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Tampa Bay Rays news and notes: Shutout month, catcher has eventful week

Rays at Blue Jays

When/where: 1:07 today; Rogers Centre, Toronto

TV/radio: No TV; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

Probable pitchers

Rays: RH Jeff Niemann (2-3, 3.38)

Jays: RH Henderson Alvarez (7-11, 4.97)

On Niemann: He was reinstated from DL and starts at the scene of the broken leg that sidelined him for 3½ months. He made four rehab starts (6.91 ERA), so he should go 90 or so pitches. He is 4-4 with a 5.04 ERA in 13 starts against the Jays.

On Alvarez: He is in a slump, going 0-4 with a 7.77 ERA over his last five starts, allowing 52 baserunners (40 hits, 12 walks) in 24 1/3 innings. He has struggled against the Rays, going 0-4, 6.08 in four starts.

Key matchups

Rays VS. Alvarez

Desmond Jennings 3-for-7, 2 HR

Evan Longoria 6-for-9, 3 HR

Ben Zobrist 5-for-12

Jays VS. Niemann

Edwin Encarnacion 1-for-12

Yunel Escobar 1-for-12

Adam Lind 13-for-29, 3 HR

On deck

Sunday: at Blue Jays, 1:07, Sun Sports. Rays — David Price (16-5, 2.53); Jays — Ricky Romero (8-12, 5.50)

Monday: vs. Yankees, 1:10, Sun Sports. Rays — James Shields (12-8. 3.91); Yankees — CC Sabathia (13-4. 3.40)

Tuesday: vs. Yankees, 7:10, Sun Sports. Rays — Alex Cobb (8-8, 4.39); Yankees — Freddy Garcia (7-5, 4.90)

Wednesday: vs. Yankees, 7:10, Sun Sports. Rays — Matt Moore (10-8, 3.58); Yankees — Hideki Kuroda (12-9, 2.98)

Rays disabled list

(with eligible-to-return date)

C Robinson Chirinos, concussion, 60-day, June 5

*OF Brandon Guyer, left shoulder surgery, 60-day, July 13

RHP Jeff Niemann, right leg fracture, 60-day, July 14

* out for season

Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

Stat of the day


Games lost by the Rays when allowing one or two runs, most in the majors

More blanking history

With six shutouts in August, the Rays are the first team to be blanked six or more times in a calendar month and have a winning record for that month (17-11 after Friday's loss) since the Reds in August 1985 (six, 15-14), and the first American League team since the Yankees in May 1973 (six, 15-13).

A big, big week

It turned out to be an eventful time for C Chris Gimenez, who on Thursday was told he was being called up to the big leagues and a few days before that found out he had a fan club, or at least that there was a Twitter account named as such: @CGimenezFanClub. "It doesn't get any better than that," said Gimenez, who admitted to checking with his wife, Kellie, to make sure she wasn't behind it.

AL East

Team W L Pct. GB

New York 75 56 .573—

Baltimore 73 58 .557 2

Tampa Bay 71 61 .538 41/2

Boston 62 71 .466 14

Toronto 60 71 .458 15

AL race for wild cards

Team W L Pct. GB

Oakland 74 57 .565—

Baltimore 73 58 .557—

Tampa Bay 71 61 .538 21/2

Detroit 70 61 .534 3

Los Angeles 70 62 .530 31/2

Top two wild cards make postseason; GB is games behind second wild card

Tampa Bay Rays news and notes: Shutout month, catcher has eventful week 08/31/12 [Last modified: Saturday, September 1, 2012 1:26am]
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