Johnson, who strained his left knee in his last start Saturday, came through a 10 to 15 pitch bullpen session well and remained a strong candidate to start a possible AL East tiebreaker Thursday at Camden Yards. Left-hander Joe Saunders would be on schedule to pitch Friday in a wild-card game, and right-hander Jason Hammel can not pitch any earlier than Saturday.
Showalter apparently was surprised that the conversation with Maddon even came to light. It was soon obvious that there would be no change, and the Rays removed the Britton version off the lineup card.
"Just out of professional courtesy to [Maddon] with Steve and everything today," Showalter said, "I just said, 'Hey, there's an outside, outside chance that but I don't think it's going to happen, but I want to give you a heads up.' We were solving the only thing that would have made an adjustment, but it's been Tilly all along. He's been our best foot tonight."