Quote of the day
"It's just a nice little bear hug just like the one you get from your grandpa."
James Shields, offering further explanation of the hugging ritual between him and David Price
Rays at Twins
When/where: 8:10 tonight; Target Field, Minneapolis
TV/radio: Sun Sports; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)
RH Wade Davis (2-2, 2.73)
LH Francisco Liriano (1-3, 7.40)
Watch for …
Wading in: Davis beat the Twins at home April 15 and the White Sox on April 20, allowing one run over seven innings both time, working with less velocity and more command. His prior start at Target Field didn't go well as he allowed three homers, two to Jim Thome. Overall he is 1-0, 5.71 in three starts vs. the Twins.
Frank approach: Liriano hasn't been as sharp as during his 13-10, 3.62 2010 season, but he's getting there based on his last outing in Baltimore on Monday. A Friday rainout pushed him back until tonight, and for good reason: He is 2-1, 2.16 in five starts vs. the Rays.
Rays vs. Liriano
Kelly Shoppach 4-for-14
B.J. Upton 4-for-11
Ben Zobrist 1-for-7
Twins vs. Davis
Michael Cuddyer 2-for-8
Jim Thome 2-for-4, 2 HRs
Delmon Young 3-for-8
Wednesday: at Twins, 8:10, Sun Sports. Rays — Jeff Niemann (0-3, 7.08); Twins — Nick Blackburn (1-3. 4.01)
Thursday: at Twins, 1:10, Sun Sports. Rays — Jeremy Hellickson (1-2, 4.32); Twins — Scott Baker (1-2, 3.24)
Friday: vs. Angels, 7:10, Sun Sports. Rays — David Price (3-2, 3.19); Angels — Ervin Santana (0-3, 5.51)
Saturday: vs. Angels, 1:10, Ch. 13. Rays — James Shields (2-1, 2.35); Angels — Jered Weaver (5-0, 1.23)
1B Dan Johnson said he greatly enjoys playing at home in Minnesota (which he last did in 2007 with Oakland) and seeing all the friends and relatives who come out to the games. It was just paying for the tickets that was a bit problematic and something he won't do again. "It crushed me," he said. "I think we left 200-some tickets one game and 175 another. So it ended up being like a lot — especially when it's coming out of your paycheck."
Rankings of the day
2-3-13 Rays ranks among AL teams in fielding percentage, ERA and batting average.
Damon's hit list
A look at where Johnny Damon stands on the all-time list:
75. Steve Garvey 2,599
76. Ed Delahanty 2,593
77. Luis Gonzalez 2,591
78. Johnny Damon2,590
79. Julio Franco 2,586
80. Reggie Jackson 2,584
Source: Stats, Inc.
First things first
Remember that talk a couple of weeks ago about the Rays hitters being more aggressive earlier in the count? Well, it has worked out pretty well. While the Rays rank 27th overall in the majors with a .227 average, when they put the first pitch in play, they have a .391 average, tied with the Royals for second in the majors behind the Brewers (.394). The problem? On all other pitches, the Rays are hitting .205.