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Rays Report

Tampa Bay Rays: Casey Kotchman says Sam Fuld's defense makes opponents sick; J.P. Howell backs the wrong horse in College World Series

Rays at Brewers

When/where: 8:10 tonight; Miller Park, Milwaukee

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

Starting pitchers

RAYS:

RH Jeff Niemann (1-4, 5.74)

BREWERS:

Chris Narveson (4-4, 4.48)

Watch for …

Standing tall: Niemann will make his first start since coming off the disabled list (lower back strain). He had struggled to begin the season, allowing at least five runs in three of his first six outings. He has never faced the Brewers.

On point: Narveson is coming off back-to-back wins, including eight shutout innings against the Cardinals and, in his last outing, a victory over the Cubs. He has fared better at home, going 3-1 with a 3.86 ERA in six starts.

Key matchups

Rays vs. Narveson

Sam Fuld 0-for-1

Brewers vs. Niemann

Yuniesky Betancourt 0-for-7

Mark Kotsay 0-for-2

Josh Wilson 0-for-6

On deck:

Tuesday: at Brewers, 8:10, Sun Sports. Rays — Jeremy Hellickson (7-5, 3.09); Brewers — Zack Greinke (6-2, 5.23)

Wednesday: at Brewers, 2:10, Sun Sports. Rays — David Price (7-6, 3.61); Brewers — Shaun Marcum (7-2, 2.85)

Thursday: Off

Friday: at Astros, 8:05, Sun Sports. Rays — Wade Davis (6-5, 4.57); Astros — Wandy Rodriguez (5-3, 2.88)

Saturday: at Astros, 7:05, Sun Sports. Rays — Jeff Niemann (1-4, 5.74); Astros — Bud Norris (4-5, 3.26)

Joe Smith, Times staff writer

Quote of the day 2

"That was probably the loudest the crowd has been all year. It was almost piercing out there."

RHP James Shields, on the Trop crowd of 26,761 in the ninth inning.

Gator bait

LHP J.P. Howell, a former University of Texas standout, had an orange Gators jersey hanging in his locker Sunday morning, a product of a lost bet with equipment and home clubhouse manager Chris Westmoreland over the Gators' 8-4 win over the Longhorns in the College World Series. "It breaks my heart, man," Howell said.

Quote of the day

"It's crazy. Guys think they got extra-base hits and they end up throwing up around first base because they see the guy catch the ball."

Rays 1B Casey Kotchman on two more dazzling diving catches by LF Sam Fuld in the eighth.

Tampa Bay Rays: Casey Kotchman says Sam Fuld's defense makes opponents sick; J.P. Howell backs the wrong horse in College World Series 06/19/11 [Last modified: Sunday, June 19, 2011 8:51pm]

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