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Rays Report

Tampa Bay Rays: Toronto Blue Jays creeping up from behind; Evan Longoria beats David Price in Twitter contest

Rays vs. Jays

When/where: 7:10 tonight; Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg

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

Tickets: $9-$210 at box office, Ticketmaster, raysbaseball.com, team store in Tampa; $3 surcharge within five hours of game.

Starting pitchers:

Rays: LH David Price (9-9, 3.76)

Jays: LH Ricky Romero (8-9, 3.08)

Watch for …

Price check: Price is coming off a rough July in which he went 1-3, 5.04 in five starts. On the other hand, he is 8-0, 1.99 in nine career starts vs. Toronto, beating them most recently on May 5 at the Trop.

Mr. Ricky: Romero is the Jays' ace, with 15 quality starts in 21 outings, including 18 Ks in his last two games, though he, too, had a tough July, going 1-2, 4.31. He is 3-3, 3.69 in seven starts vs. the Rays.

Key matchups

Rays vs. Romero

Johnny Damon 7-for-13, HR

Evan Longoria 4-for-11

Ben Zobrist 7-for-18

Jays vs. Price

Jose Bautista 8-for-19, 3 HRs

Aaron Hill 4-for-20

Adam Lind 6-for-27

On deck

Wednesday: Blue Jays, 7:10 p.m., Sun Sports. Rays — James Shields (9-9, 3.03); Jays — Carlos Villanueva (6-2, 3.60)

Thursday: Blue Jays, 12:10 p.m., Sun Sports. Rays — Wade Davis (8-7, 4.62); Jays — Brett Cecil (4-4, 4.34)

Friday: A's, 7:10 p.m., Sun Sports. Rays — Jeff Niemann (5-4, 3.51); A's — Guillermo Moscoso (4-5, 3.41)

Saturday: A's, 7:10 p.m., Sun Sports. Rays — Alex Cobb (3-1, 2.79); A's — Brandon McCarthy (4-5, 3.58)

Race of the day

The Rays are still looking to catch the first-place Red Sox and wild-card leading Yankees (and next-in-line Angels), but if they look down they'll see they're just 1½ games ahead of the fourth-place Jays. The Rays haven't been lower than third place post-All-Star break since 2007.

Contest of the day

3B Evan Longoria, left, and LHP David Price held a contest on Twitter last week to see who could increase their total of followers to 53,000 first. Longoria won, but Price figured he had a built-in advantage that boost his appeal: "He has commercials."

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Race of the day

The Rays are still looking to catch the first-place Red Sox and wild-card-leading Yankees (and next-in-line Angels), but if they look down they'll see they're just 1½ games ahead of the fourth-place Jays. The Rays haven't been lower than third place post-All-Star break since 2007.

Contest of the day

3B Evan Longoria and LHP David Price held a contest on Twitter last week to see who could increase his total of followers to 53,000 first. Longoria won, but Price figured he had a built-in advantage that boosts his appeal: "He has commercials."

Damon hit list

A look at Johnny Damon's climb up the all-time list:

No. Player Hits

63. Fred Clarke 2,703

64. Gary Sheffield 2,689

65. George Davis 2,683

66. Johnny Damon 2,678

67. Luis Aparicio 2,677

Tampa Bay Rays: Toronto Blue Jays creeping up from behind; Evan Longoria beats David Price in Twitter contest 08/01/11 [Last modified: Monday, August 1, 2011 9:20pm]
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