Sunday, February 25, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays: First pitch a thrill for Bucs great Sapp

Rays vs. Yankees

When/where: 1:40 today; Tropicana Field

TV/radio: Sun Sports; 620-AM (680-AM Spanish)

Tickets: $19-$300, available at Tropicana Field box office, Ticketmaster, raysbaseball.com, team Tampa store; $3 surcharge within 5 hours of game time.

Promotion: Fernando Rodney figurine through Tampa Bay Times ticket tandem, plus Jennings the Jet action figure to kids 14 and under.

Probable pitchers

Rays: RH Alex Cobb (8-2, 2.85)

YANKEES: RH Ivan Nova (6-4, 2.99) On Cobb: Has won his first two starts since returning from a three-month stay on the disabled list, allowing one earned run over six innings against Baltimore on Tuesday. Is 3-1, 2.21 in five career starts against the Yankees.

On Nova: Has looked good since his late-May return from the disabled list, going 6-3, 2.45 in 12 appearances. Has won five of his past eight starts against the Rays and is 6-3, 2.91 in 11 career appearances (10 starts).

Key matchups

RAYS VS. NOVA

Matt Joyce 3-for-23

Evan Longoria 5-for-22, HR

Sean Rodriguez 5-for-12, HR

YANKEES VS. COBB

Ichiro Suzuki 2-for-11

Curtis Granderson 1-for-7

Robinson Cano

4-for-16, 2 HRs

On deck

Monday: at Royals, 2:10, no TV. Rays — RH Jeremy Hellickson (10-7, 5.01); Royals — RH Jeremy Guthrie (12-10, 4.27)

Tuesday: vs. Angels, 7:10, Sun Sports. Rays — RH Roberto Hernandez (6-13, 4.97); Angels — LH C.J. Wilson (13-6, 3.30)

Wednesday: vs. Angels, 7:10, Sun Sports. Rays — RH Chris Archer (7-5, 2.93); Angels — RH Jerome Williams (5-10, 4.80)

Thursday: vs. Angels, 1:10, Sun Sports. Rays — LH David Price (8-5, 3.28); Angels — RH Garrett Richards (4-5, 3.95)

Joe Smith, Times staff writer

Double duty

SS Riley Unroe, the Rays' second-round pick playing in the Gulf Coast League, was pleasantly surprised when he found out at 6:30 a.m. Saturday that he and first-round pick C Nick Ciuffo would be driving up from Port Charlotte that afternoon to hit in LHP Matt Moore's simulated game. The two had to play in their 10 a.m. GCL game first, but as they packed, some of their Latin teammates actually asked if they got called up. Unroe and Ciuffo loved the experience but didn't make much contact against the All-Star. "I was star-struck at first," Unroe said. After getting a broken-bat single to left, Unroe had Moore sign the bat as a keepsake. Said Unroe: "It said, 'Thanks for the help, Matt Moore.' "

Sapp psyched

Bucs Hall of Famer Warren Sapp can be unpredictable, so it was fitting he threw a knuckleball for his first pitch before Saturday's game. Sapp, who received a standing ovation from the near-sellout crowd, said he was nervous and hadn't felt that excitement since "winning a championship." "Unbelievable," he said. "Oh my God, my heart was thumping before I went out there. I'm shaking still."

AL wild card

Team W-L Pct. GB

Red Sox 76-55 .580—

A's 72-56 .563—

Indians 70-59 .543 21/2

Orioles 69-59 .539 3

Yankees 68-61 .527 41/2

 
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