ST. PETERSBURG -- One day after being taken in a stretcher from Tropicana Field with chest pains, first baseman Casey Kotchman was back in Tampa Bay's lineup for Wednesday's pivotal game against the Yankees.
Kotchman underwent a battery of tests, all of which came back negative. He was released from the hospital late Tuesday, not long before the Rays finished their 5-3 win over New York.
"I don't think it's how you'd draw up Game 161, but I'm feeling better and everything's ready to go tonight," said Kotchman, who is hitting seventh and playing first base.
Kotchman, 28, said his chest was "uncomfortable, very uncomfortable" and added that he's never been through an episode like that before.
He said he still has no idea why it struck.
"No, but I'm not worried about it," Kotchman said. "I'll take it day by day."
Rays manager Joe Maddon said he had no hesitation in putting Kotchman back in the lineup Wednesday once he was cleared both by hospital staff and Tampa Bay doctors.
"I had to hear it from him [that he was OK]," Maddon said. "The doctors were on board. He was adamant that he was fine."
"I like putting on the costume," said Kotchman, who is batting .305 with 10 homers and 48 RBI. "Hopefully, we can pull out a win tonight."