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Cabrera, Souza return to Rays' lineup

Both left Sunday's game vs. Oakland with injuries

BALTIMORE -- Steven Souza Jr. and Asdrubal Cabrera both returned to the Rays' lineup in Friday's 2-1 loss to the Orioles for the first time since both injured themselves against Oakland last Sunday.

Souza left last weekend's game with a sprained wrist after running into A's catcher Stephen Vogt while trying to score in the first inning, and Cabrera came up limping on the basepaths with what turned out to be a mild left groin strain.

Souza's wrist looked fine in his first at-bat when he knocked a solo home run to left field in the second inning to gives the Rays a 1-0 lead in his first time at the plate since May 24.
"It's good to get back in there and have your timing kind of where you want," Souza said after the game. "Barreled a ball, hung a pitch, and a good thing happened."

Cabrera did pinch-hit in Tuesday and Wednesday's games against Seattle, but Souza had not seen the field at all this week before Friday. He took batting practice earlier in the week and said his wrist felt OK, but was feeling good on Friday.

Cabrera went 0-for-3 on Friday, reaching once on a hit-by-pitch in the seventh inning.

Video: TB@BAL: Hit-by-pitch confirmed in the 7th inning

"Just the pain has kind of gone away," Souza said before Friday's game. "Everything looks good. Swings feel fine. Can't hurt it any worse so we are going to get out there and try and win some ballgames."

Souza doesn't feel any pain in the wrist when he swings anymore, but some discomfort still exists when he moves it in certain directions. He still knows the injury has not fully healed, but will not let it affect his play in the outfield.

"I'm going to dive after balls and that's just the way I'm going to do it," Souza said. "Hopefully I come out and it still feels good."

Souza batted sixth and started in right field on Friday, while Cabrera hit seventh at shortstop.

"It's nice to have the guys back, Souza and Cabrera," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "They both could have played, but it was probably smart to give them some days off with nursing some mild injuries."

Connor Smolensky is an associate reporter for
Read More: Tampa Bay Rays, Asdrubal Cabrera, Steven Souza Jr.