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Rays Report

Tampa Bay Rays: Tampa mayor takes swings in cage; Seminole High grad Billy Norris returns with musical act

Rays vs. Mariners

When/where: 7:10 tonight; Tropicana Field

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

Tickets: $17-$275, available at Tropicana Field box office, Ticketmaster, raysbaseball.com, team Tampa store; $3 surcharge within five hours of game time

Promotion: Gavin DeGraw postgame concert

Probable pitchers

Rays:

RH Alex Cobb (4-6, 4.92)

Mariners:

LH Jason Vargas (9-7, 4.09)

On Cobb: He has lost three of his past four starts, allowing 32 hits in 22⅓ innings in that span. He has made one start against the Mariners, a loss last season in which he gave up three runs over 6⅓ innings July 30 in Seattle.

On Vargas: He has won back-to-back starts, including allowing three runs over six innings to beat the Royals last time out. He is 1-3 with a 3.82 ERA in six career appearances (five starts) against the Rays.

Key matchups

Rays vs. Vargas

Hideki Matsui 7-for-25, 3 HR

Ben Zobrist 7-for-17

Carlos Peña 1-for-8

Mariners vs. Cobb

Dustin Ackley 2-for-3, HR

Chone Figgins 1-for-2

Ichiro Suzuki 1-for-3

Number of the day

11-3 Rays record against the AL West this season, the best record in the majors against that division.

On deck

Sunday: vs. Mariners, 1:40, Sun Sports. Rays — Matt Moore (6-6, 4.39); Mariners — Blake Beavan (4-6, 6.06)

Monday: Off

Guest of the day

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, at Tropicana Field on Friday to film his weekly TV show, shook off the rust and took swings in batting practice. "I don't think I've been in the batting cage in 40 years," said Buckhorn, 53. "I did the best I could given my limited skills and advanced age." Buckhorn has previously thrown out the first pitch before a Rays game. He joked: "I asked (manager Joe) Maddon for a one-day contract; he wasn't too keen on that."

Local flavor

Tonight's postgame Gavin DeGraw concert features a familiar face: Billy Norris. The Seminole High graduate, who first gained fame as a kid doing movie reviews for the Times, is now an accomplished musician, serving as guitarist, vocalist and musical director for DeGraw. On Friday, Norris tweeted: "Couldn't be more stoked to play a hometown show for my hometown team tomorrow night!"

Number of the day

10-3 Rays record against the AL West this season, entering Friday, the best record in the majors against that division

Tampa Bay Rays: Tampa mayor takes swings in cage; Seminole High grad Billy Norris returns with musical act 07/20/12 [Last modified: Saturday, July 21, 2012 12:36am]
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