Rays honor Rivera

New York Yankees’ Mariano Rivera was honored by the Tampa Bay Rays Friday with a sand sculpture of himself. (Associated Press)
New York Yankees’ Mariano Rivera was honored by the Tampa Bay Rays Friday with a sand sculpture of himself. (Associated Press)

The Tampa Bay Rays unveiled a sand sculpture Friday to honor Mariano Rivera on the New York Yankees closer’s last regular-season visit to Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Rivera smiled and joked that he was taking the sculpture home. He signed the sculpture right under the words “ENTER SANDMAN 42.”

The sculpture, located in the rotunda near the main gate, will be on display for fans to see throughout the three-game series that concludes Sunday.

The Rays also presented Rivera with a check for $3,150 – a number that represents $50 for each save he has earned against Tampa Bay – for the Mariano Rivera Foundation.

Rivera, baseball’s career saves leader, announced during spring training his intention to retire after this season.

Mauer recovering from concussion

Minnesota Twins All-Star catcher Joe Mauer was given permission by a concussion specialist to begin a light exercise program.

Mauer was placed on baseball’s seven-day concussion list earlier this week after he became dizzy during his pregame routine. The Twins sent him back to Minnesota from Detroit, and the 2009 A.L. MVP visited a specialist at the Mayo Clinic on Friday.

“They were satisfied with where he’s at,” Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony said.

Mauer is scheduled to be at Target Field today to work with one of the team’s trainers.

Cain to DL with injured forearm

Right-hander Matt Cain was placed on the 15-day disabled list a day after being hit in the pitching arm on a line drive from Pittsburgh’s Gaby Sanchez.

Cain departed in the fourth inning of a 10-5 loss to the Pirates on Thursday. X-rays on Cain’s bruised forearm were negative.

Clearing the bases

Cincinnati right-hander Jonathan Broxton is expected to have surgery after he was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right forearm. The Reds also said they moved right-hander Johnny Cueto to the 60-day disabled list to open a roster spot for right-hander Nick Christiani, who was called up from Triple-A Louisville. … Texas sent right-hander Neil Ramirez to the Chicago Cubs to complete the trade that brought right-hande Matt Garza to Texas last month. … St. Louis right-hander Jake Westbrook, who has struggled for several starts, was placed on the 15-day disabled list because of a lower back strain. … Atlanta placed Brandon Beachy on the 15-day disabled list with right elbow inflammation.

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