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Rodriguez placed on paternity leave

ST. PETERSBURG -- Sean Rodriguez was not at the ballpark on Thursday after being put on paternity leave. He and his wife, Giselle, had their their fourth child, a 9 pound, 21 1/4-inch son.

To take Rodriguez's place on the roster Thursday night, the Rays recalled infielder Vince Belnome as a safety blanket.

Belnome arrived at Tropicana Field approximately an hour after the game began at 7:10 p.m. After the game, he received the expected news that Rodriguez would be back with the team Friday night when the Rays open a three-game series against the Rangers.

Rays manager Joe Maddon had nice things to say about Belnome, and he actually hoped to get him an at-bat, but that did not come to fruition. Nevertheless, Belnome didn't mind the short stay.

"It's just nice being here and knowing that they think that of me, that I can help this team any way," Belnome said. "I mean, today I knew I wasn't going to start. I mean, I wasn't here at game time. But who knows, I could have had a big at-bat late in the game. And I was ready to go."

Belnome's arrival was particularly crucial on Thursday night, after Wil Myers became a late scratch from the lineup with flu-like symptoms.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for
Read More: Tampa Bay Rays, Sean Rodriguez, Vince Belnome