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Rays to call up Roberts; Loney on paternity leave

TORONTO -- Infielder Ryan Roberts will be recalled from Triple-A Durham on Friday to take James Loney's roster spot as the Rays first baseman will be placed on the three-day paternity list.

Loney did not accompany the team on Thursday's flight to Toronto.

Tampa Bay begins the second half with some uncertainty as Yunel Escobar had to leave Sunday's game against the Astros because of a mild hamstring strain. With 66 games remaining on the schedule, the last thing the Rays want to do is rush their shortstop back if his hamstring is not ready.

Roberts will add to the infield depth while the team mulls over how to proceed with Escobar.

Candidates to fill in for Loney at first include Sean Rodriguez, Kelly Johnson and Luke Scott. If Escobar is not ready to go Friday night in Toronto against the Blue Jays, Ben Zobrist will likely start at shortstop.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for
Read More: Tampa Bay Rays, Ryan Roberts, James Loney