TORONTO -- Ben Francisco was acquired by the Rays in a trade with the Astros on Friday night. The veteran outfielder caught a plane from Houston to Toronto to meet the team on Saturday morning.
Francisco arrived at the Rays' clubhouse at Rogers Centre in the third inning, and by the ninth inning he was in Saturday's game as a pinch-hitter for Jose Lobaton. He popped out to first base in foul territory.
Francisco -- who has played for the Indians, Phillies, Blue Jays and Astros -- was not surprised about getting traded.
"At this point, it's my fourth trade and I'm not surprised by anything," Francisco said. "I'm excited to come back and be in the playoff chase. I've always admired the way these guys go about their business and have fun. It should be fun to be a part of it."
Of course the Rays will be happy if Francisco approaches anywhere near the success he had against them. In 61 career at-bats against the Rays, Francisco hit .410 with six home runs and 19 RBIs.
"Yeah, I had some success against some of the guys here, but that's in the past," Francisco said. "Hopefully, I can do some stuff in a Rays uniform."
Francisco noted that having the Rays pick him to help them down the stretch brought him a positive vibe.
"When a team wants you, it's a good sign," Francisco said. "I just want to contribute and ... help them get to the playoffs."
Francisco is wearing No. 13, making him the first player to wear No. 13 since Carl Crawford left the team prior to the 2011 season. Before Crawford wore No. 13, Miguel Cairo and Ozzie Guillen wore the number.
"I've never worn [No.] 13," said Francisco. "Hopefully, it's got some luck in it."
If Sunday's game was any indication, it does. Francisco went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, including a solo homer that began the decisive six-run second inning in the Rays' eventual 9-4 romp over the Blue Jays.
Lobaton's play key in Saturday's win
TORONTO -- Forgotten in the Rays' exciting 5-4 win over the Blue Jays on Saturday was a play catcher Jose Lobaton made in the fifth.
The Rays were leading, 4-2, at the time, but the Blue Jays were threatening with two outs in the inning when they had runners on first and second and attempted a double steal. Rather than try to throw out Rajai Davis, the lead runner, Lobaton caught the ball and threw a strike to second base to nail a surprised Colby Rasmus for the third out.
Making the play more crucial was the fact that Edwin Encarnacion was up at the time. The Blue Jays' slugger has been wearing out the Rays and already had a two-run homer at that point in the game -- a titanic blast off J.P. Howell that traveled 488 feet.
"They didn't give me a sign from the dugout, so I was ready to read the runners," Lobaton explained. "With Encarnacion hitting, I'm thinking they're not going to go. But as soon as I saw Davis running, I could see he had a good jump, so my second look was to check the runner at first. I saw that I had a better chance for the runner at second. Everything clicked quickly."
Gomes recalled from Durham
TORONTO -- Brandon Gomes was recalled from Triple-A Durham prior to Sunday's finale in Toronto against the Blue Jays.
Rays manager Joe Maddon explained why they brought Gomes in, after he was not brought in with the other callups on Saturday.
"We needed more coverage in the bullpen today," Maddon said. "I think we're going to be fine. But in a bad game, it could be rather difficult. We don't want to use certain guys. It could be a good game also, where you don't want to use people. We just wanted one more guy."
Gomes likely would have been recalled on Tuesday after Durham's season ended. But there's one thing Gomes has learned during his professional baseball career, and that is to not get into the business of forecasting where he might play.
"You know how stuff goes on," said Gomes, who is in his fifth stint with the Rays this season. "You can't really predict what's going to happen. I was just hoping I threw well enough to deserve a callup, and I came up a few days earlier than I expected. ... You'll drive yourself crazy trying to figure out when you will come up."
Maddon: Niemann had 'upper arm' tightness
TORONTO -- Jeff Niemann left Saturday's game with tightness in his arm. After the game, he told reporters that the tightness was in his arm, but he would not be specific about the location of the tightness.
Rays manager Joe Maddon cleared up that mystery on Sunday when he told reporters that the tightness Niemann experienced was in his "upper arm, shoulder area."
"I don't know specifically where it is," Maddon said. "It was just in that area, and that's why [it's important to be careful with] the stiffness or tightness in that capsule area. I'm sure when we get back home, he'll have more tests. But it was just a shoulder malaise, nothing awful."
Maddon noted that he will not name the rotation for games after Thursday's off-day until Monday.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.