Jackson’s RBI double in the second inning was his first big-league hit since June 4, 2022, when he was with the Padres.

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