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Gimenez back with Rays after battling injury

Gimenez back with Rays after battling injury

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Gimenez back with Rays after battling injury

OAKLAND -- Rays catcher Chris Gimenez endured a frustrating season with Triple-A Durham for the chance to make it back to the Major Leagues.

Gimenez, who has spent parts of the past four years in the Majors, was back in the Tampa Bay clubhouse Saturday night, even though he's not eligible to play until Sunday.

Gimenez was among a group of players brought to Oakland who will be activated Sunday when rosters expand.

Delmon Young, Josh Lueke and Luke Scott were also brought up and will be available for the final month of the season.

Gimenez spent a month and a half on the disabled with an injured right hand during the first part of the season.

"It hasn't been right since," Gimenez said. "I've struggled to hit. I had to battle through it. It was mentally tough because I was brutal."

Gimenez, who has a .267 batting average over 10 Minor League seasons, was hitting .224 for Durham this year.

"I still feel it once in a while but I finished strong, and now I hope I can fit right in here," Gimenez said.

Gimenez spent most of the day on an airplane from Atlanta to San Francisco. After checking into the team hotel, he made his way to Oakland.

Gimenez grew up in Gilroy, about an hour's drive south of O.co Coliseum. He'll have plenty of family in attendance for Sunday's game.

"It's funny, my three best friends all live in San Francisco, but as it worked out, they are all out of town," Gimenez said. "My mom and dad are coming in, my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and I'm sure a lot of other people."

Gimenez grew up an A's fan watching "Bash Brothers" Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco play at the Coliseum.

"Mark McGwire was my favorite player," Gimenez said. "The Bash Brothers were in their prime. This is where I grew up watching baseball."

Rays manager Joe Maddon said Gimenez will help give him more flexibility in late-inning maneuvers.

Rick Eymer is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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