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Rays Report

Tampa Bay Rays: Pitcher Jeremy Hellickson looking forward to hitting; manager Joe Maddon, not so much

Rays at Brewers

When/where: 8:10 tonight; Miller Park, Milwaukee

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

Starting pitchers

RAYS: RH Jeremy Hellickson (7-5, 3.09)

BREWERS: RH Zack Greinke (6-2, 5.23)

Watch for …

Joltin' Jeremy: Hellickson made just one mistake in his last start vs. Boston, but it was a big one, a three-run HR to Kevin Youkilis. He has pitched well overall, though also benefitting from run support: He is 10-1 when the Rays score three or more.

Z is for Zack: Greinke, the former Royal, had won five straight before a rough outing last week in Chicago; the Brewers are 7-2 in his starts since he came off the DL. He is 1-4, 3.58 in 11 games (eight starts) against the Rays.

Key matchups

Rays vs. Greinke

Johnny Damon 8-for-25

Casey Kotchman 0-for-11

B.J. Upton 3-for-16

Brewers vs. Hellickson

Yuniesky Betancourt 0-for-1

On deck

Wednesday: at Brewers, 2:10, Sun Sports. Rays — David Price (7-6, 3.61); Brewers — TBA

Thursday: Off

Friday: at Astros, 8:10, Sun Sports. Rays — James Shields (7-4, 2.40); Astros — Wandy Rodriguez (5-3, 2.88)

Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

Challenge of the day

The last time RHP Jeremy Hellickson batted in a game was six years ago, for his Des Moines (Iowa) Hoover High team in the season finale against Urbandale. Tonight, he'll step in again — against Brewers ace and 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner RHP Zack Greinke. "I've been looking forward to hitting," Hellickson said. "Just not against a Cy Young winner. But it'll be fun."

Related quote of the day

"Nightmarish."

Manager Joe Maddon, on what it will be like for Hellickson to bat tonight.

Number of the day

38 Stadiums the Rays have now played in, with an 11-24 record in their first road visits (plus 2-1 in their three "home" parks — the Trop, Disney and the Tokyo Dome).

Tampa Bay Rays: Pitcher Jeremy Hellickson looking forward to hitting; manager Joe Maddon, not so much 06/20/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 21, 2011 12:23am]
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