ST. PETERSBURG -- In a new twist, B.J. Upton received a pie in the face after his game-winning blast Tuesday night, only the pie wasn't comprised of the traditional shaving cream, rather chocolate whipped cream.
To say Upton's uniform ended up a chocolate mess would be an understatement. After the game, Rays manager Joe Maddon made a comment to the effect that Rays clubhouse manager Chris Westmoreland would rank as the best in the business if he managed to get the chocolate stains out of Upton's uniform.
No problem. Westmoreland handed off the uniform to clubhouse attendant Ryan Riddle, who simply turned on a hose to get the job done.
"Came right off," Riddle said. "I was surprised. When I first saw it I thought we might be ordering a uniform real quick."
Maddon wasn't buying it.
"How do we know it was the same jersey," Maddon teased. "We need to have these jerseys marked ahead of time to prove if it's the real jersey. ... I need a little more proof than just, 'Here's a white jersey.'"
Upton brothers each hit big homer Tuesday
ST. PETERSBURG -- B.J. Upton's two-run homer off Toronto's Jon Rauch on Tuesday night gave the Rays their fourth walk-off victory of the season, which is the second most in the Major Leagues.
A few hours after Upton's walk-off home run, his brother, Justin, hit an eighth-inning homer to give the Diamondbacks a 4-3 win over the Rockies. The last time two brothers hit game-winning home runs on the same day was Sept. 28, 1996, when Cleveland's Sandy Alomar, Jr., and brother, Baltimore's Roberto Alomar, turned the trick.
A game-winning home run is defined as a home run in the seventh inning or later, giving his team a lead they never relinquished. Overall, Tuesday night marked the fifth time the Upton brothers homered on the same day.
For B.J., the home run gave him four for the season; Justin moved to six with his blast.
"I thought I was catching him. Every time I hit one, he hits one," B.J. said. "But it's cool man."
B.J.'s home run was his third career walk-off homer, tying the club record held by Carl Crawford, and he has four career walk-off hits (three coming against Toronto), which ranks as the second most in club history behind Crawford's six.
Rays improve at nabbing would-be base stealers
ST. PETERSBURG -- Rays catchers have caught a runner attempting to steal in four consecutive games for the first time since Aug. 4-8, 2005, in Anaheim and Baltimore.
Rays catchers were 0-for-15 through the first eight games (through April 9) this season in throwing out base stealers. In the 21 games since then, they are 8-for-17.
"A lot of it [falls on the pitcher]," Maddon said. "When a pitcher gives a decent time to the plate then a catcher has a tendency to not rush. And thus, he's going to make a better throw."
Maddon noted that when a pitcher is slow to the plate he often can observe the resulting chain of events when the baserunner takes off to steal second.
"Right away you go into overdrive," Maddon said. "Your alarm goes off and your mechanics break down and it's a bad throw. So it really begins with the pitcher. Everybody always wants to criticize the catchers. Sometimes, it is the catcher's fault. But for the most part, you steal bases off the pitcher. We send runners based on the pitcher, not based on the catcher."
Jeff Niemann's start Wednesday night extended the Rays' streak to 632 games since a pitcher age 30 or older has started a game for the team. The streak is the longest since the San Francisco Giants went 651 games (1974-1977) and the Montreal Expos went 646 games (1970-1974). The next longest active streak belongs to the Blue Jays, who have gone 132 games since the last time a starter over the age of 30 pitched.
When the Rays leave for Baltimore on Thursday they will be sporting "Navy SEALS Team 6" T-shirts in honor of their work this week in taking down Osama bin Laden.
Right-hander Brandon Gomes made his Major League debut Tuesday night when he threw two scoreless, hitless innings in relief of Wade Davis. The last time a Rays pitcher made a scoreless Major League debut was right-hander Tim Corcoran on June 14, 2005, vs. Milwaukee. However, there is a twist. Infielder Josh Wilson did it in his debut as a pitcher on June 8, 2007, at Florida.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.