Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays: In Cincinnati, chili is hotly debated

Rays at Reds

When/where: 7:10 tonight, Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati

TV/radio: Sun Sports; 620-AM

Probable pitchers

RAYS: LHP David Price (1-0, 4.05)

Reds: RHP Johnny Cueto (0-0, 1.93)

On Price: Battled through illness to work six innings vs. the Rangers on Saturday, allowing three runs. Faced the Reds in June 2011 at the Trop, retiring the first 14 and working into the eighth. Is 2-for-24 as a hitter.

On Cueto: Hard thrower made his third straight opening day start, with no signs of spring shoulder/back soreness. Limited to 11 starts last year due to injuries. Got a no-decision in a solid 2011 start vs. the Rays.

Key matchups

Rays vs. CUETO

David DeJesus 5-for-22

James Loney 2-for-12

Yunel Escobar 0-for-3

REDS VS. PRICE

Jay Bruce 0-for-3

Ramon Santiago 4-for-9

Joey Votto 1-for-3

On deck

Saturday: at Reds, 1:10. Rays — RH Alex Cobb (0-1, 3.00); Reds — RH Alfredo Simon (1-0, 1.29)

Sunday: at Reds, 1:10. Rays — TBA; Reds—- LH Tony Cingrani (0-1, 2.45)

Monday: at Orioles, 7:05. Rays — RH Chris Archer (1-0, 1.38); Orioles — LH Wei-Yin Chen (1-1, 6.75)

Tuesday: at Orioles, 7:05. Rays — RH Jake Odorizzi (1-1, 5.73); Orioles —- RH Miguel Gonzalez (0-1, 9.64)

Wednesday: at Orioles, 12:35. Rays — LH David Price (1-0, 4.05); Orioles — RH Chris Tillman (1-0, 1.35

A moment in time

This is the Rays first trip to Cincinnati since June 2005, which was the beginning of the end for manager Lou Piniella (above), as Stuart Sternberg was about to take over as owner and hire Joe Maddon. Here is the Devil Rays lineup from the June 9, 2005, series finale:

Carl Crawford, LF

Julio Lugo, SS

Aubrey Huff, RF

Travis Lee, 1B

Jorge Cantu, 2B

Reggie Taylor, CF

Toby Hall, C

Alex Gonzalez, 3B

Casey Fossum, P

Rays disabled list

• INF Tim Beckham, knee surgery, 15-day, eligible April 14 (targeting post-All-Star break)

• RHP Juan Carlos Oviedo, right elbow surgery, 15-day, April 14 (on rehab assignment)

• RHP Jeremy Hellickson, right elbow surgery, eligible April 14 (targeting June 1)

• LHP Matt Moore, left elbow soreness, eligible April 23

Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

Cincinnati means chili ...

As the Rays are sure to notice, chili is a big deal in Cincinnati. But here it's not the heavy, meat-laden, meal-in-a-bowl chili many are used to, but a lighter sauce-style mix, usually served over spaghetti or on hot dogs with lots of cheese on top. Skyline Chili is the most well-known, the largest of several chain restaurants that serve it up.

... but it's an acquired taste

Among several Rays who've played in or visited Cincinnati we didn't find many fans of the local delicacy except for RHP Josh Lueke, who has several favorite places that serve it up, with various degrees of spice. C Ryan Hanigan, who played parts of seven seasons with the Reds, wasn't even interested in trying. "I know it's probably a sin being in Cincinnati, but it just doesn't look appealing to me," he said. "A lot of people love it, so who knows, but I've never had it."

Familiar face

Rays manager Joe Maddon has an interesting connection with Reds counterpart Bryan Price — he used to be his boss. When Maddon was managing the Angels' Double-A Midland team in the Texas League in 1985-86, Price spent parts of both seasons as one of his starting pitchers. Though Price wasn't all that good on the mound — going 2-4, 6.05 and 4-1, 4.62 — he impressed Maddon, and they've stayed in contact. "He's a great guy — outstanding, bright, he was a very good pitching coach. Not unlike (Padres manager) Buddy Black," Maddon said.

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