ST. PETERSBURG -- Joel Peralta tied the Rays' all-time relief appearance record in Friday night's series opener against the Red Sox, making the jog out from the bullpen for the 250th time in a Tampa Bay uniform.
Peralta tied Dan Wheeler's club record, pitching a 1-2-3 eighth inning against the heart of the Boston order -- Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz and Mike Napoli. In his career with the Rays, Peralta has faced three-, four- and five-hitters more than any section of opponents' lineups, and he has held them to a .180 average (55-for-306).
"Well, he's very durable, reliable … good," manager Joe Maddon said. "To be able to put that many appearances in in that short period of time speaks to his durability. I actually believe he throws better when you use him more often."
Peralta reached the mark a lot faster than Wheeler, doing in three-plus seasons what Wheeler did in seven. His 250 appearances with the Rays since he joined the team in 2011 lead the Major Leagues over that span.
"He's the guy you're always looking to be careful with to not overuse, but I think when you try to be too careful with him, you don't get the same product," Maddon said.
Peralta has been a workhorse, which Maddon said is his nature, and never a problem, because Peralta knows himself and when he needs to rest.
"That's just who he is," Maddon said. "He tells me when he needs a day. Rarely does he need two days. But he'll tell me when he needs a day, and we try to back off. But he's been very, very reliable.
David Adler is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.