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Tampa Bay Rays news and notes: Johnny Damon's fundraiser success; pregame Women's World Cup final watch party

Rays vs. Yankees

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

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

Starting pitchers:

Rays:

RH Alex Cobb (2-0, 3.41)

Yankees:

RH A.J. Burnett (8-7, 4.15)

Tickets: $17-$275 at box office, Ticketmaster, raysbaseball.com, team store in Tampa.

Watch for …

Stepping up: Cobb impressed in his previous stint in the majors this season, winning two of his past three starts. He has been tough on lefties, holding them to a .196 batting average in five starts.

One more time: Burnett will make his second consecutive start vs. the Rays, having allowed three runs over 5⅔ innings in a July 9 no-decision. He is 12-8 with a 3.41 ERA in 27 career starts vs. Tampa Bay.

Key matchups

Rays vs. Burnett

J. Damon 5-for-28, 2 HRs

Evan Longoria 13-for-38, HR

B.J. Upton 9-for-41, HR

Yankees vs. Cobb

Has never faced

On deck

Tuesday: vs. Yankees, 7:10, Sun Sports. Rays — Jeremy Hellickson (8-7, 3.21); Yankees — Bartolo Colon (6-5, 3.47)

Wednesday: vs. Yankees, 7:10, Sun Sports. Rays — David Price (9-7, 3.73); Yankees — Freddy Garcia (7-7, 3.43)

Digging Damon's wine

DH Johnny Damon's charity event, "Uncork for a Cause," on Saturday at the Vinoy raised $10,000, with a lot of supporters showing up, including several Rays and Red Sox DH David Ortiz. Bottles of 2007 Johnny Damon red wine from Napa Valley were sold, with proceeds supporting the families of the three St. Petersburg police officers who died recently in the line of duty. Damon met Lorraine Yaslowitz, wife of officer Jeffrey Yaslowitz. "She had a good time," he said. "That … was very important."

Fans of the day

Before throwing his between-starts bullpen session, LHP David Price hollered up to the press box to have the Women's World Cup soccer game put on the stadium video board, and the whole team later paused on the field during warmups to watch the final penalty kicks.

Show of the day

Acrobats and clowns from La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil put together an impressive display of acro-gymnastics and juggling before Sunday's game. That included a ceremonial first pitch, which began with juggling several baseballs before throwing a strike to RHP Brandon Gomes. The group had previously performed at a game June 27 in San Diego.

Tampa Bay Rays news and notes: Johnny Damon's fundraiser success; pregame Women's World Cup final watch party 07/17/11 [Last modified: Monday, July 18, 2011 1:53am]
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