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Rays Report

Tampa Bay Rays: Joe Maddon plots themed road trips; Matt Joyce wouldn't mind emulating Carl Crawford in one way; lots of pinch-hitters

Rays at Marlins

When/where: 1:10 today; Sun Life Stadium, Miami

TV/radio: Sun Sports, Bay News 9 Español; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

Probable starting pitchers:

RAYS: RH James Shields (4-2, 2.26)

MARLINS: RH Jay Buente (0-0, 0.00)

Watch for ...

Big Game James: Shields is coming off a loss that snapped his four-game win streak but still ranks sixth in the AL in ERA. He hasn't pitched well in interleague games (6-6, 5.25), nor against the Marlins (3-2, 5.77).

Unknown quantity: The Rays have seen only one inning of Buente, who was 3-0 with a Triple-A PCL-best 1.94 ERA when called up to replace ace Josh Johnson. This is Buente's first big-league start; he made eight 2010 relief appearances.

Key matchups

Rays vs. Buente

John Jaso 0-for-1

B.J. Upton 1-for-1

Ben Zobrist 0-for-1

Marlins vs. Shields

John Buck 4-for-14, 2 HRs

Chris Coghlan 5-for-8

Hanley Ramirez 8-for-21, HR

Gaby Sanchez 3-for-3, HR

On deck

Monday: at Tigers, 7:05, Sun Sports. Rays — Jeremy Hellickson (5-2, 3.18); Tigers — Phil Coke (1-5, 3.88)

Tuesday: at Tigers, 7:05, Sun Sports. Rays — Wade Davis (4-4, 3.47); Tigers — Justin Verlander (4-3, 2.96)

Wednesday: at Tigers, 1:05, Sun Sports. Rays — Andy Sonnanstine (0-2, 4.21); Tigers — Brad Penny (4-4, 4.45)

Dress-up time

The Rays are going with the all-white ensembles for today's postgame flight from South Florida to Detroit, another of manager Joe Maddon's themed trips. For Wednesday's trip home from the Motor City, they'll dress in domestic automobile gear, with MLB sponsor Chevrolet helping out. And the early plan for the next trip, specifically the June 8-9 red-eye flight from SoCal to Baltimore, is pajamas.

Quote of the day

"I don't know about that, but I wouldn't mind switching contracts with him."

OF Matt Joyce (who makes $426,500), when asked if after two triples Friday he was the "new" Carl Crawford (who got a 7-year, $142 million deal in Boston)

Number of the day

5 Pinch- hitters used in the eighth inning.

Tampa Bay Rays: Joe Maddon plots themed road trips; Matt Joyce wouldn't mind emulating Carl Crawford in one way; lots of pinch-hitters 05/21/11 [Last modified: Saturday, May 21, 2011 10:22pm]
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