Rays Report

Tampa Bay Rays: Stunt plane ride no picnic for Evan Longoria; equipment manager prepared for the cold

Rays at Tigers

When/where: 1:05 p.m. today; Comerica Park, Detroit.

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

Probable pitchers

RAYS:

RHP James Shields (0-0, 10.80)

TIGERS:

RHP Justin Verlander (0-0, 0.00)

Watch for …

Bounce back: Shields said he feels better after slight mechanical adjustments following his rough opening day performance. He is 4-0, 3.74 in seven starts vs. the Tigers, the only team he hasn't lost to.

Encore performance: Verlander, who won the AL Cy Young and MVP awards, started strong, with eight shutout innings vs. the Red Sox. He is 6-10, 3.60 in 10 starts vs. the Rays, allowing a .240 average.

Key matchups

Rays vs. Verlander

Matt Joyce 6-for-11, 2 HRs

Evan Longoria 6-for-21, HR

Carlos Peña 5-for-16, HR

Tigers vs. Shields

M. Cabrera 8-for-19, HR

J. Peralta8-for-16, 3 HRs

R. Santiago 5-for-12

On deck

Thursday: at Tigers, 1:05 p.m., Sun Sports. Rays — Jeff Niemann (11-7, 4.06 in 2011); Tigers — Drew Smyly (ML debut)

Friday: at Red Sox, 2:05, Sun Sports. Rays — David Price (1-0, 2.84); Red Sox — Josh Beckett (0-1, 13.50)

Marc Topkin. Times staff writer

Thrill ride of the day

3B Evan Longoria was indeed as uncomfortable as he looked — "Every ounce of it" — in a video released Tuesday by Red Bull of a stunt-filled plane ride over Tampa Bay during spring training. "You could kind of tell on my face at the end, I was ready to get on the ground," he said. "I was pretty nervous." On the video — available at tampabay.com/blogs/rays — Longoria says he blacked out at one point, as the plane did a series of rolls, spins and tail-over-nose cartwheels, and was relieved he didn't throw up. Also, "I thought we were going down." He said he had team permission to do the flight and video.

Number of the day

42 Degrees at first pitch

MVP of the day

The most popular man in the Rays clubhouse before the game was equipment manager Chris Westmoreland, who had an assortment of four cold-weather hats for the players and coaches to pick from: light- and heavyweight toques (ski caps), a ski mask, and the "Elmer Fudd" — a Rays cap with ear flaps.

Meet the Rays at tampabay.com

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Tampa Bay Rays: Stunt plane ride no picnic for Evan Longoria; equipment manager prepared for the cold 04/10/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 10, 2012 8:44pm]

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