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Rays Report

Tampa Bay Rays: Elliot Johnson and summer reading success for children; Evan Longoria likes team's momentum; AL East beaters

Rays at Twins

When/where: 8:10 tonight; Target Field, Minneapolis

TV/radio: Sun Sports; 970-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

Probable pitchers

Rays: RH Jeremy Hellickson (9-7, 4.24)

Twins: RH Cole De Vries (2-2, 3.81)

On Hellickson: He has had trouble with two outs, allowing 24 of his 50 runs this season in that situation. He is 2-1 with a 3.98 ERA in three career starts against Minnesota.

On De Vries: He is winless in his past seven starts, though he has allowed two earned runs or fewer in five of them. Right-handed hitters are batting .301 against him.

Key matchups

Rays vs. De Vries

Has never faced

Twins vs. Hellickson

Denard Span 1-for-6

Justin Morneau 0-for-3

Josh Willingham 1-for-2

On deck

Saturday: at Twins, 7:10, Sun Sports. Rays — David Price (14-4, 2.49); Twins — Nick Blackburn (4-7, 7.42)

Sunday: at Twins, 2:10, Sun Sports. Rays — James Shields (10-7, 4.08); Twins — Scott Diamond (10-5, 2.91)

Monday: at Mariners, 10:10, Sun Sports. Rays — Alex Cobb (6-8, 4.32); Mariners — Blake Beavan (7-6, 5.12)

Tuesday: at Mariners, 10:10, Sun Sports. Rays — Matt Moore (9-7, 3.73); Mariners — Kevin Millwood (4-10, 4.38)

Joe Smith, Times staff writer

Reading program success

INF Elliot Johnson wrapped up his summer reading program with Childs Park YMCA in St. Petersburg on Wednesday and was impressed with how well the kids did, with one girl reading 20 books. The children, from third- to fifth-graders, had to do reports on the books, and the top achievers are set to receive prizes, including a Kindle. "It was a really ambitious goal, but a couple of them got there," Johnson said. "Everybody did a good job."

Quote of the day

"We're right where we want to be."

Evan Longoria, Rays DH, on Tampa Bay winning six of eight and gathering momentum

Number of the day

27-20

Rays record against the AL East, the best mark in the division.

Tampa Bay Rays: Elliot Johnson and summer reading success for children; Evan Longoria likes team's momentum; AL East beaters 08/09/12 [Last modified: Thursday, August 9, 2012 9:38pm]
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