Rays Report

Tampa Bay Rays news and notes: Cheryl Tiegs provides a flashback moment for manager Joe Maddon; James Shields lands second consecutive Roberto Clemente Award nomination

Rays vs. Blue Jays

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

TV/radio: MLB Network; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

Tickets: $17-$275, available at the stadium box office, Ticketmaster and raysbaseball.com.

Promotion: Postgame concert by Miranda Lambert

Starting pitchers:

Rays:

RH Jeff Niemann (11-7, 3.95)

Blue Jays:

LH Ricky Romero (15-10, 2.98)

Watch for …

Standing tall: Niemann, whose start was pushed back two days due to upper-back soreness, has won his past two outings. He is 4-3 with a 5.03 ERA in 10 career starts against the Blue Jays.

Leaning left: Romero has been on a good roll, having won seven of his past 10 outings, and is coming off a complete game in his last start, a no-decision against the Angels. He is 3-1 with a 2.25 ERA in four starts this season against the Rays.

Key matchups

Blue Jays vs. Niemann

Jose Bautista3-for-17

Kelly Johnson2-for-6

Mark Teahen3-for-10, HR

Rays vs. Romero

Johnny Damon9-for-20, 3 HRs

Evan Longoria5-for-16

Kelly Shoppach0-for-12

On deck

Sunday: vs. Blue Jays, 1:40, Sun Sports. Rays — Wade Davis (10-10, 4.55); Blue Jays — Brett Cecil (4-10, 4.56)

Monday: vs. Yankees, 7:10, Sun Sports. Rays — James Shields (15-12, 2.84); Yankees — TBA

Tuesday: vs. Yankees, 7:10, Sun Sports. Rays — Jeremy Hellickson (13-10, 2.90); Yankees — TBA

Joe Smith, Times staff writer

Honor of the day

RHP James Shields will be recognized in a pregame presentation today for his second consecutive Roberto Clemente Award nomination, recognizing a player who best represents the game of baseball through positive contributions on and off the field.

Flashback of the day

Cheryl Tiegs, 64, one of America's first supermodels, threw out the ceremonial first pitch Friday. Rays manager Joe Maddon recalled his "Cheryl Tiegs Moment" happened in the late 1970s while he was a minor-leaguer in Salinas, Calif. The team was raffling off a poster of Tiegs in a pink bikini, an iconic 1970s pop culture image, and Maddon's No. 20 was called. "I run from the bullpen, up the steps to the press box during the game and got my Cheryl Tiegs poster. So No. 20 was a lucky number. (The poster) was on the wall for many years."

Tampa Bay Rays news and notes: Cheryl Tiegs provides a flashback moment for manager Joe Maddon; James Shields lands second consecutive Roberto Clemente Award nomination 09/24/11 [Last modified: Saturday, September 24, 2011 12:43am]

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