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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

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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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