Monday, February 19, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays: Rodney's magic plantain; breast cancer awareness

Rays vs. Padres

When/where: 1:40 today; Tropicana Field

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

Tickets: $14-210, available at Tropicana Field box office, Ticketmaster, raysbaseball.com, team Tampa store; $3 surcharge within 5 hours of game time.

Promotion: Rays Flower Pot to first 10,000 women.

Probable pitchers

RAYS: RH Roberto Hernandez (1-4, 4.66)

PADRES: LH Eric Stults (3-2, 4.50)

Rolling Roberto: Hernandez is coming off his best outing with the Rays, allowing only 1 run in 6 innings. Has pitched better at the Trop, 1-1, 2.89 vs. 0-3, 6.50 on the road. First start vs. Padres.

Leaning left: Stults is a 33-year-old soft-tosser (66 mph curveball) veteran who pitched previously for the Dodgers, Rockies, White Sox and in Japan. Had his best season with the Pads in 2012. Never faced the Rays.

Key matchups

RAYS VS. STULTS

Yunel Escobar 0-for-1

Kelly Johnson 1-for-3

Ryan Roberts 2-for-6

PADRES VS. HERNANDEZ

Mark Kotsay 4-for-16

Carlos Quentin 3-for-9, 2 HRs

On deck

Monday: Off

Tuesday: vs. Red Sox, 7:10, Sun Sports. Rays — LH Matt Moore (6-0, 2.14); Red Sox — RH John Lackey (1-3, 2.82)

Wednesday: vs. Red Sox, 7:10, Sun Sports. Rays — LH David Price (1-3, 4.78); Red Sox — LH Jon Lester (5-0, 2.73)

Thursday: vs. Red Sox, 7:10, Sun Sports. Rays — RH Alex Cobb (4-2, 3.09); Red Sox — LH Felix Doubront (3-1, 6.40)

Power of the plantain

Fernando Rodney has been carrying another magic plantain, and Saturday he tucked it in his pants and wore it onto the field for the team photo, then showed it off afterward. Manager Joe Maddon said he is a big fan and wants Rodney to keep it around. So is Maddon ready to sport his own? "There's so many different answers going through my mind," Maddon said. "I'll take the Fifth on that one. Although it really kills me to take the Fifth."

Stat of the day

132

Runs scored by Rays, most in MLB, since April 17.

In the Pink

As part of MLB's Mother's Day breast cancer awareness initiative, pink-stitched balls will be used in today's game, all Rays personnel will wear pink ribbons, many will swing pink bats and others will use assorted wristbands, arm sleeves, necklaces, batting gloves and, in Fernando Rodney's case, cleats.

 
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