Rays at Royals
When/where: 7:10 tonight; Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, Mo.
TV/radio: Sun Sports; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)
RH Jeff Niemann (4-4, 3.94)
LH Jeff Francis (3-11, 4.62)
Watch for …
Standing tall: Niemann has been sizzling in July, allowing only two earned runs in 21 1/3 innings. He is 3-0 with a 0.71 ERA in four games (three starts) vs. the Royals.
Leaning left: Francis, a former Rockie, seems to be pitching better than his record shows, especially at home, where he has a 3.38 ERA but a 2-5 record. He has never faced the Rays.
Rays vs. Francis
Kelly Shoppach 0-for-2
Royals vs. Niemann
Billy Butler 1-for-20
Alex Gordon 0-for-4
Mitch Maier 1-for-7
Sunday: at Royals, 2:10; Sun Sports. Rays — Alex Cobb (2-0, 3.09); Royals — Felipe Paulino (1-3, 3.60)
Monday: at A's, 10:07; Sun Sports. Rays — Jeremy Hellickson (9-7, 3.17); A's — TBA
Marc Topkin, Times staff writer
Okay to be a follower
The Rays announced plans for their first Tweet-Up, a gathering of people who use the Twitter social media service, at the Aug. 4 game. CNBC reporter Darren Rovell, who has more than 100,000 followers on Twitter, will host, sing the anthem, report live from the Trop and, of course, Tweet at will. The team will offer promotions through its @RaysRepublic account.
Tweet of the day
Rays LHP David Price (@David Price14), when asked: "How you feeling about your boy James Shields might get traded?" Price said later he wasn't kidding: "Let it be known."
Number of the day
Rookies used by the Rays, including eight pitchers. The team record is 16, set in the 100-loss 2001 season.