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Rays Report

Tampa Bay Rays news and notes: Good luck charm thanks to David Price's dog Astro; not-so-good luck charm for Evan Longoria

Rays at Red Sox

When/where: 4:10 today; Fenway Park, Boston

TV/radio: Ch. 13; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

Starting pitchers:

Rays

RH Jeff Niemann (10-7, 3.97)

Red Sox

LH Jon Lester (15-7, 3.07)

Watch for …

Standing tall: Niemann is coming off a solid start at Baltimore, having lost his previous two to Texas. He is 1-0, 1.06 in two starts vs. Boston this season, allowing just a .089 average (5-for-56), and 3-2, 3.24 overall.

Leaning left: Lester lasted only four innings vs. the Rays on Sunday, throwing 111 pitches, and two starts before that five innings/114 pitches vs. Yankees. He is 1-2, 4.00 against the Rays this season, 10-5, 3.83 for his career.

Key matchups

Rays vs. LESTER

Johnny Damon 9-for-30, 2 HRs

Evan Longoria 8-for-35, HR

B.J. Upton 9-for-47, 2 HRs

Red Sox vs. NIEMANN

Jacoby Ellsbury 1-for-11, HR

David Ortiz2-for-9, HR

Marco Scutaro3-for-18

On deck

Sunday: at Red Sox, 1:35, Sun Sports. Rays — David Price (12-12, 3.34); Red Sox — Tim Wakefield (7-6, 5.13)

Monday: Off

Tuesday: at Yankees, 7:05, Sun Sports. Rays — Wade Davis (10-9, 4.41); Yankees — TBA

Wednesday: at Yankees, 1:05 and 7:05, Sun Sports. Rays — James Shields (15-10, 2.70) and Jeremy Hellickson (13-10, 2.91); Yankees — TBA

Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

Good luck charm of the day

Rays LHP David Price — who clearly has too much free time — has taken to placing one of the small promotional figurines of his dog Astro on the dugout roof. "He's a good (luck) charm," Price said. "I hope he gets us about 25 more wins this year." When it rained Thursday, Price used a cup to make a "doghouse" for him. "Can't have him get sick," Price said.

Not-so-good luck charm of the day

On deck in the eighth inning Thursday, Rays 3B Evan Longoria was chatting with fans when a college-age woman handed him a small figurine of a returning sailor that was supposed to bring him good luck. Longoria put it in his back pocket then the dugout, but he struck out when he led off the next inning. "It wasn't very good luck for me," Longoria said, "so I gave it back to her."

Tampa Bay Rays news and notes: Good luck charm thanks to David Price's dog Astro; not-so-good luck charm for Evan Longoria 09/17/11 [Last modified: Saturday, September 17, 2011 12:22am]

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