Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Rays Report

Tampa Bay Rays: James Shields setting some complete-game standards; Joe Maddon suggests final step for breaking a slump

Rays at Astros

When/where: 2:05 today; Minute Maid Park, Houston

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

Starting pitchers

RAYS

RH Jeff Niemann (2-4, 4.82)

ASTROS

LH J.A. Happ (3-9, 5.33)

Watch for …

Standing tall: Niemann was sharp Monday in his return from the DL, pitching six shutout innings. The Houston native pitched at home last season, holding the Astros to two runs over seven innings.

Happenstance: Happ has lost a career-high five straight and nine overall, despite allowing three or fewer earned runs in eight of his past 11 starts. The former Phillie has never faced the Rays.

Key matchups

Rays vs. Happ

Johnny Damon 0-for-3

Sam Fuld 1-for-3

Casey Kotchman 3-for-7, HR

Astros vs. Niemann

Clint Barmes 2-for-3

Michael Bourn 0-for-3

Carlos Lee 1-for-3

On deck

Monday: vs. Reds, 7:10, Sun Sports. Rays — Jeremy Hellickson (7-6, 3.09); Reds — Johnny Cueto (5-2, 1.63)

Tuesday: vs. Reds, 7:10, Sun Sports. Rays — David Price (8-6, 3.51); Reds — Mike Leake (6-4, 4.19)

Wednesday: vs. Reds, 12:10, Sun Sports. Rays — James Shields (8-4, 2.29); Reds — Edinson Volquez (4-3, 5.61)

Thursday: Off

Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

Complete Game James notes of the day

With his sixth complete-game win Friday, RHP James Shields:

• Is the first with six CG-wins through 76 team games since Toronto's Pat Hentgen in 1997, and the second in the 2000s with six, win or lose, joining Roy Halladay.

• Has more than any AL team (and twice as many as the Red Sox and Yankees combined), and more than the Rays have had in any season but one (7 in 2000).

• Is the fifth active to win three in a row, joining Halladay, CC Sabathia, Cliff Lee and Brandon Webb.

Slump buster of the day

Like other slumping hitters, 3B Evan Longoria tried a new haircut. Then he changed equipment, in his case going without batting gloves. So what would a player try next?

"It's got to be underwear," manager Joe Maddon said. "There's all different styles, different ways of getting comfortable for the game."

Tampa Bay Rays: James Shields setting some complete-game standards; Joe Maddon suggests final step for breaking a slump 06/25/11 [Last modified: Saturday, June 25, 2011 10:51pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa Bay Super Bowls: A brief history and some predictions for 2021

    Bucs

    At last, Tampa will host a Super Bowl again. It used to be that the Cigar City would host one a decade, but by the time February 2021 rolls around, it will have been 12 years since the epic showdown between the Steelers and Cardinals. Because it has been awhile, let's revisit those past Super Bowls while also peering …

    Santonio Holmes hauls in the game-winning touchdown in the Steelers' 27-23 Super Bowl XLIII victory over the Cardinals in 2009, the last time Tampa hosted a Super Bowl. [JAMES BORCHUCK | Times]
  2. Rays bats go silent in second straight loss to Angels (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Sure, Alex Cobb was to blame for the Rays' 4-0 loss on Tuesday.

    Derek Norris strikes out with the bases loaded as the Rays blow a golden opportunity in the seventh inning.
  3. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Angels game

    The Heater

    RHP Alex Cobb made mistakes on back-to-back pitches to the first two Angels hitters Tuesday, allowing homers to Cameron Maybin and Mike Trout, but otherwise gave the Rays another solid outing, working into the eighth and scattering seven hits.

  4. Rays journal: Brad Miller won't return from DL when eligible

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — 2B Brad Miller (left abdominal strain) will not return from the 10-day disabled list Friday as he hoped. While he took ground balls Tuesday, he has yet to resume running.

    Rays second baseman Brad Miller, left, with infielder Tim Beckham, says he’s letting his left abdominal strain “cool down” before testing it by running.
  5. USF baseball rallies to beat Tulane in AAC tournament opener

    College

    CLEARWATER — With Tulane runners on first and second and two out in the top of the ninth inning Tuesday, USF's dugout watched as burly American Athletic Conference co-player of the year Hunter Williams' fly to left went deep.

    USF outfielder Chris Chatfield is congratulated by third-base coach Chris Cates after hitting a three-run homer in the third inning, tying the score at 3.