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Fairbanks relishes getting 1st save vs. ex-team

@alysonfooter
September 11, 2019

ARLINGTON -- More than 20 minutes after Tuesday's game ended, Pete Fairbanks, fresh off his first career save against the team that traded him just two months earlier, was still trying to come down from the adrenaline rush of his role in the Rays' 5-3, 11-inning win over the Rangers.

ARLINGTON -- More than 20 minutes after Tuesday's game ended, Pete Fairbanks, fresh off his first career save against the team that traded him just two months earlier, was still trying to come down from the adrenaline rush of his role in the Rays' 5-3, 11-inning win over the Rangers.

At that time, Fairbanks noted that he heard one heckler in the stands reminding him, "That's why we traded you." He admitted that gave him a little extra ammo when he entered the game to face the Rangers' lineup, including Nick Solak, for whom he was traded on July 13.

"Just to get that little bit of that chip on your shoulder, that adds to it a little bit," Fairbanks said after the game. "I'm not going to say that never plays a factor. There's always a little bit of that extra fire when you're playing your old team."

The right-hander admitted on Wednesday that "it took me a while to come down" from the game, partly because of the thrill of the win and partly because of the beer shower he received from teammates, commemorating his first career save.

"A beer shower, and not being able to stop sweating due to that adrenaline," Fairbanks said. "Yeah, it took me a while to wind down last night, more than normal."

Fairbanks, a 2015 Rangers Draft pick who was called up by the Rays when rosters expanded Sept. 1, entered Wednesday's game with a 1.69 ERA across 5 1/3 innings for Tampa Bay. Facing the Rangers was special to him, and after his appearance Tuesday, he recalled how he found out that his original club had traded him to Tampa Bay.

"[General manager Jon Daniels] called me, and I ignored the first one because I thought it was an apartment company calling me to try to get me to lease one of their apartments in Arlington," Fairbanks said. "But then he sent me a text and I called him back.

"I understand [the trade]. They have a lot of arms that they're high on. I understand it from a business point. I'm excited to be with Tampa with everything they do on the pitching side. I see it as nothing but a positive."

Davis gets the call-up
A smiling Johnny Davis stood at his locker in the visitors' clubhouse at Globe Life Park on Wednesday, basking in the glow of having received his first big league call-up.

Davis, 29, started the season in the Mexican League, where he batted .300 (127-for-424) with 54 stolen bases over 106 games. The Rays signed him as a free agent on Aug. 26, and over the past two weeks, he has played at Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham. He was summoned to Arlington on Wednesday and can expect to serve mostly as a pinch-runner, though he could get a look in the outfield.

"He's fast," manager Kevin Cash said. "I got to talk to him, he's excited to be here. Obviously, to get up here, this is his debut -- this is a special time. We're going to learn a little bit on the fly with him, but we had a good conversation. He's a guy that we understand can really go get it in the outfield, which could be a need because we're banged up out there."

Davis, who was drafted by the Brewers in 2013, knew he was being watched by Rays scouts while he was in Mexico. But a lot of time went by without hearing anything, so he figured there was no interest. He was shocked when his agent called him a few weeks ago to say there was a possibility for a deal.

"Finally they called, and I didn't know what to think," Davis said. "I said, 'Bro, I'm out of here. I'm going back to the states. Let's go.'"

Kiermaier to meet with chiropractor
Noting that his neck is "more messed up than we originally thought," center fielder Kevin Kiermaier was attempting to meet with the Rangers' team chiropractor at some point on Wednesday. The hope was that a little crack here or tug there might alleviate the pain that has kept Kiermaier out of the lineup for the past two days.

"The hours in the training room haven't done a whole lot, so we'll try to get someone to crack something and get everything back into place," Kiermaier said. "If and when that happens, then hopefully we'll start making some progress there. But everything's still out of whack. I need everything to be back in place."

Worth noting
• Tommy Pham, who did not play in Tuesday's opener due to a flexor strain in his right elbow, was back in the lineup as the designated hitter. There was a chance he'd be able to slot back in to his regular position in left, but Cash opted to give him another day.

• Avisail Garcia, who left Tuesday's game with right hip tightness, was available off the bench Wednesday, according to Cash, but only to hit -- not to play in the field.

Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter.