Thursday, June 21, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay Rays: Calendar shoot to involve players and their dogs; James Shields praises fill-in first baseman during pickoff demonstration

Doggie deed of the day

The Rays are doing a calendar of 12 players and their dogs. The project, being shot by James Shields' wife, Ryane, should be done next month and will benefit the Pet Pal Animal Rescue, a no-kill shelter in St. Petersburg. Among those featured will be Evan Longoria with Jango and Tatum; Shields with Marley; and David Price with Astro.

Fill-in of the day

ESPN The Magazine was in town Saturday to shoot photos for a story on RHP James Shields' pickoff move. With no players available, diminutive Rays communications director Dave Haller, who said on Twitter he was a "bad bullpen catcher" in high school, stepped in at first. "He did good," Shields said. "I thought he might get hurt. I hummed a few over there."



Rays vs. Pirates

When/where: 1:05 today; Charlotte Sports Park, 2300 El Jobean Road, Port Charlotte

Radio: 620-AM

Tickets: Reserved seats $19-$27, berm/boardwalk $12. Available at raysbaseball.com and Ticketmaster, Tropicana Field and Charlotte Sports Park box offices, Tampa team store.

Gates open: 11 a.m.

Directions: Driving time from the bay area is 1½-2 hours. Suggested route: I-75 south to Exit 179 (Toledo Blade Road), go west 6½ miles (crossing U.S. 41) to El Jobean Road (SR 776), go right 2 miles, complex is on the left.

Parking: $10; lots open at 10:30.

Rays information: Toll-free 1-888-326-7297

Pitchers: Rays — Jeff Niemann, Brandon Gomes, Joel Peralta, Fernando Rodney, J.P. Howell; Pirates — Kevin Correia, Justin Wilson, Daniel Moskos, Jared Hughes, Bryan Morris, Doug Slaten

Heads-up

RHP Brandon Gomes makes his first game appearance, having been delayed coming off offseason back surgery.

On deck

Monday: vs. Twins, 1:05. Rays — James Shields; Twins — TBA

Tuesday: at Orioles, 1:05. Rays — TBA; O's — TBA

Wednesday: vs. Marlins, 1:05. Rays — TBA; Marlins — TBA

Who is this Ray?

He grew up in Sebastian and pitched for the Gators. He made his big-league debut in 2009 for the Diamondbacks. He is the only current Ray who will get a 2011 World Series ring.

Upcoming schedule

All games 1:05 unless noted

March

15: Phillies

16: at Jays

17: at Pirates

18: Red Sox

19: Off

20: at Marlins

21: Yankees

22: at Pirates

23: Jays (7:05 )

24: at Twins ( 3:05 )

25: Marlins

26: at Twins

27: at Red Sox ( 1:35 )

28: Pirates (7:05 )

29: at Phillies

30: at Pirates

31: Red Sox

April

1: at Orioles

2: Twins*

3: at Twins

4: vs. Future Rays, 1:40 , at Trop

* Value game, $2 off

Who is this answer: RHP Bryan Augenstein

Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

Comments
Rays journal: 7 pitches, 3 straight homers prove too much in loss to Astros

Rays journal: 7 pitches, 3 straight homers prove too much in loss to Astros

HOUSTON — The Rays were engaged in a third straight tight, go-either-way battle with the defending champ Astros on Wednesday.Until they were not.A brutal seven-pitch sequence by starter Nathan Eovaldi changed everything, as he gave up three con...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Rays see the results of keeping a good, young core group together

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Updated: 5 hours ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Wednesday’s Rays-Astros game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Wednesday’s Rays-Astros game

RHP Nathan Eovaldi said before his rough start Wednesday against the Astros that he was pitching better than his numbers showed. Well … In four starts since his six no-hit innings debut, he's 0-3 with a 6.17 ERA, allowing eight homers, four Wed...
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For starters: Rays at Astros, with a different look

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UPDATE, 6:43: Cash said the key to how the pieced the lineup together was the opportunity to give Cron (who is struggling) and Duffy (who is doing well) back to back days off. … Looking ahead to the weekend, the Rays will use RHP Ryne Stanek as...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Kevin Kiermaier returns to the Rays

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Kevin Kiermaier returns to the Rays

Times sports columnist Tom Jones joins Rick Stroud to discuss Kevin Kiermaier's return to the Rays, whether Victor Hedman should win the Norris Trophy for the NHL's best defenseman, Bucs expectations for this season and Barry Trotz's next c...
Published: 06/20/18
How the Rays really won Tuesday’s game over Astros

How the Rays really won Tuesday’s game over Astros

There was some interesting inside baseball elements that factored into the late innings of Tuesday's 2-1 Rays win.* First, on Matt Duffy's double off reliever Hector Rondon to lead off the eighth.Duffy said he doesn't like "to guess" what a pitcher i...
Published: 06/20/18
Rays’ Kevin Kiermaier returns, with energy to spare

Rays’ Kevin Kiermaier returns, with energy to spare

HOUSTON — Energy.That's what Kevin Kiermaier said he felt he'd provide most in rejoining the Rays Tuesday against the Astros after missing two-plus months recovering from thumb surgery."I like to think I bring energy on both sides of the ball, ...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/20/18
Rays journal: Blake Snell outlasts Justin Verlander in 2-1 win

Rays journal: Blake Snell outlasts Justin Verlander in 2-1 win

HOUSTON — The starting pitcher walked seven over seven otherwise solid innings Tuesday. That seemed weird enough for the Rays. Then the next pitcher they brought in was the one who started Monday's game. Even more bizarre.And then there was thi...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/20/18
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays-Astros

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays-Astros

This is how odd LHP Blake Snell's night was — he became the first pitcher to work seven or more innings and walk at least seven since Edwin Jackson threw his 149-pitch, eight-walk no-hitter at the Rays on June 25, 2010.If you weren't aware of t...
Published: 06/19/18
For starters: Rays at Astros, with Kiermaier back and an ace-high matchup

For starters: Rays at Astros, with Kiermaier back and an ace-high matchup

UPDATE, 6:45: Cash said Smith will continue to play a lot, getting time in LF and RF, meaning something of a rotation system for rookie Johnny Field and veteran Carlos Gomez.UPDATE, 4:49: Kiermaier is batting leadoff and playing center as expected, w...
Published: 06/19/18