ANAHEIM -- Brandon Guyer has not seen a lot of action this season, playing in 20 games and having just 41 plate appearances heading into Friday night's action.
He did get a chance to play Thursday night, when he started in left field, and he made the most of his opportunity, going 2-for-3 with his first home run and two RBIs to move his average to .211.
"He had a really nice night," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "The base hit, the home run to right-center. He had himself a really good evening, and I'm really happy for him."
Like a lot of players breaking into the Major Leagues, Guyer has had to get used to not playing every day. He's hopeful that Thursday night's game might lead to some positive things happening in the future.
"Games like that can always help with things like confidence," said Guyer, who noted that he understands his role as an extra outfielder. "When it comes down to it with my role, I just have to be ready for whatever comes my way. Whenever they decide to put me in, whether it's start the game or come in later -- pinch-hit or whatever, I just, no matter what, have to be ready."
When a player finds himself in a situation like Guyer's, the tendency can be to press. When asked if he's been pressing a bit, he said, "Maybe I have."
"I don't think I go out there trying to prove that, 'Hey, if I have a good game, I can get in there again,'" Guyer said. "I know that's not my role. So it's just a matter of experience. Getting used to the role. I didn't know what to expect, to tell you the truth. But it's definitely been different and a challenge. From the beginning of the season to now, I feel like I've come a long way."
Guyer noted that he did take a slightly different approach Thursday night.
"Last night, more than any time this year, I was more aggressive," Guyer said. "I feel like I've taken a lot of strikes, fallen behind and getting to two strikes way too much. Because [against] pitchers I haven't seen I'm going in there [and going to] see a pitch. See what they have. So maybe that's a little adjustment I can make. Be more aggressive, but still look for a pitch. Not just swing at anything."
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.