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Tampa Bay Rays: Trip of the day; Back to the old days; Quote of the day

Trip of the day

Rays manager Joe Maddon, third-base coach Tom Foley, bullpen coach Bobby Ramos and RHP Kyle Farnsworth, as well as the Rays radio broadcasters, will visit Tampa's MacDill Air Force Base from 10 a.m. to noon today. It's a prelude to a celebration the Rays will hold at the April 16 game vs. the Twins for MacDill's 70th birthday.

Back to the old days

LHP Cesar Ramos was happy he got to switch from No. 55 to No. 27 (once LF Sam Fuld went from No. 27 to No. 5). After all, Ramos said he wore 27 in high school and at Long Beach State. He said he has only been able to wear it once in his professional career, including the minor leagues with the Padres. "Every year, the pitching coach had it," Ramos said. "If I'd go up a level, he'd go up, too."

Quote of the day

"We know we're going to hit. We know we're going to come back and do better. It was just a tough way to start the first series."

Ben Zobrist, on starting the season 0-3

The dish

Rays vs. Angels

When/where: 6:40 tonight; Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg

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

Probable pitchers

Rays: RHP Jeff Niemann (12-8, 4.39 in 2010)

Angels: RHP Jered Weaver (13-12, 3.01 in 2010)

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

Rays information: Toll-free 1-888-326-7297 (FAN-RAYS)

Watch for …

Standing tall: Niemann is hoping to build off a strong finish last season, when he righted himself after a DL stint for a shoulder strain. He is 1-2, 9.38 in five career starts against the Angels.

Ace in hole: Weaver is coming off a strong opening-day start, allowing two hits over 6 1/3 innings in a win over the Royals. He is 3-1 with a 2.45 ERA in five career starts against Tampa Bay.

Key matchups

Angels vs. Niemann

Bobby Abreu 2-for-13, HR

Vernon Wells 2-for-21

Howie Kendrick 5-for-8

Rays vs. Weaver

Johnny Damon 4-for-28

Manny Ramirez 4-for-15

B.J. Upton 3-for-11

Did you know?

Of the last 40 teams to make the playoffs, just one began the season 0-3 (the 2007 Phillies), according to research by ESPN.com

List of the day

All-time RBI leaders

13. Ted Williams 1,839

14. Ken Griffey Jr. 1,836

15. Rafael Palmeiro 1,835

16. Alex Rodriguez 1,835

17. Dave Winfield 1,833

18. Manny Ramirez 1,831

On deck

Wednesday: vs. Angels, 1:10, Sun Sports. Rays — Jeremy Hellickson (4-0, 3.47); Angels — Dan Haren (12-12, 3.91)

Thursday: at White Sox, 2:10, Sun Sports. Rays — David Price (0-1, 5.14); White Sox — Edwin Jackson (1-0, 3.00)

Friday: at White Sox, 8:10, FSN. Rays — James Shields (0-1, 2.45); White Sox — John Danks (15-11, 3.72 in 2010)

Tampa Bay Rays: Trip of the day; Back to the old days; Quote of the day 04/04/11 [Last modified: Monday, April 4, 2011 9:18pm]
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