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Rays Report

Tampa Bay Rays vs. Minnesota Twins matchups; nod to MacDill Air Force Base; Rays to pick early, often in draft,

Rays vs. Twins

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

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

Starting pitchers

Rays

RH Wade Davis (0-2, 4.38)

Twins

RH Nick Blackburn (1-1, 0.77)

Tickets: $12-$255 at Tropicana Field box office, Ticketmaster, raysbaseball.com, team store in Tampa, $3 surcharge within five hours of game.

Promotion: Free Jackie Robinson Day T-shirt to first 10,000 fans.

Watch for ...

Wading in: Davis hasn't pitched badly in his first two starts, but he has contributed to his own undoing, allowing 13 hits and four walks in 12 1/3 innings. He is 0-0 with an 8.71 ERA in two starts against the Twins.

Nick of time: Blackburn has been dazzling in his first two starts, allowing only one earned run over 11 2/3 innings. He hasn't pitched too well against the Rays, going 2-2 with a 6.10 ERA in four starts against the Rays.

Key matchups:

Rays vs. Blackburn

Johnny Damon 7-for-22

Matt Joyce 2-for-12, HR

Kelly Shoppach 7-for-12, 2 HR

Twins vs. Davis

Alexi Casilla 2-for-4

Michael Cuddyer 1-for-5

On deck

Saturday: vs. Twins, 4:10. Ch. 13. Rays — Jeff Niemann (0-2, 8.31); Twins — Scott Baker (0-2, 6.55)

Sunday: vs Twins, 1:40. Sun Sports. Rays — Jeremy Hellickson (1-1, 4.09); Twins — Brian Duensing (0-0, 4.15)

Monday: vs. White Sox, 6:40. SUN. Rays — David Price (1-2, 3.92); White Sox — Edwin Jackson (2-0, 2.09)

Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

Tribute of the day

Manager Joe Maddon went with a slightly different look Thursday in tribute to the 70th birthday of Tampa's MacDill Air Force Base. "I'm honored to pay my respects," Maddon said. "For me, this is very significant." The Rays are hosting a party to celebrate Saturday, taking $2 off tickets on raysbaseball.com (promo code: MacDill) and donating a portion of the proceeds to charity.

Number of the day

10 Rays picks among the first 60 in the order for the June 6 draft released Thursday by MLB; nine as compensation for free agents lost. They have Nos. 24, 31 and 32 in the first round, and Nos. 38, 41, 42, 52, 56, 59 and 60 in the compensation round

Tampa Bay Rays vs. Minnesota Twins matchups; nod to MacDill Air Force Base; Rays to pick early, often in draft, 04/14/11 [Last modified: Thursday, April 14, 2011 11:02pm]
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