Thursday, May 24, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays: Opossum invades O.co Coliseum

The O.Possom of O.co Coliseum, Part 1

Amid all the other odd stuff that happened Monday night was an opossum running onto O.co Coliseum field — and earning the clever nickname of the O.Possum. Rays LF Ben Zobrist had the best look when it first emerged early in the game in the leftfield corner. "I was the discoverer of the opossum," Zobrist said. "(At first), I was like, 'Oh geez, there's this rat walking along the side of the wall. I hope they don't hit a ball down there.' "

The O.Possum, Part II

Zobrist got a better view in the 10th when Alberto Callaspo hit a foul ball. "I was like 3 feet from the line and I noticed something out of the corner of my eye (about 1½ feet away) and it was literally right there and it looked straight at me in the eyes then it started coming toward me," Zobrist said. "I was just kind of looking to see what this thing was going to do. I looked up at the bullpen and they were just gawking at it, too, like I can't believe that thing is out on the field right now. Then when I walked away it started going past the bullpen and right past the security guard to wherever its home was. It was kind of awkward. I definitely had a close encounter with an opossum."

Rays at A's

When/where: 3:35 today; O.co Coliseum, Oakland

TV/radio: Sun Sports; 620-AM

Probable pitchers

Rays: RH Jeremy Hellickson (0-0, 3.29)

A'S: RH Sonny Gray (12-4, 2.59)

On Hellickson: Hasn't made it through 5 innings in any of three starts since coming off DL (January elbow surgery). Is 1-1, 4.00 in five starts vs. A's, though last in April 2013.

On Gray: Vanderbilt product has been sizzling, allowing one or no earned runs while working at least six innings in past six starts, going 5-1, 1.07. Is 1-0, 0.61 ERA in two starts vs. Rays.

Key matchups

Rays VS. GRAY

Evan Longoria 1-for-7

James Loney 2-for-5

Matt Joyce 2-for-6

A'S VS. HELLICKSON

John Jaso 1-for-6

Jed Lowrie 1-for-10

Josh Reddick 3-for-12

On deck

Thursday: Off

Friday: at Cubs, 4:05. Rays — RH Chris Archer (7-6, 3.42); Cubs — LH Tsuyoshi Wada (1-1, 3.32)

Saturday: at Cubs, 4:05. Rays — RH Jake Odorizzi (7-9, 4.09); Cubs — RH Edwin Jackson (6-11, 5.66)

Sunday: at Cubs, 2:20. Rays — RH Alex Cobb (7-6, 3.52); Cubs — LH Travis Wood (7-9, 5.10)

Monday: at Rangers, 8:05. Rays — LH Drew Smyly (6-9, 3.93); Rangers — TBA

Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

 
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