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Rays Report

Tampa Bay Rays news and notes: James Shields makes huge ERA improvement; David Price's love note; Brandon Guyer's wife has conflict, thanks to Bucs

Rays vs. Orioles

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

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

Starting pitchers:

Rays

LH David Price (12-11, 3.40)

Orioles

LH Zach Britton (8-9, 4.28)

Watch for ...

Price check: Price is coming off his team-record-setting 14-strikeout performance in Toronto and had a 3-2 record and 2.13 ERA in August. He is 4-1, 2.98 in seven starts vs. Baltimore, though 0-1, 5.54 in two this year.

Zach attack: Britton, 23, has had a decent rookie season and has won two straight, including a win over the Yankees in which he threw seven shutout innings. He is 1-1 with a 3.18 ERA in two starts vs. the Rays.

Key matchups

Rays vs. Britton

Elliot Johnson 2-for-5

Sean Rodriguez 1-for-5

B.J. Upton 1-for-5

Orioles vs. Price

Vladimir Guerrero 3-for-13

Adam Jones 3-for-17

Matt Wieters 5-for-13

On deck

Saturday: vs. Orioles, 6:10. No TV. Rays — Wade Davis (8-8, 4.52); Orioles — Alfredo Simon (4-7, 4.26)

Sunday: vs. Orioles, 1:40. Sun Sports. Rays — Jeremy Hellickson (11-9, 3.01); Orioles — Jeremy Guthrie (6-16, 4.42)

Monday: vs. Rangers, 1:10. Sun Sports. Rays — James Shields (13-10, 2.96); Rangers — TBA

Shields' ERA improvement

RHP James Shields is on pace for the third-largest year-to-year improvement in ERA since the start of divisional play in 1969:

Pitcher, years ERAs Diff.

Bert Blyleven, 1988-89 5.43-2.73 2.70

Darryl Kile, 1999-2000 6.61-3.91 2.70

James Shields, 2010-11 5.18-2.84 2.34

Mike Hampton, 2002-03 6.15-3.84 2.31

Frank Viola, 1983-84 5.49-3.21 2.28

Source: STATS Inc.

Job conflict

OF Brandon Guyer's wife, Lindsay Murphy, wasn't able to make it to Texas or even watch Thursday's game because she had to work. Her assignment as a sports anchor for Washington's Fox 5 TV station: covering the Bucs-Redskins game.

Message of the day

Before flying home early to prepare for tonight's start, LHP David Price left a message on the clubhouse whiteboard: Love you guys! Win tonight for me!!!

signed with a heart, #14

Tampa Bay Rays news and notes: James Shields makes huge ERA improvement; David Price's love note; Brandon Guyer's wife has conflict, thanks to Bucs 09/02/11 [Last modified: Friday, September 2, 2011 12:30am]

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