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Rays Report

Rays: NASCAR driver takes batting practice

Rays vs. Pirates

When/where: 12:10 today; Tropicana Field

TV/radio: Sun Sports; 620-AM

Tickets: $14-$200, available at Tropicana Field box office, Ticketmaster, raysbaseball.com, team Tampa store; $3 surcharge within 5 hours of game time.

Probable pitchers

Rays: LH David Price (5-7, 3.81)

PIRATES: RH Charlie Morton (4-8, 3.47)

On Price: Has struck out 10 or more in four straight games but is 1-3, 2.59 in that stretch. Leads majors with 133 Ks, though tied for AL lead in hits allowed. Has never faced Pirates.

On Morton: Longtime Pirate is 3-1, 3.96 over his past four starts with 28 strikeouts. Has struggled on the road; is 2-5, 4.62 in eight starts away from PNC Park. Has never faced Rays.

Key matchups

Rays VS. MORTON

Yunel Escobar 1-for-4

Ryan Hanigan 1-for-14

James Loney 2-for-2, HR

PIRATES VS. PRICE

Russell Martin 4-for-17

Gaby Sanchez 3-for-6

Travis Snider 0-for-7

Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

Pedal to the metal

Hillsborough High alumnus Aric Almirola, a NASCAR Sprint Cup driver who earned all-star status as a North Tampa Little Leaguer in a previous life, took about 50 swings in the batting cage Tuesday. "If the outfield would be about 270 (feet), I might've got a couple out of here," said Almirola, who wore a personalized Rays jersey with No. 43, his car number for Richard Petty Motorsports. "But 370 is a bit of a reach for me."

Family affair

The Pirates series provided a rare in-season get-together for the Livesey brothers: Jeff, the Pirates' assistant hitting coach, and Steve, a Rays minor-league hitting coordinator who picked this series to lend a hand. "It's been a while," Steve said. Their father, longtime MLB exec Bill Livesey, was also at the Trop.

Numbers of the day

20

Rays games that have ended in a shutout (in which they're 9-11), tied with Cardinals (14-6) for most in the majors

19

Rays wins in next 21 games to get record to 50-50, a Joe Maddon goal

Rays: NASCAR driver takes batting practice 06/24/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 24, 2014 11:27pm]
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