Rays at Twins
When/where: 1:10 and 8:10 today, Target Field, Minneapolis
TV/radio: Sun Sports; 620-AM for first game, 970-AM and 680-AM (Spanish) for second game
Starting pitchers, Game 1
Rays: RH Jeremy Hellickson (1-2, 4.32)
Twins: RH Nick Blackburn (1-3. 4.01)
Watch for ...
Third look: Hellickson makes his third start vs. Twins, having gone 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA. He hasn't faced any other team more than once.
Burned: Blackburn has had problems with the Rays, posting a 2-3, 6.41 career mark, including a rough start at the Trop on April 15.
Rays vs. Blackburn
Johnny Damon8-for-25, 2 HR
Kelly Shoppach8-for-15, 3 HR
Twins vs. Hellickson
Jason Kubel3-for-5, 2 HR
Starting pitchers, Game 2
Rays: RH Jeff Niemann (0-3, 7.08)
Twins: RH Anthony Swarzak (0-0, 0.00)
Standing tall: Niemann has not been sharp since going on the DL in August with a 1-8, 8.94 mark in 11 games.
Shuffled deck: The Twins were going to start Scott Baker. Then it was Eric Hacker before he pitched Wednesday. Now it's Swarzak, who will make his first appearance since 2009, when he went 3-7, 6.25 in 12 starts.
Twins vs. Niemann
Jim Thome1-for-9, HR
Contest of the day
The legend just keeps growing. Ferg's Sports Bar and Grill, located across from the Trop, is hosting a Sam Fuld look-a-like contest from 7 to 9 tonight with four tickets to Friday's game as first prize. "Tell people to wear their capes," owner Mark Ferguson said.
Big deal of the day
Not that they're too excited to have 3B Evan Longoria rehabbing at Double-A Montgomery this weekend, but the Biscuits are opening the stadium gates nearly two hours earlier than normal — at 4 p.m. today and Friday — and opening some concession stands for the sole purpose of allowing fans to watch him take batting practice.
Damon's hit list
Where Johnny Damon stands on the all-time list:
75. Steve Garvey2,599
76. Ed Delahanty2,593
77. Johnny Damon2,591
77. Luis Gonzalez2,591
79. Julio Franco2,586
80. Reggie Jackson2,584
Source: Stats Inc.
Best April records after an 0-6 start:
* Through Tuesday