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Rays Report

Tampa Bay Rays news and notes

Quote of the day

"There will be a few 'Joe Nelson jeers' out there."

RHP Joe Nelson, on how many friends and family will be in the stands when the Rays travel to Oakland, with his former high school (St. Joseph's Notre Dame in Alameda) five minutes from the stadium

The ring is the thing

This West Coast trip will be extra special for LHP J.P. Howell. For one, it'll be the first time he and his fiancee, Heather Hennessy, who both grew up in Northern California, gather with their families since their March engagement. Howell also plans to present his father, Jim, with his AL championship ring. "I've just been giving out rings this year," Howell said, laughing.

Milestone of the day

Tonight will be Joe Maddon's 500th game as Rays manager, passing Larry Rothschild (499) for most in club history. Maddon also has the best winning percentage (.459, 229-270) of any Tampa Bay manager.

Joe Maddon499 (2006-present)

Larry Rothschild499 (1998-2001)

Lou Piniella485 (2003-2005)

Hal McRae309 (2001-02)

Number of the day I

12 Game hitting streak for 1B Carlos Peña

Number of the day 2

95% Success rate for stolen bases by the Rays, the best in the majors (19-of-20)

The dish

Rays at Mariners

When/where: 10:10; Safeco Field, Seattle

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

Probable pitchers:

Rays: RH Andy Sonnanstine (0-1, 6.52)

Mariners: LH Jarrod Washburn (2-0, 1.29)

Watch for …

Center stage: CF B.J. Upton left Sunday's game with a slightly strained right quadriceps but is expected back for this series. Will he be back in center tonight?

On point: LHP Jarrod Washburn is coming off two strong starts (both wins), having given up a combined two earned runs in 14 innings. He has fared well against the Rays, going 11-3 with a 2.60 ERA in 16 career starts. The Rays are 1-4 this season against left-handed starters.

Matchups: SS Jason Bartlett is 5-for-8 with two doubles against Washburn, LF Carl Crawford is 6-for-24, and Gabe Kapler is 3-for-14.

On deck

Wednesday: at Mariners, 10:10, FSN. Rays — Jeff Niemann (0-2, 6.35); Mariners — Chris Jakubauskas (1-1, 3.86)

Thursday: at Mariners, 6:40, Sun Sports. Rays — James Shields (2-1, 4.58); Mariners — Felix Hernandez (2-0, 4.26)

Tampa Bay Rays news and notes 04/20/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 21, 2009 7:51am]
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