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Rays Report

Tampa Bay Rays: David Price's dog visits; Joe Maddon dons football helmet

Rays vs. Tigers

When/where: 7:10 tonight; Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg

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

Starting pitchers:

RAYS

RH Jeff Niemann (8-4, 3.29)

TIGERS

RH Justin Verlander (18-5, 2.31)

Watch for …

Standing tall: Niemann is 7-0 in 10 starts since coming off the disabled list, including a complete-game victory in Boston his last time out. He has allowed two earned runs or fewer in seven of his past eight outings. Niemann is 1-1 with a 3.04 ERA in four appearances (three starts) against the Tigers.

Cy worthy: Verlander is a leading Cy Young candidate as he leads the American League in wins and strikeouts and is second in ERA. He is 5-1 with a 3.88 ERA in nine starts against the Rays, though he allowed six runs over six innings in a no-decision May 24.

Key matchups

Rays vs. Verlander

Johnny Damon6-for-19, HR

Casey Kotchman6-for-20, HR

Ben Zobrist2-for-21

Tigers vs. Niemann

Miguel Cabrera4-for-10, 2 HRs

Jhonny Peralta4-for-7

Delmon Young4-for-10, HR

Guest of the day

LHP David Price and his French bulldog, Astro, were featured on figurines for Sunday's giveaway to fans. Astro got plenty of attention in the clubhouse and on the field, where he posed for pictures. "I guess every dog has its day," manager Joe Maddon said.



Johnny be clutch

In 17 plate appearances with the bases loaded this season, Johnny Damon is hitting .462 with 18 RBIs. Three RBIs came on Sunday's seventh-inning double. The breakdown:

Singles 4

Doubles1

Triples1

Walks 2

Sac flies 2

Outs *6

Errors1

* Includes one strikeout

Buc for a day

In a "tribute" to the Bucs, manager Joe Maddon wore a helmet during his postgame news conference and referred to Seattle as the "Seahawks." Bench coach Dave Martinez even came in to give him a Gatorade bottle mid session. Bucs coach Raheem Morris has worn Rays gear during training camp, so Maddon wanted to return the favor.

Tampa Bay Rays: David Price's dog visits; Joe Maddon dons football helmet 08/21/11 [Last modified: Sunday, August 21, 2011 7:57pm]
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