Sunday, May 20, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

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

Comments
For starters: Rays at Angels, with Romo again as “the opener”

For starters: Rays at Angels, with Romo again as “the opener”

UPDATE, 2:27: If the Rays win today, it would be their first four-game sweep since Sept. 20-23, 2013, vs. Baltimore and first on the road since Aug. 16-19 here at Anaheim. … It also would be the first time they swept back to back series on the ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Rays hang on to beat Angels 5-3 behind Robertson slam, get back to .500

Rays hang on to beat Angels 5-3 behind Robertson slam, get back to .500

ANAHEIM, Calif. – Playing .500 ball is obviously no goal, and the Rays certainly know that.But given where they came from, that terrible 1-8 start that oozed into 3-12 and 4-13, climbing back to the respectability of .500 would be an accomplish...
Published: 05/20/18
Rays journal: New pitching plan worked so well Romo starts again Sunday

Rays journal: New pitching plan worked so well Romo starts again Sunday

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The first part of the Rays' new and unusual pitching plan worked so well Saturday, as game "opener" RHP Sergio Romo struck out the first three Angels hitters, that the Rays will do it again on Sunday.That's right. Romo will st...
Published: 05/19/18
Updated: 05/20/18
Rays are seeing what it’s like to have missed the Sho

Rays are seeing what it’s like to have missed the Sho

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Rays badly wanted Shohei Ohtani for themselves.From execs to interns, they invested extensive time and money preparing their bid in November, touting advantages they figured would play to both his intense desire to re...
Published: 05/19/18
For starters: Rays at Angels, with Romo on the mound for all to see

For starters: Rays at Angels, with Romo on the mound for all to see

UPDATE, 6:57: And here is the Angels lineup, with Upton:Cozart 3bTrout cfUpton lfPujols dhSimmons ssKinsler 2bMarte 1bCalhoun rfMaldonado cHeaney pUPDATE, 6:50: Eovaldi came through his Friday rehab start will but will make one more on Wednesday for ...
Published: 05/19/18
Rays Tales: How California dreamin’ became reality

Rays Tales: How California dreamin’ became reality

ANAHEIM, Calif. —  They're grown men now, making piles of money and getting treated like kings, lavished with top-shelf equipment, designer clothes and first-class accommodations. But it wasn't too long ago that some of the Rays were ...
Published: 05/19/18
Rays put Adeiny Hechavarria on DL, recall RHP Ryne Stanek

Rays put Adeiny Hechavarria on DL, recall RHP Ryne Stanek

The Rays acknowledged what seemed obvious and placed SS Adeiny Hechavarria on the 10-day DL Saturday due to the right hamstring strain he sustained on Thursday.And to take place his place on the roster, they not only didn't call up top prospect INF W...
Published: 05/19/18
Rays make it five in a row as Ramos leads way past Angels

Rays make it five in a row as Ramos leads way past Angels

ANAHEIM, Calif. – A little frustrated by an extended skid that followed his streak of hitting in 18 straight games, and a bit irritated over some of the bad swings he had taken, catcher Wilson Ramos went to the cage before Friday's game seeking...
Published: 05/19/18
Rays journal: Good and bad injury news

Rays journal: Good and bad injury news

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Rays are planning to have 3B Matt Duffy back in the lineup Saturday for the first time since he left Tuesday's game with right hamstring tightness.Which will be good for them since they seem set to be headed toward pl...
Published: 05/18/18
Updated: 05/19/18
Rays’ new pitching plan: Sergio Romo’s first career start

Rays’ new pitching plan: Sergio Romo’s first career start

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Your Rays are at it again.In a plan being hailed as either genius or idiotic, and nary much in between, they are plotting to do yet something else different and unusual with their pitching for Saturday's game against the Angel...
Published: 05/18/18