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Rays Report

Tampa Bay Rays:

Rays vs. Jays

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

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

Starting pitchers:

RAYS: RH James Shields (9-9, 3.03)

JAYS: RH Carlos Villanueva (6-2, 3.60)

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

Watch for …

Bounce back: Shields is coming off the worst start of his All-Star season, having allowed 10 runs on 12 hits in a loss to Oakland last week. He is 7-5 with a 3.98 ERA in 16 career starts against the Jays, including a complete-game shutout April 24.

Stepping up: Villanueva has one win in his past five starts, beating the Orioles July 28 after giving up four runs over five innings. He's pitched well on the road this year, going 4-1 with a 2.53 ERA in 13 appearances (seven starts). Villanueva has faced the Rays twice, both in relief.

Key matchups

Rays vs. Villanueva

Sam Fuld 1-for-2

B.J. Upton 1-for-2

Ben Zobrist 1-for-2, HR

Jays vs. Shields

Jose Bautista 6-for-16, 2 HRs

Travis Snider 3-for-15

Adam Lind 11-for-36, 5 HRs

On deck

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)

Joe Smith, Times staff writer

Just like the movie

With OF Sam Fuld drawing "The Legend of Sam Fuld" moniker for his highlight-reel catches, teammate Elliot Johnson had an idea a few weeks back to have a T-shirt made, designed similarly to the movie cover of Legends of the Fall. Thanks to Rays graphic artist Erik Ruiz, a prototype of the design of "Legends of the Fuld" was shown off Tuesday, with Fuld's face replacing Brad Pitt up top (next to Chuck Norris), and Fuld pictured diving (with an ESPY in hand). The words, "After the Dive, the Legend Begins" was written at the bottom. Fuld had no idea the shirt was being made. "It's amazing," he said.

Thumbs up

Executive VP Andrew Friedman was back in the Rays clubhouse Tuesday, recovering from an appendectomy Saturday, the eve of the trading deadline. Manager Joe Maddon said Friedman was still a little "beat up" by the whole process but wasn't surprised how dedicated he was throughout, sending text messages and e-mails. Quipped Maddon: "His thumbs are still in good shape."

Tampa Bay Rays: 08/02/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 2, 2011 11:06pm]
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