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Tampa Bay Rays news and notes: B.J. holds key to Upton brothers milestone; dwindling playoff chances

Rays vs. Red Sox

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

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

Starting pitchers:

Rays

RH Wade Davis (9-9, 4.50)

Red Sox

RH John Lackey (12-11, 6.11)

Watch for ...

Wading in: Davis is coming off a win against Baltimore and has been pitching well at home, with a 2.89 ERA and six quality starts over his past seven at the Trop. He is 0-2 with an 11.12 ERA in three starts vs. Boston.

Something lacking: Lackey battles but without much success given the highest ERA (6.61) and OPS (.852) for all pitchers with 140 innings, plus a .302 average. He is 12-5, 3.81 vs. the Rays, though 4-3, 5.98 at the Trop.

Key matchups

Rays vs. Lackey

Reid Brignac 6-for-17

Johnny Damon 24-for-65

Ben Zobrist 7-for-19

Red Sox vs. Davis

David Ortiz 2-for-5 HR

Dustin Pedroia 3-for-7

Marco Scutaro 0-for-5

On deck

Saturday: vs. Red Sox, 7:10 Sun Sports. Rays — Jeremy Hellickson (12-10, 2.90); Red Sox — Kyle Weiland (0-1, 6.75)

Sunday: vs. Red Sox, 1:40 Sun Sports. Rays — James Shields (14-10, 2.77); Red Sox — Jon Lester (15-6, 2.93)

Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

Quote of the day

"If we could get ourselves within striking distance, then I think people are going to start feeling our breath."

Joe Maddon, Rays manager

Milestone hunt

With his next home run, B.J. Upton, above left, and D'backs OF Justin will become the first brothers in MLB history to have 20 homer-20-steal performances in the same season. They'll be the seventh set of siblings with 20 homers each, joining these bash brothers:

Aaron/Bret Boone 2002-03

Brian/Marcus Giles 2003

Jason/Jeremy Giambi 2002

Carlos/Lee May 1973

Bob/Irish Meusel 1925

Joe/Vince DiMaggio 1941



Number of the day

1 .4

Percent chance of Rays making the playoffs, per CoolStandings.com, based on computer simulations.

Tampa Bay Rays news and notes: B.J. holds key to Upton brothers milestone; dwindling playoff chances 09/08/11 [Last modified: Thursday, September 8, 2011 9:32pm]
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