Rhymes comfortable batting leadoff

Rhymes comfortable batting leadoff

ST. PETERSBURG -- After a 2-for-5 game on Sunday against the Red Sox, infielder Will Rhymes provided a boost for a Rays lineup that has been searching for hits.

Rhymes started at second base in the club's series opener against the Indians on Monday and hit leadoff, a spot he said he's comfortable being in.

"Pretty much all my time in the Minors I've hit leadoff; in the big leagues, in Detroit, I hit second," Rhymes said. "I've hit there a lot, I don't try to do anything different."

In addition to his solid day at the plate, Rhymes also made a stellar play in the field on Sunday, when he flipped the ball to shortstop Elliot Johnson and turned a double play in the fourth inning.

"I was really just trying to make sure it stayed in the infield and just kind of knock it down," Rhymes said. "When I caught it, my hand was kind of behind me. It was the only way to really get it to him, you know."

Rhymes, who is batting .239 on the season entering Monday, has started games sparingly, mostly seeing time as a pinch-hitter or defensive substitute. He said he tries to be ready whenever manager Joe Maddon puts him into the game.

"I'm basically just trying to give maximum effort and keep myself prepared every day even if I'm not in the lineup, just try to mentally prepare as if I were playing," Rhymes said. "When you're playing, you just try to get the same routine."