Rays vs. Royals
When/where: 7:10 tonight; Tropicana Field
TV/radio: Sun Sports; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)
Tickets: $9-210, available at Tropicana Field box office, Ticketmaster, raysbaseball.com, team Tampa store; $3 surcharge within 5 hours of game time.
Rays: RH Jeremy Hellickson (7-8, 3.39)
Royals: LH Will Smith (4-4, 5.09)
On Hellickson: Hard-luck loser in Wednesday's perfect game, but did work seven innings for first time since May 27. Winless in last seven home starts (since May 16), with a 5.45 ERA. Beat Royals in one 2011 start.
On Smith: Has been better since mid-July recall from minors, 3-2, 3.69 in six starts, with four quality starts in last five. Was 4-4, 3.61 in 15 games at Triple-A Omaha. First start vs. Rays.
Rays vs. Smith
None have faced
Royals vs. Hellickson
Billy Butler 1-for-3
Alex Gordon 1-for-4
Eric Hosmer 1-for-3
Tuesday: vs. Royals, 7:10, Sun Sports. Rays — David Price (16-4, 2.39); Royals — Luke Hochevar (7-11, 5.24)
Wednesday: vs. Royals, 1:10, Sun Sports. Rays — James Shields (11-7, 4.03); Royals — Luis Mendoza (7-8, 4.36)
Thursday: vs. A's, 7:10, Sun Sports. Rays — Alex Cobb (7-8, 4.74); A's — TBA
Marc Topkin, Times staff writer
Description of the day
"It's like the right tackle vs. maybe the outside linebacker."
Manager Joe Maddon, describing a collision between C Jose Molina and 1B Carlos Peña while chasing a pop-up.
Speculation of the day
"I know he's playing video games; he's online trying to beat up on an 8-year-old. Or he's trying to work on his tan."
LHP J.P. Howell on how RHP Jeremy Hellickson, who flew home ahead of the team, spent his free Sunday.
AL race for wild cards
Team W L Pct. GB
Tampa Bay 67 54 .554—
Baltimore 66 55 .545—
Oakland 65 55 .5421/2
Detroit 64 57 .529 2
Los Angeles 62 60 .508 41/2
Shocking stat of the day
Steals by C Jose Molina, one fewer than OF Matt Joyce.