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Tampa Bay Rays news and notes: Joe Maddon says don't count Rays out yet; Desmond Jennings' two homers find place in MLB postseason history

ALDS (best of 5) Rays vs. Rangers

When/where: 2:07 today; Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg

TV/radio: TBS; 620-AM, 1040-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

Tickets: $30-370; limited number available via raysbaseball.com, Ticketmaster, Tropicana Field box office, Tampa team store. Gates open at 11:30.

Starting pitchers

Rays: RH Jeremy Hellickson (13-10, 2.95)

RaNGERs: LH Matt Harrison (14-9, 3.39)

Watch for …

Jeremy the kid: Hellickson, a strong AL rookie of the year candidate, makes his postseason debut. He lost his only start to the Rangers, allowing two runs in 6 IP on Aug. 30 in Texas.

Going to the Matt: Harrison, 26, won 16 in his first three seasons, battling injuries. Healthy this year, he won 14. He is 1-0, 1.29 in four appearances (one start) vs. Rays.

Key matchups

Rays VS. HARRISON

Johnny Damon 5-for-10

Casey Kotchman 0-for-7

Ben Zobrist 1-for-7

RaNGERs VS. HELLICKSON

Josh Hamilton2-for-3, HR

Ian Kinsler 0-for-4

Michael Young 1-for-3

On deck

Wednesday: Workout day at Rangers Ballpark, Arlington

Thursday: Game 5 (if necessary), at Rangers, 5:07 or 8:07, TBS. Rays — James Shields (16-12, 2.82; 0-1, 12.60); Rangers — C.J. Wilson (16-7, 2.94; 0-1, 10.80)

Quote of the day

"Believe me, this thing is not over."

Rays manager Joe Maddon

High praise of the day

"This is the year of the Napoli."

Rays manager Joe Maddon, on the Rangers catcher, a former Angels player when Maddon coached there, who is 4-for-7 in the past two games

Double trouble

Rays LF Desmond Jennings is one of seven rookies to hit two homers in a postseason game, the first to do so from the leadoff spot. The list:

Player, team Situation

Charlie Keller, Yankees 1939 WS, Game 3

Tony Kubek, Yankees 1957 WS, Game 3

Willie McGee, Cardinals 1982 WS, Game 3

Chipper Jones, Braves 1995 NLDS, Game 1

Andruw Jones, Braves 1996 WS, Game 1

Evan Longoria, Rays 2008 ALDS, Game 1

Desmond Jennings, Rays 2011 ALDS, Game 3

Tampa Bay Rays news and notes: Joe Maddon says don't count Rays out yet; Desmond Jennings' two homers find place in MLB postseason history 10/03/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 4, 2011 12:08am]
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