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Rays Report

Tampa Bay Rays: Rays get their disco on; J.P. Howell, wife step up fight against diabetes

Rays vs. Orioles

When/where: 1:40 today; Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg

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

Starting pitchers

RAYS: RH Andy Sonnanstine (0-0, 2.87)

ORIOLES: RH Jake Arrieta (4-1, 4.17)

Tickets: $12-$255 at Tropicana Field box office, Ticketmaster, raysbaseball.com, team store in Tampa, $3 surcharge within five hours of game.

Promotion: Raymond pillow case to first 10,000 kids 14 and younger.

Watch for …

Sonny day: Sonnanstine makes his second start in place of injured Jeff Niemann, seeking improvement from Tuesday, when he lasted just 31/3 innings at Cleveland. In nine starts (13 appearances) against the O's, he is 3-4, 6.62.

No Jake-ing: Arrieta, a fifth-round pick in 2007, has a three-game winning streak over his past five starts. He faced the Rays twice in his 2010 rookie season, going 0-2, 6.35.

Key matchups

Rays vs. Arrieta

Matt Joyce 2-for-5, HR

Evan Longoria 1-for-6

B.J. Upton 2-for-5, HR

Orioles vs. Sonnanstine

Vlad Guerrero 5-for-10

Adam Jones 6-for-11, 3 HRs

Nick Markakis 5-for-22

On deck

Monday: vs. Yankees, 6:40, Sun Sports. Rays — David Price (5-3, 3.12); Yankees — A.J. Burnett (4-2, 3.38)

Tuesday: vs. Yankees, 6:40, Sun Sports. Rays — James Shields (4-1, 2.08); Yankees — Ivan Nova (3-3, 4.70)

Wednesday: at Blue Jays, 7:07, Sun Sports. Rays — Jeremy Hellickson (4-2, 2.98); Jays — Ricky Romero (3-4, 3.35)

Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

Dance party of the day

At the, um, choreography of manager Joe Maddon — "I just thought it was appropriate" — there's a new twist to victory celebrations in the Rays clubhouse: strobe lights and a portable disco ball to showcase players' dance moves, with David Price and Joel Peralta leading the way Friday. Some players initially were wondering why, but strength and conditioning coach Kevin Barr was said to put it best: "Why wouldn't we have a disco ball in our locker room; we're the Rays."

Charitable cause of the day

LHP J.P. Howell isn't just changing to No.  74 in tribute to Guy Dubets, his former pitching coach who died May 8 from diabetes at age 52. (The 7 is for the G, the 4 for the D.) Howell and his wife, Heather, are planning to start a charity to raise money for the fight against diabetes. "He helped so many young kids stay on track in life and never got credit," Howell said.

Tampa Bay Rays: Rays get their disco on; J.P. Howell, wife step up fight against diabetes 05/14/11 [Last modified: Saturday, May 14, 2011 9:30pm]
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