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Down a man, Rays pick bullpen over bench

Down a man, Rays pick bullpen over bench

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Down a man, Rays pick bullpen over bench
PHILADELPHIA -- Because of Joel Peralta's suspension, the Rays must play with a 24-man roster rather than the allowed 25, which makes for a potentially dire situation, since the Rays are playing three games in a National League park.

Since NL rules are used in NL parks, the pitcher hits -- that leads to more situations that call for substitutions. Thus, playing a man down can be detrimental.

The Rays chose to bring in Brandon Gomes to take Peralta's spot in the bullpen, which cost the Rays a body on the bench for pinch-hitting, pinch-running and late-inning defense.

"[Being] a man down is the toughest part," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "With a National League game, a four-man bench as opposed to a five-man bench. We felt like we could not go short in the bullpen and we chose not to. So the pinch-hitting and how you incorporate that bench is a little bit different. You might have to be a little more patient before you pull the trigger on something."

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