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Rays Report

Rays: Zimmer enjoys surprise

Rays vs. Orioles

When/where: 3:10 today, Tropicana Field

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

Tickets: $10-190, available at Tropicana Field box office, Ticketmaster, raysbaseball.com, team Tampa store; $3 surcharge within 5 hours of game time.

Probable pitchers

Rays: RH Roberto Hernandez (0-3, 7.53 in 2012)

Orioles: RH Miguel Gonzalez (9-4, 3.25)

Watch for …

Team debut: Hernandez, a former All-Star, earned the final spot in the Rays rotation out of camp. The veteran is 4-4 with a 5.50 ERA in 10 career appearances (eight starts) against Baltimore.

Tough task: Gonzalez was a surprise for the Orioles last season, going from minor-league camp to the rotation. He made four starts as a rookie against the Rays, not allowing a run in two outings at Tropicana Field (131/3 innings).

Key matchups

Rays vs. Gonzalez

Evan Longoria 2-for-5

Ben Zobrist 0-for-7

Desmond Jennings 1-for-8, HR

Orioles vs. Hernandez

Matt Wieters 3-for-7

Nick Markakis 5-for-23, HR

Brian Roberts 6-for-25

Meet the Rays: Sam Fuld

How good of a surfer is Rays outfielder Sam Fuld? Where does he rank among the graduates of Exeter Academy? Watch video of Fuld answering these questions and more at tampabay.com/meettherays.

Field of dreams

It was kind of an Iowa night at Tropicana Field, as Des Moines native Jeremy Hellickson was on the mound for the Rays and legendary University of Iowa wrestling coach Dan Gable threw out the first pitch.

Special surprise

Senior adviser Don Zimmer appreciated the touching — and admittedly emotional — gesture of the entire Rays team gathering behind home plate before his son, Tom, threw the ceremonial first pitch Tuesday. Zimmer said home clubhouse/equipment manager Chris Westmoreland tipped off his wife, Soot, on the surprise. "I wasn't expecting it," Zimmer said. "It was pretty (darned) nice."

Rays: Zimmer enjoys surprise 04/03/13 [Last modified: Thursday, April 4, 2013 5:32pm]
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