ST. PETERSBURG -- Relievers Brandon Gomes and Juan Carlos Oviedo took a big step forward on Sunday morning, throwing their first bullpen sessions since going on the disabled list.
Gomes (right lat strain) said he threw 25 fastballs and felt "great," with no pain and no worries. The right-hander has been on the disabled list since May 8 and should throw two more times in the bullpen before beginning a relatively short Minor League rehab assignment -- maybe three or four appearances -- and making his way back to the Major League team.
"My command was actually surprisingly good for having not thrown for a while. Great first step," Gomes said. "Ball was coming out free and easy. That was definitely positive. ... Very excited. It's nice to just put pants and cleats back on and get back out there. Great day. We'll just keep building off that."
Oviedo (recovering from September 2012 Tommy John surgery) also threw in the bullpen for the first time and reported feeling good about how it went. Oviedo hasn't pitched in a Major League game since Sept. 21, 2011, and isn't expected to make it back until late this season.
Oviedo, known as Leo Nunez during his time as the Marlins' closer, recorded 92 saves from 2009-11. He signed a Minor League deal with the Rays this offseason and has been on the 60-day disabled list since the beginning of the season.
Price's rehab stint delayed due to soreness
ST. PETERSBURG -- Rays ace David Price wouldn't classify the soreness he felt on Saturday as a setback, but it did at least delay the schedule that manager Joe Maddon had been discussing for his Minor League rehab assignment.
Price, out since May 16 with a left triceps strain, was expected to make his first rehab start on Tuesday. Instead, the Rays announced on Sunday morning that Price will throw another bullpen session on Tuesday, and the team will decide on Price's next step after that.
Price felt some soreness "in the right spots" after throwing a simulated game at Tropicana Field on Thursday, his first time facing batters since the injury, followed by a short bullpen session on Saturday afternoon.
"Everybody comes back with some soreness, because once you get that hitter in the box, you give that extra however-many percent that you have that you usually don't get in the bullpen," Price said. "That's the way I felt [Saturday]. Today, I feel great."
Price played catch on Sunday and will do so again on Monday before getting back in the bullpen. Maddon had been particularly optimistic about Price's recovery, saying he could only need two Minor League rehab starts before rejoining the Rays.
Though he said there was never a schedule set in stone, Price had seemingly been healing quicker than expected, as the Rays skipped a scheduled third bullpen session on Thursday and advanced to having Price throw a simulated game.
"It's not like a setback or anything. It happened," Price said. "Obviously, I didn't want to be as sore as I was, but the way that I feel today, if you would've asked me if I would've felt this good today, I would've been like there was no chance.
"My entire arm was sore yesterday, and that's just because of getting out there and facing those hitters after not doing it for a month, exerting the type of energy that I was exerting. To feel as good as I do today, it's definitely a big bright spot, so it's good."
Maddon visiting Hazleton on Rays' off-day
ST. PETERSBURG -- Manager Joe Maddon will spend the Rays' off-day on Monday attending the grand opening of the Hazleton Integration Project's Hazleton One Community Center.
"It'll be kind of neat, actually," Maddon said earlier this weekend. "I mean, two or three years now in the making, to finally be at the point where we have a building, cut the ribbon, open the door and then we can go ahead with all the programs we've been talking about. It's very significant to our area up there, because I really believe that it was kind of dying off. We need to really grow again, and I think a big part of the growth will be the acceptance and the embracing of the Hispanic community into the Hazleton community."
Maddon said he was proud of the project and what it's accomplishing but acknowledged that his work is only a small part of what's happening in his Pennsylvania hometown.
"It's going to be kind of interesting to see how it all plays out," he said. "I'm really excited about that, plus the potential of surrounding communities to become involved in the same kind of deal.
"It's necessary. It's needed. It's where we're going, and if we don't pay attention to it, it'll get away from us and a lot of negatives could creep in. I think this is the first positive step that we're trying to do, but it's just part of what needs to be done overall in the area. It's getting better."
• The Rays announced on Sunday morning that right-hander Chris Archer will start one of Tampa Bay's two games in Boston on Tuesday, though the club didn't immediately specify which half of the doubleheader he'll pitch. Tampa Bay hasn't yet announced who will start Tuesday's other game. Right-hander Jeremy Hellickson will pitch Wednesday's game against the Red Sox.
• To put lefty Alex Torres' work in perspective, considering the following from the Elias Sports Bureau: He is the first pitcher in the modern era to record at least 23 strikeouts while allowing three hits or fewer over his first eight games of a season. Torres hasn't allowed a run in 16 innings pitched this season.
• The Rays struck out at least once in 948 straight games before Saturday night, when they went without a strikeout in a 5-3 win over the Royals. The last time Tampa Bay didn't record a strikeout in a game was July 15, 2007, against the Yankees.
The FSL South beat the FSL North, 8-1, in Saturday night's Florida State League All-Star Game in Dunedin, Fla. Three members of the Rays' Class A Advanced Charlotte affiliate played for the FSL South squad. Top 2012 Draft pick Richie Shaffer, Tampa Bay's No. 9 prospect, started at third base and went 1-for-2 with a sacrifice fly, a walk and a run. Catcher Curt Casali went 1-for-3 with a pinch-hit single and played the rest of the game at catcher. And left-hander Ryan Carpenter pitched a scoreless sixth inning.