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Rays Report

Tampa Bay Rays: James Shields to end starters under 30 streak, looking for five in row over Yankees, game information

Stat of the day

The Rays have won four straight against the Yankees; they have never won five in a row.

For openers

Among several Rays participating in their first major-league opening day are rookie OF/C Stephen Vogt, left, who attended several Giants openers as a kid. "It's going to be really, really fun to be on the line during an opening day instead of in the stands," he said. Other Rays first-timers: OF Desmond Jennings, LHP Matt Moore and C Jose Lobaton. "It's my first," Lobaton said. "But I hope next year I'm going to say the same, the second, third."

Rays vs. Yankees

When/where: 3:10 p.m. today, Tropicana Field

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

Tickets: Sold out today and Saturday. $19-$300, available at Tropicana Field box office, Ticketmaster, raysbaseball.com, team Tampa store; $3 surcharge within five hours of game time

Promotion: Schedule magnet for all fans

Probable pitchers

Rays

RHP James Shields (16-12, 2.82 in 2011)

Yankees

LHP CC Sabathia (19-8, 3.00 in 2011)

Watch for:

Big Game James: Shields has a .733 winning percentage in April, his highest of any month. He's 3-1 with a 1.46 ERA in his last five home starts against the Yankees.

Ace in hole: Sabathia, starting his fourth Yankees opener, feels good despite a shaky spring (0-1, 5.00 ERA). He has been solid vs. the Rays, 9-7, 3.10 ERA in 24 career starts.

Key matchups

Rays vs. Sabathia

Jeff Keppinger 6-for-14

Evan Longoria 10-for-30, 4 HRs

Carlos Peña 4-for-35, 2 HRs

Yankees vs. Shields

Robinson Cano 22-for-57, 4 HRs

Curtis Granderson 3-for-43

Mark Teixiera 6-for-41

On deck

Saturday: vs. Yankees, 7:10 p.m., Sun Sports. Rays — David Price (12-13, 3.49); Yankees — Hiroki Kuroda (13-16, 3.07)

Sunday: vs. Yankees, 1:40 p.m., Sun Sports. Rays — Jeremy Hellickson (13-10, 2.95); Yankees — Phil Hughes (5-5, 5.79)

Monday: Off

Rays on the disabled list

• C Robinson Chirinos, concussion, 15-day

• RHP Kyle Farnsworth, right elbow strain, 15-day

• OF Sam Fuld, right wrist surgery, 15-day

• OF B.J. Upton, lower back soreness, 15-day

Marc Topkin and Joe Smith, Times staff writers

Meet the Rays at tampabay.com

Scan this with your mobile device to access our Meet the Rays video interviews.

Streak saver of the day

The Rays still have a streak of 896 games started by pitchers who are under 32, dating to June 25, 2006, when 32-year-old Mark Hendrickson faced the Braves. That is the only game started by a pitcher over 30 since the Andrew Friedman/Joe Maddon regime took over in 2006.

Quote of the day

"I'm 30 years old, but I still feel young."

RHP James Shields, the "old man" of the Rays staff



Streak buster of the day

James Shields' first pitch today will end the Rays' major-league-record streak of 764 straight games started by a pitcher under the age of 30. "I'm definitely excited to break the streak, but yet it's kind of sad in a way," said Shields, who turned 30 in December. "It's something we don't have to talk about anymore."

Tampa Bay Rays: James Shields to end starters under 30 streak, looking for five in row over Yankees, game information 04/05/12 [Last modified: Thursday, April 5, 2012 10:12pm]
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