Rays Report

Tampa Bay Rays: Fans encourage Rays after rough road trip; Joe Maddon gets behind Bucs coach's controversial call

Rays vs. Red Sox

When/where: 7:10 tonight; Tropicana Field

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

Tickets: $17-275, available at Tropicana Field box office, Ticketmaster, raysbaseball.com, team Tampa store; $3 surcharge within 5 hours of game time.

Probable pitchers

Rays: RH Jeremy Hellickson (8-10, 3.22)

RED SOX: LH Felix Doubront (10-9, 5.11)

On Hellickson: Has allowed one run or fewer in four of his past six starts, including five shutout innings last week in Baltimore. Is 3-2 with a 4.29 ERA in eight career starts against the Red Sox.

On Doubront: Hasn't won since July 18, spanning eight starts, six of which he has allowed four runs or more. Is 1-1 with a 3.72 ERA in six career appearances (three starts) against the Rays.

Key matchups

Rays VS. DOUBRONT

Jeff Keppinger 3-for-5

Evan Longoria 2-for-4

Ben Zobrist 2-for-9

RED SOX VS. HELLICKSON

Mike Aviles 2-for-10

Dustin Pedroia 5-for-20, HR

Jarrod Saltalamacchia 6-for-15, HR

On deck

Wednesday: vs. Red Sox, 7:10, Sun Sports. Rays — Chris Archer (0-3, 3.22); Red Sox — Daisuke Matsuzaka (1-5, 7.14)

Thursday: vs. Red Sox, 7:10, Sun Sports. Rays — David Price (18-5, 2.54); Red Sox — Clay Buchholz (11-6, 4.33)

Joe Smith, Times staff writer

Special support

The Rays appreciated the nearly dozen fans who greeted them at the airport Sunday night when they returned from a 1-5 road trip. Manager Joe Maddon said some had signs that read, "162 Strong." "It's outstanding," Maddon said.

AL East

Team W L Pct. GB

New York 83 63 .568—

Baltimore83 64 .5651/2

Tampa Bay 78 69 .531 51/2

Toronto 66 79 .455 16½

Boston 67 81 .45317

AL race for wild cards

Team W L Pct. GB

Oakland 84 62 .575—

Baltimore 83 64 .565—

Los Angeles 80 67 .544 3

Tampa Bay 78 69 .531 5

Detroit 77 69 .527 51/2

Top two wild cards make postseason; GB is games behind second wild card

Quote of the day

"Play hard to the last whistle, the last out in the game. You never know what's going to happen."

Manager Joe Maddon, on Bucs coach Greg Schiano's call to try to disrupt the Giants' final knee-down play Sunday

Tampa Bay Rays: Fans encourage Rays after rough road trip; Joe Maddon gets behind Bucs coach's controversial call 09/17/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 18, 2012 1:20am]

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