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Rays Report

Tampa Bay Rays: Johnny Damon says it won't be easy until he retires; Rays making ninth-inning runs a habit

Rays vs. Twins

When/where: 1:40 today; Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg

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

Probable starters

RAYS: RHP Jeremy Hellickson (1-1, 4.09)

TWINS: LHP Brian Duensing (0-0, 4.15)

Tickets: $12-$255 at Tropicana Field box office, Ticketmaster,, team store in Tampa, $3 surcharge within five hours of game.

Promotion: David Price arm sleeve, first 10,000 kids 14 and under

Watch for …

Instant replay: Hellickson beat the Twins in his major-league debut in August, allowing two runs in seven innings. He has not allowed more than three runs in any of his six career starts.

Right stuff: Duensing moved into the Twins rotation last season and did well, going 7-3. The Rays, though, have become lefty lovers, posting a 38-21 mark vs. them since the start of 2010.

Key matchups

Rays vs. Duensing

Johnny Damon 0-for-5

Sean Rodriguez 1-for-3, HR

B.J. Upton 1-for-3

Twins vs. Hellickson

Michael Cuddyer 0-for-3

Jason Kubel 2-for-3, HR

Jim Thome 0-for-3

On deck

Monday: vs. White Sox, 6:40, FSN. Rays — David Price (1-2, 3.92); Sox — Edwin Jackson (2-0, 2.89)

Tuesday: vs. White Sox, 6:40, Sun Sports. Rays — James Shields (0-1, 3.98); Sox — John Danks (0-1, 3.15)

Damon's hit list

Where Johnny Damon stands on the all-time list:

79. Reggie Jackson 2,584

80t. Ernie Banks 2,583

80t. Johnny Damon 2,583

82. Richie Ashburn 2,574

Manny Ramirez 2,574

Source: Rays

Number of the day

15 Ninth-inning runs by Rays, most in the majors.

Comparison of the day

2011: 3 wins when trailing after 8 innings though 14 games

2010: 6 wins when trailing after 8 innings over 162 games

Quote of the day

"I've been through all of it. I understand this game. It's never going to be easy except when I'm sitting at home watching the game on TV when I'm done playing."

Johnny Damon, Rays outfielder/DH

Tampa Bay Rays: Johnny Damon says it won't be easy until he retires; Rays making ninth-inning runs a habit 04/16/11 [Last modified: Saturday, April 16, 2011 11:17pm]
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