Rays Report

Tampa Bay Rays: Kelly Shoppach expects to repeat as fantasy football champ; pigeons congregate around Rays bullpen

Rays vs. Rangers

When/where: 1:10 today; Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg

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

Starting pitchers:

RAYS:

RH James Shields (13-10, 2.84)

RANGERS:

RH Scott Feldman (1-0, 2.86)

Watch for …

Going the distance: Shields has won his past two starts, including eight shutout innings against the Rangers last week. He's is 4-2 with a 3.42 ERA in seven career starts against Texas.

Great Scott: Feldman, stepping in for struggling Alexi Ogando, is coming off two strong outings, including six shutout innings against the Rays last week. He is 4-1, 1.41 in nine appearances (four starts) against Tampa Bay.

Prediction of the day

The Rays held their fantasy football draft after Sunday's game, and there was plenty of trash talk and trade discussions leading up to it. C Kelly Shoppach, right, the defending champ who proudly had last season's trophy and a shirt reading "Champ" with No. 1 up in his locker, predicts a repeat: "It's over already. Champ stays the champ."

For the birds

RF Matt Joyce was a bit surprised to see pigeons flocking by the Rays bullpen mound around the rightfield line during the middle innings. "I thought that was pretty funny," Joyce said. "I didn't have any seeds or anything to give them. It's one of baseball's weird quirks, and makes the game fun."

Number of the day

13

Complete games for the Rays this season, a club record (12 in 2002). Only the Phillies have more complete games this season (15).

Tampa Bay Rays: Kelly Shoppach expects to repeat as fantasy football champ; pigeons congregate around Rays bullpen 09/04/11 [Last modified: Sunday, September 4, 2011 8:54pm]

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