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Rays: Honoring the Spartans, batting practice is his life

Joe Maddon, with a bat, talks with University of Tampa baseball coach Joe Urso.

Joe Maddon, with a bat, talks with University of Tampa baseball coach Joe Urso.

Rays vs. Orioles

When/where: 4:10 today; Tropicana Field

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

Tickets: $17-$275, available at Tropicana Field box office, Ticketmaster, raysbaseball.com, team Tampa store; $3 surcharge within 5 hours of game time.

Promotion: Free postgame concert by Martina McBride.

Probable pitchers:

Rays: RH Jeremy Hellickson (3-2, 5.59)

Orioles: RH Kevin Gausman (0-2, 7.20)

On Hellickson: Pitching deep has been an issue as he has gone six or fewer innings in 6 of 12 starts. Has allowed a .362 average with runners in scoring position, .478 with two outs. Is 7-3 with a 3.31 ERA in 14 starts against the Orioles.

On Gausman: The 21-year-old top prospect looked better in his last start, holding the Tigers to one run on five hits over six innings, than his first two after an unexpected promotion from Double A.

Key matchups

Rays VS. Gausman

None have faced

Orioles VS. Hellickson

Chris Davis 10-for-22, HR

Adam Jones 11-for-35

J.J. Hardy 7-for-32, 2 HR

Nick Markakis 8-for-32, 2 HR

On deck

Sunday: vs. Orioles, 1:40, Sun Sports. Rays — Matt Moore (8-1, 2.95); Orioles — Chris Tillman (5-2, 3.97)

Monday: vs. Red Sox, 7:10, Sun Sports. Rays — Alex Cobb (6-2, 2.39); Red Sox — Ryan Dempster (3-6, 4.39)

Tuesday: vs. Red Sox, 7:10, Sun Sports. Rays — Roberto Hernandez (3-6, 5.03); Red Sox — John Lackey (3-5, 2.79)

Rays disabled list

• RHP Brandon Gomes, right lat strain, 15-day, eligible May 22

• RHP Jeff Niemann, shoulder surgery, 60-day, out for the season

• RHP Juan Carlos Oviedo, elbow surgery, 60-day, out until September

• LHP David Price, left triceps strain, 15-day, eligible May 31

Marc Topkin. Times staff writer

Honored guests

The University of Tampa was honored pregame for winning the Division II championship, its sixth national title. Perhaps even more gratifying than the on-field recognition was taking batting practice. "It's pretty cool to be out here hitting on the same field as the big-leaguers," said junior OF Zach Gawrych out of Wharton High. Gawrych hopes to be a big-leaguer one day and on the second day of the draft stayed close to his phone (though he wasn't picked). "It's in my pocket," he said.



Quote of the day

"My one skill in life is throwing batting practice."

Scott McNulty, who has thrown BP for the University of Tampa since 1997 and the Rays since 2006

Rays: Honoring the Spartans, batting practice is his life 06/07/13 [Last modified: Saturday, June 8, 2013 12:12am]
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