Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays: Pondering early starts, fixing facilities, lack of hitting early

Rays at Red Sox

When/where: 1:05 today; Fenway Park, Boston

TV/radio: Ch. 13; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

Probable pitchers

Rays: LHP David Price (0-1, 8.18)

Red Sox: LHP Jon Lester (2-0, 1.50)

King David: The reigning Cy Young Award winner is off to rough start, allowing 17 hits (including three homers) and five walks in 11 innings. He is usually tough on the Sox, going 8-4 with a 3.08 ERA in 15 starts, 4-1, 2.22 in seven at Fenway.

Jonny on the spot: The ace appears to be back to form after a rough 2012 and makes his first Fenway start this year. He has had mixed results versus the Rays, going 10-8 with a 4.30 ERA in 22 starts, with 138 strikeouts in 132 innings.

Key matchups

Rays vs. Lester

Shelley Duncan 4-for-13

Evan Longoria 11-for-44, 2 HRs

Ben Zobrist 8-for-35, HR

Red Sox vs. Price

Jacoby Ellsbury 6-for-22, HR

Will Middlebrooks 3-for-6, HR

Dustin Pedroia 10-for-31, HR

Includes postseason

On deck

Sunday: at Red Sox, 1:35, Sun Sports. Rays — Alex Cobb (1-0, 0.00); Red Sox — Clay Buchholz (2-0, 0.64)

Monday: at Red Sox, 11:05 a.m., Sun Sports. Rays — Jeremy Hellickson (0-1, 6.35); Red Sox — Ryan Dempster (0-1, 3.60)

Tuesday: at Orioles, 7:05, Sun Sports. Rays — Roberto Hernandez (0-2, 6.08); Orioles — TBA

Wednesday: at Orioles, 7:05, Sun Sports. Rays — Matt Moore (2-0, 0.00); Orioles — TBA

Rays disabled list

RHP Jeff Niemann, sore shoulder, 15-day, eligible April 13

RHP Juan Carlos Oviedo, elbow surgery, 60-day, eligible May 30

DH Luke Scott, calf strain, 15-day, eligible April 8.

Blankety-blanks

Wednesday's 2-0 win was the first time the Rangers were shut out at home since Aug. 25, 2011, ending a streak of 101 games. The last AL team to go 100-plus home games without being shut out was the Rays, who went 132 games over 2008-09 without being blanked.

Slow starters

The Rays aren't hitting too well anyway, but they are even worse early in games. In innings 1 through 6, they have a .202 average, from the seventh inning on, .277. They have been outscored 14-4 over the first three innings.

Fast starters

The Rays are the first AL team to throw three shutouts in their first nine games since the 2002 Yankees. Only three other teams did so before them: the 1995 Red Sox, 1992 Orioles and 1990 Brewers.

Marc Topkin. Times staff writer

Quote of the day

"We had a little bit of a discussion about pitching the 11 o'clock game (Monday morning at Boston), if (Jeremy) Hellickson, in fact, would even be awake at that point."

Jim Hickey, pitching coach, right, on shuffling the rotation

Good deed of the day

Through Red Bull's "Tampa's Got Wings" program, 3B Evan Longoria has helped raise $80,000 to renovate Little League facilities at Cross Bayou in Largo and Belmont Heights in Tampa. A celebration event with Longoria is at 11 a.m. April 20 at the Belmont Heights complex, 2101 W Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd.



Meet the Rays: Matt Joyce

Why is it so special for Tampa native Matt Joyce to play before hometown fans? What are his secrets to a good workout? What is his favorite area restaurant? Watch video of Joyce answering these questions and more at tampabay.com/meettherays.

   
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