ST. PETERSBURG -- Reliever Steve Geltz, despite a blown save against the Red Sox in his Rays debut on Monday, was happy to be thrown into a high-leverage situation, the right-hander said on Tuesday afternoon.
"It's my job," Geltz said. "I shouldn't expect to pitch in any situation other than what they tell me. I'm not gonna say, 'Hey, I need to pitch in this ...' No. You can pitch me up 10-0, or losing 10-0, or if it's 1-1."
Geltz, one of the club's September callups, entered Monday's game in the eighth inning with two outs, the potential tying run on second and Yoenis Cespedes up, to protect Tampa Bay's 3-2 lead. Cespedes greeted Geltz with a game-tying single to left before Geltz struck out Mike Napoli to end the inning.
The Rays eventually won, 4-3, on Matt Joyce's 10th-inning walk-off single.
Geltz hadn't pitched since 2012, when he logged two innings in two games for the Angels. Throwing him into a key spot was right in line with manager Joe Maddon's philosophy on using callups.
"Once you get them absorbed, then they can really help you," Maddon said. "If a guy comes up and sits around for four or five days, he feels like he's on the periphery all the time, really not part of this. So then all of a sudden, you ask him in a crucial moment to come on in the game, and the guy hasn't pitched -- that's just really a bad way to do business, I think."
Also, the Rays can't just give the ball to Brad Boxberger and Jake McGee every time.
"I believe -- I know -- to get Geltz and [Jeff] Beliveau and [Kirby] Yates involved, and pitching like they can, can really help us this last month," Maddon said. "Because to win a lot of games, we can't rely on just two guys."
David Adler is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less