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Rays Report

Tampa Bay Rays: B.J. Upton misses hunting trip due to 'rest'; David Price turns into fan during meeting of U.S. soccer players

Rays at Astros

When/where: 7:05 tonight; Minute Maid Park, Houston

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

Starting pitchers

Rays RH Wade Davis (6-5, 4.57)

Astros RH Bud Norris (4-5, 3.26)

Watch for …

Wading in: Davis is showing some signs of improvement, winning his past two starts (five runs over 12 innings) after going winless in his previous four. His schedule has been erratic, and he faces the Astros for the first time on seven days' rest.

Hey, Bud: Norris is winless in his past two starts. But it's not his fault as he allowed one run total while the Astros scored none. Norris has allowed three runs or fewer in 10 of 15 starts. He faced the Rays last year, allowing five runs (four earned) and striking out 10 over five innings in a no-decision.

Key matchups

Rays vs. Norris

Reid Brignac 1-for-2

B.J. Upton 0-for-3

Ben Zobrist 1-for-3, HR

On deck

Sunday: at Astros, 2:05. Sun Sports. Rays — Jeff Niemann (2-4, 4.82); Astros — J.A. Happ (3-9, 5.33)

Monday: vs. Reds, 7:10. Sun Sports. Rays — Jeremy Hellickson (7-6, 3.09); Reds — Johnny Cueto (5-2, 1.63)

Tuesday: vs. Reds, 7:10. Sun Sports. Rays — David Price (8-6, 3.51); Reds — Mike Leake (6-4, 4.19)

Wednesday: vs. Reds, 12:10. Sun Sports. Rays — James Shields (8-4, 2.29); Reds — Edinson Volquez (4-3, 5.77)

Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

Hunting for an excuse? Upton gets his 'rest'

CF B.J. Upton decided he was too tired for his first hunting experience and didn't join bench coach Dave Martinez and equipment/home clubhouse manager Chris Westmoreland on their Thursday crossbow shooting, hog-hunting expedition. "Fatigue," Upton said. "I needed rest. I didn't chicken out. I really needed to rest. And they said they walked like 12 miles. I'm glad I didn't go." Martinez, who shot several hogs (and Westmoreland a deer), said of Upton's decision: "I was a little disappointed, but I wasn't surprised."

Getting his kicks

LHP David Price plays a lot of video-game soccer. And he was thrilled to discover Wednesday that the U.S. team, playing a Gold Cup semi in Houston, was staying at the same hotel as the Rays. He shared an elevator with goalkeeper Tim Howard (who knew who he was) and talked with Freddy Adu. "It was sick," Price said. "I was pumped. I think I was a little overgiddy."

Tampa Bay Rays: B.J. Upton misses hunting trip due to 'rest'; David Price turns into fan during meeting of U.S. soccer players 06/24/11 [Last modified: Friday, June 24, 2011 11:23pm]
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