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Tampa Bay Rays: B.J. Upton favorite in European soccer tournament reminds him of Rays; David Price realistic about chances of hitting Stephen Strasburg

Rays vs. Mets

When/where: 7:10 tonight; Tropicana Field

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

Probable pitchers

Rays: LH David Price (8-3, 2.40)

METS: RH R.A. Dickey (9-1, 2.44)

On Price: Seeking his 50th career win, Price is coming off a five-inning effort that seemed like 12. Despite throwing 109 pitches, he held the Yankees to three hits and got the decision in a 7-3 win. In his past four starts (261/3 innings), Price has allowed three earned runs.

On Dickey: A classic knuckleballer, Dickey has generated All-Star buzz. He leads the league in victories and has totaled 11 quality starts, including a gem (71/3 scoreless innings) in Thursday's 3-1 win against the Nationals. In six career games against the Rays, Dickey is 0-2 with an 8.35 ERA, but he hasn't faced them in three years.

Key matchups

Rays VS. DICKEY

Carlos Peña 2-for-11

Jose Molina 0-for-5

Hideki Matsui 3-for-8

METS VS. PRICE

None have faced

On deck

Thursday: vs. Mets, 1:10 p.m., Sun Sports. Rays — Jeremy Hellickson (4-2, 2.65); Mets — Johan Santana (3-3, 2.96)

Friday: vs. Marlins, 7:10 p.m., Sun Sports. Rays — Matt Moore (3-5, 4.59); Marlins — Carlos Zambrano (4-4, 3.55)

Saturday: vs. Marlins, 7:15, Sun Sports. Rays — James Shields (7-4, 4.06); Marlins — Anibal Sanchez (3-5, 3.40)

The Rays of Euro 2012

A few Rays, including David Price, Evan Longoria, Sean Rodriguez and B.J. Upton have been following the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship. Asked whom he was pulling for, Upton said the Netherlands, which he also dubbed the Rays equivalent of the tournament. "They have a good ballclub, and no one expects them to be there," Upton said. "They found themselves in the final of the (2010) World Cup when no one expected it, and now everyone is talking about everyone else but them in the Eurocup." The Oranje lost its first game 1-0 to Denmark and play Germany today.

Quote of the day

"I do know that I'm facing Strasburg — not that I've looked ahead. Give me the heater, please, that's about it."

Pitcher David Price on his scheduled matchup — and batting appearance — against Nationals RHP Stephen Strasburg next week in Washington.

Quote of the day 2

"I would be absolutely vilified in Tokyo if I did not play him today."

Manager Joe Maddon on starting Hideki Matsui on his 38th birthday.

Tampa Bay Rays: B.J. Upton favorite in European soccer tournament reminds him of Rays; David Price realistic about chances of hitting Stephen Strasburg 06/12/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 12, 2012 10:58pm]
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