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Rays excited about Miller's return from DL

MLB.com

SEATTLE -- It's a timely return from the disabled list for Rays infielder Brad Miller.

Miller was activated from the 10-day disabled list on Friday after being out since May 15 with a strained lower abdomen. His first game back was Friday against the Mariners, the team be played for from 2013-2015.

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SEATTLE -- It's a timely return from the disabled list for Rays infielder Brad Miller.

Miller was activated from the 10-day disabled list on Friday after being out since May 15 with a strained lower abdomen. His first game back was Friday against the Mariners, the team be played for from 2013-2015.

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"I'm excited to just be playing again," Miller said, "but this definitely a trip I didn't want to miss. Coming back here is pretty cool, a lot of good memories."

Miller went 0-for-4 and committed an error in the Rays' 12-4 loss to the Mariners on Friday night.

Miller is one of five Rays who spent time in Seattle. First baseman Logan Morrison, catcher Jesus Sucre, infielder Rickie Weeks Jr. and reliever Danny Farquhar join Miller in facing off against their former club.

Rays manager Kevin Cash is more excited about regaining another left-handed bat with some pop to his lineup. Miller got off to slow start before landing on the disabled list after a breakout campaign where he hit 30 home runs and knocked in 81 runs in 2016. He was hitting .205 with two home runs in his first 40 games this season before getting hurt.

"He hasn't gotten off to the best start here, but he's still a season removed of hitting 30 home runs," Cash said. "It just adds some more power. His walks are way up this year for whatever reason, he seems like he's been laying off some pitches."

Mallex Smith was optioned to Triple-A Durham in a corresponding move. The Rays elected to keep infielder Michael Martinez over Smith, according to Cash, because of the importance for the 24-year-old Smith to receive regular playing time, which he is guaranteed in the Minors Leagues.

"Could he do things right now to help us win? Definitely," Cash said of Smith. "But saying that, big picture, we need him to get consistent reps. He's going to be back at some point when there is opportunity."

Worth noting

• Outfielder Peter Bourjos, on the 10-day disabled list with tennis elbow, is playing Saturday in the field, sitting out Sunday and serving as the designated hitter for Class A Advanced Charlotte.

• Right-handed relief pitcher Brad Boxberger is inching closer to coming off the 60-day disabled list. He's starting Sunday for Charlotte where he'll throw one inning with a 25-pitch limit, according to Cash.

• Right-hander Jumbo Diaz, on the 10-day disabled list with right arm fatigue, will pitch a bullpen session on Sunday, and right-hander Diego Moreno, on the DL with right shoulder bursitis, is "a tick behind him," according to Cash.

• Catcher Wilson Ramos, recovering from right knee surgery, hit on the field before Friday's game. If he comes out of it feeling good, the team will explore options for a rehabilitation stint.

Josh Horton is a reporter for MLB.com based in Seattle. He covered the Rays on Friday.

Tampa Bay Rays, Brad Miller