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Rays Report

Tampa Bay Rays: Al Lopez Award to Elliot Johnson; flashback of the day for Orioles pitcher; guests of the day for Johnny Damon

The dish

Rays vs. Orioles

When/where: 1:40 today; Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg

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

Starting pitchers

Rays: RHP Wade Davis (12-10, 4.07 in 2010)

Orioles: LHP Zach Britton (MLB debut)

Tickets: $12-$255 at Tropicana Field box office, Ticketmaster, raysbaseball.com, team store in Tampa, $3 surcharge within five hours of game

Promotions: AL East championship banner for first 10,000 kids 14 and under

Rays information: Toll-free 1-888-326-7297 (FAN-RAYS)

Watch for …

Wading in: Davis is hoping to build off his strong finish last season, when he went 7-1 with a 3.22 ERA in his final 12 starts. Davis is 3-1 with a 2.29 ERA in five career starts against Baltimore.

Stepping in: Britton, 23, the Orioles' top pitching prospect, got called up to make his debut after LHP Brian Matusz, right, went on the disabled list. Britton, a power pitcher, had a staff-leading 1.35 ERA in the spring and was the organization's minor league pitcher of the year in 2010.

Key matchups

Orioles vs. Davis

Nick Markakis 2-for-16

Brian Roberts 3-for-14

Luke Scott 3-for-14

Rays vs. Britton

None have faced

On deck

Monday: Off

Tuesday: vs. Angels, 6:40, Sun Sports. Rays — Jeff Niemann (12-8, 4.39); Angels — Jered Weaver (13-12, 3.01)

Wednesday: vs. Angels, 1:10, Sun Sports. Rays — Jeremy Hellickson (4-0, 3.47); Angels — Dan Haren (12-12, 3.91)

Joe Smith, Times staff writer

Award of the day

Utilityman Elliot Johnson won the Al Lopez Award, honoring the top rookie in spring training, which gives him the distinction of being the club's only two-time winner (he also won in 2008). It was presented before Saturday's game. "I'm honored," said Johnson, who hit .341 with a major-league-leading 12 steals. "I feel that I played really well, and I'm appreciative."

Guests of the day

LF Johnny Damon is a national spokesman for the Wounded Warrior Project, which provides programs and services for severely injured servicemen and women and their families. On Saturday, Damon got to visit with several members of the organization, including Mark Lalli, who were guests on the field during batting practice.

Flashback of the day

LHP Zach Britton, the Orioles' top pitching prospect who makes his debut today, told the Baltimore media the only other time he has been to Tropicana Field was Aug. 6, 1999, the day before Wade Boggs picked up his 3,000th hit. On Saturday, Britton made a trip to the leftfield seats. "I went up to where I was sitting to just kind of remember the moment," Britton told the Baltimore Sun. "It's great to be here."

Tampa Bay Rays: Al Lopez Award to Elliot Johnson; flashback of the day for Orioles pitcher; guests of the day for Johnny Damon 04/02/11 [Last modified: Saturday, April 2, 2011 10:58pm]
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