ST. PETERSBURG — With the Dodgers coming to town for a two-game series, most of the Rays will need extra study time to get used to pitchers and hitters they have not seen regularly. Rays OF Corey Dickerson is not one of them.
Dickerson spent the previous three seasons with the Rockies. He has 56 career at-bats against the Dodgers and has a .286 average. Although he has never faced tonight's starter, former Rays LHP Scott Kazmir, he doesn't think facing a National League team will require a big adjustment.
"I don't have to study film as much," Dickerson said. "I haven't seen Kazmir before, but I feel kind of prepared since I've been in the National League. We'll take this as a normal game. And for me, I've been on the opposing team anyway, so it's going to feel the same."
Dickerson is hoping that familiarity will help him get going offensively. He is hitting .205, although he is tied for the team lead with five home runs.
"I've had success against them," Dickerson said. "But it's really about how you feel that day and how you prepare yourself. The team really doesn't matter, it's how you go about your business."
Dodgers new to Moore: Tonight's starter, LHP Matt Moore, has never faced the Dodgers. He did travel to Los Angeles when the Rays played there in 2013, but he was on the disabled list and unable to pitch.
Moore was not on the Rays roster when Kazmir was with the team, but he was teammates with now-Dodgers LH reliever J.P. Howell. Moore said he will surely catch up with Howell, but his main concern is learning about the Dodgers' hitters.
"I'm looking forward to seeing J.P. in the weight room and catching up with him," Moore said. "We don't get to play the Dodgers all the time, so it's going to be interesting. Hopefully, it's a good matchup for us."
Former Rays vs. Rays: Kazmir will make his sixth start against the Rays. He is 1-4 against them. Howell, who has not returned to Tropicana Field since leaving as a free agent after the 2012 season, faced the Rays in their last meeting in 2013. He pitched 12/3 scoreless innings in two games and had two strikeouts. OF Carl Crawford has a .333 average against pitchers on the current Rays roster. LHP Adam Liberatore was in the Rays' minor-league system before joining the Dodgers last season.
Miscellany: In this brief two-game series, all four starting pitchers will be left-handed (Kazmir vs. Moore, Drew Smyly vs. Alex Wood). … The Dodgers series marks the first interleague game for the Rays this season. Last year, the Rays were 14-6 against National League opponents.