ST. PETERSBURG -- Matt Joyce was back in the lineup Friday after Rays manager Joe Maddon gave the outfielder a day off Thursday, a 6-0 win over the Indians.
Joyce, who missed time because of an oblique injury, was taken off the 15-day disabled list prior to Tuesday's game. After an 0-for-3 day, Joyce played again Wednesday, but Maddon didn't want to overwork Joyce by having him play a third straight day.
"We still have to watch him over the next couple days to make sure we don't beat him up on this stuff out here," Maddon said about Joyce playing on the artificial turf. "The back can really take a beating on this stuff, so be careful with it."
He added that he doesn't believe there is any concern for Joyce's health, saying that Joyce would be ready to play any game with just a little more time.
Tampa Bay started a three-game weekend series with Seattle on Friday, but Maddon is confident that during the club's upcoming road trip, playing on natural grass will help each of his outfielders.
"Once we get on the grass, they're gonna be fine," Maddon said. "But in the meantime, we just don't want to break them right here."