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Rays Report

Tampa Bay Rays: Johnny Damon ties another legend, Lou Gehrig, in career hits; Rays add another eight-inning, two-run start; Sean Rodriguez thinks pressure is on Red Sox

Rays vs. Yankees

When/where: 7:10 tonight; Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg

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

Starting pitchers:

RAYS:

RH Jeremy Hellickson (13-10, 2.90)

YANKEES:

RH Bartolo Colon (8-10, 4.02)

Tickets: $17-$275 at box office, Ticketmaster, raysbaseball.com, team store in Tampa; $3 surcharge within five hours of game.

Watch for …

Jeremy the kid: Hellickson, an AL rookie of the year candidate, has allowed two earned runs or fewer in six of his past seven starts, including two runs and two hits in a no-decision against the Yankees last week. He is 2-1 with a 4.09 ERA in five career appearances (three starts) against New York.

Stepping up: Colon has not won since July 30 and allowed seven runs over three innings in a loss to Tampa Bay last week. He is 0-3 with a 6.60 ERA in three starts against the Rays this season.

Key matchups

Rays vs. Colon

Johnny Damon 19-for-55, 2 HRs

Ben Zobrist 5-for-9, 2 HRs

B.J. Upton 6-for-18, HR

Yankees vs. Hellickson

R. Cano 5-for-9, 2 HRs

Derek Jeter 2-for-9

Mark Teixeira 3-for-10

On deck

Wednesday: vs. Yankees, 7:10, Sun Sports. Rays — David Price (12-13, 3.35); Yankees — TBA

End regular season

Milestone watch

DH Johnny Damon has passed his share of Hall of Famers, including Ted Williams, on the career hits list this season. Monday, Damon's go-ahead RBI single in the third tied him with Yankees legend Lou Gehrig for 57th all time (2,721). "Lou Gehrig very well could be in that category as the best hitter of all time, best player of all time, a champion," Damon said. "His numbers are just absolutely ridiculous."

Quote of the day

"We have nothing to prove. If we win, everyone says 'Wow.' If we lose, they say, 'Wow, they came that close.' If Boston doesn't make it, they say, 'Man, I can't believe they didn't make it.' The pressure is on them."

INF Sean Rodriguez, on the Rays chasing the Red Sox for the wild-card spot, having trailed by nine games earlier this month

Number of the day

29 Times a Rays starter has gone eight innings or longer and allowed two runs or fewer; the last AL team to have that many was the 1998 Yankees (33).

Tampa Bay Rays: Johnny Damon ties another legend, Lou Gehrig, in career hits; Rays add another eight-inning, two-run start; Sean Rodriguez thinks pressure is on Red Sox 09/26/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 27, 2011 12:02am]
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