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Rays Report

Rays: Rodney roughing; Price three-run homers

Rays at Rangers

When/where: 8:05 tonight; Rangers Ballpark in Arlington (Texas)

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

Probable pitchers

Rays: RH Jeremy Hellickson (0-0, 7.11)

RaNGERs: RH Alexi Ogando (1-0, 0.00)

B-day boy: Hellickson will celebrate his 26th birthday with his second start of the season. He allowed four runs against the Orioles in his first. He is 0-1 with a 2.25 ERA in two regular-season games vs. the Rangers. Texas is one of three AL teams he has yet to beat (White Sox, A's the others).

No relief in sight: Ogando, a converted relief pitcher, was dominant in his first start against the Astros this season, striking out 10 in 6⅓ shutout innings. He is 0-1 with a 4.82 ERA, all in relief against Tampa Bay.

Key matchups

Rays VS. OGANDo

Desmond Jennings 0-for-2

Ben Zobrist 1-for-5

Yunel Escobar 3-for-8

RANGERS VS. HELLICKSON

Ian Kinsler 2-for-8, HR

Nelson Cruz 0-for-4

Adrian Beltre 3-for-4, 2 HRs

On deck

Tuesday: at Rangers, 8:05. Sun Sports. Rays — Roberto Hernandez (0-1, 5.40); Rangers — Nick Tepesch (0-0, 0.00)

Rick Stroud, Times staff writer

Closing time

David Price isn't the only Rays pitcher off to a slow start. Closer Fernando Rodney, who had not pitched since opening day when he blew a save but got the win, got two outs and allowed three hits and two runs, including a homer to Indians C Carlos Santana. Rodney has a 16.20 ERA. "Whenever you bring a closer into a game like this, you hate to do it. But he needed the work," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "The adrenalin is not there. The feeling is entirely different. Everything is awkward for that kind of pitcher."

Gut check time

Price did not allow a three-run homer all last season but yielded a pair Sunday, to the Indians' Mark Reynolds and Lonnie Chisenhall. The Rays fell behind in all three games against the Orioles and Sunday vs. Cleveland because of multirun homers. "Those are definite body blows," Maddon said. "You've got to maybe take the standing eight, get in the corner a bit and come on back. And we just didn't come back on this one."

Meet the Rays: Jeremy Hellickson

What was it like for Rays pitcher Jeremy Hellickson to grow up in Des Moines, Iowa? What's the one style of music he doesn't like? Watch video of Hellickson answering these questions and more at tampabay.com/meettherays.

Rays: Rodney roughing; Price three-run homers 04/07/13 [Last modified: Sunday, April 7, 2013 9:26pm]
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