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Geltz does job in two-inning 'start' for Rays

WASHINGTON -- Steve Geltz started for the Rays on Wednesday in their 5-0 win over the Nationals. He threw two perfect innings and was pinch-hit for in the top of the third -- all according to plan.

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As the Rays did once prior this season in a National League city, manager Kevin Cash opted to start Geltz, a prominent member of the bullpen, with every intention of pinch-hitting for him early in the game when an offensive opportunity arose.

On Wednesday night, that was the top of the third, when catcher Curt Casali led off with a single. Brandon Guyer, who pinch-hit for Geltz, grounded into a double play and the inning ended one batter later.

Geltz threw 19 pitches -- 11 strikes -- to the six batters he faced and sent Bryce Harper down looking in the second start of his career.

Cash then called for starter Matt Andriese, who was originally slated to start until the plan changed after Tuesday's game. Andriese found out around 11 a.m. ET that he would be used out the bullpen.

"It worked out good, I think," Andriese said. "Geltz came out and gave us two scoreless. It worked out pretty well in that sense. I was able to come in. I don't know exactly how [the coaches] wanted it to work out with the hitters, but I obviously thought a shutout kind of cleared that up."

Andriese, who admitted that being bumped from the start provided extra motivation, earned his second Major League win. He lasted four innings, scattering a pair of hits and striking out two.

"The way our pitching worked out, it really worked out well," Cash said. "Matt Andriese really provided some length for us that we needed."

Kevin Jepsen and Ronald Belisario -- in his Rays debut -- combined to toss the final three scoreless innings --Brandon Gomes was announced but never pitched because of a rain delay in the eighth.

Jacob Emert is an associate reporter for
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