Ray feels like old self after long recovery

Ray feels like old self after long recovery

DENVER -- Work is fun again for Chris Ray.

The newest Giants pitcher underwent Tommy John surgery in August 2007, one year after he saved 33 games for Baltimore. Ray missed the entire 2008 season while making only nine injury rehabilitation appearances in the Minor Leagues, and he still felt out of sorts last season while recording a 7.27 ERA in 46 appearances for the Orioles.

Ray explained that he was throwing sidearm and didn't gain comfort with a three-quarters release until August. In fact, he lowered his ERA from 10.24 to 5.54 while allowing one run in a 15-game stretch from June 29-Aug. 27.

"I carried that into this year," said Ray, acquired from the Texas Rangers in the Bengie Molina trade. "I enjoy coming to the ballpark now."

Ray, 28, was 2-0 with a 3.41 ERA in 35 appearances for Texas, which used him in a variety of relief roles. Giants manager Bruce Bochy said that he would use Ray primarily in the sixth and seventh innings. Bochy added that he'll summon Ray at the earliest possible opportunity, since the right-hander hasn't pitched since June 25.