Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Rays rail: Dogs saved Duncan long trip

This note is about canines

1B/DH Shelley Duncan wouldn't have minded making a U-turn of course, but he was even more pleased to get the call Sunday afternoon that he was being called up before he, his wife and young twins had pulled out of Port Charlotte and started driving to Durham. Actually, Duncan said they might have already been on the road but the Camp Bow Wow facility in Sarasota where they had to pick up their dogs wasn't open yet. "The dogs saved us a long drive," he said.

This note is about K-9

It took until the last 24 hours to officially sell out today's opener, but tickets went quicker to the two sections behind their bullpen now themed to David Price's starts called District K-9. Fans there get a T-shirt and a "K" card. Since it went well, the Rays are selling $50 tickets there for Price's next scheduled start.

Quote of the day

"Does this make me the team (whipping boy)?"

RHP Alex Cobb, on being the only one of the Rays who will be experiencing his first opening day.

Warmup of the day

First the Rays and Orioles had batting practice at the Trop on Monday. Then the Trop game-day staff had gong-banging practice, preparing to debut the new gimmick today as the Rays take the field to the rock classic Bang a Gong (Get It On).

Numbers game

New 1B/DH Shelley Duncan will wear No. 15. … Injured RHP Juan Carlos Oviedo will wear No. 46. … Bullpen coach Stan Boroski is switching from No. 46 to 50.

Starting lineups


Jennings cf

Fuld rf

Zobrist 2b

Longoria 3b

Joyce lf

Escobar ss

Loney 1b

Molina c

Johnson DH

Price p


Markakis rf

Machado 3b

Jones cf

Wieters c

Davis 1b

Hardy ss

Reimold lf

Pearce DH

Roberts 2b

Hammel p

Rays vs. Orioles

When/where: 3:10 today, Tropicana Field

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

Tickets: SOLD OUT. $19-300, available at Tropicana Field box office, Ticketmaster, raysbaseball.com, team Tampa store; $3 surcharge within 5 hours of game time.

Probable pitchers

Rays: LH David Price (20-5, 2.56 in '12)

Orioles: RH Jason Hammel (8-6, 3.43)

Hey Clarence: Price, who named the AL Cy Young Award he won last year "Clarence," insists he can be a better pitcher. He is 6-2, 2.45 vs. the O's and last year allowed only one run over 221/3 innings in three starts.

Remember him: Hammel, who came up with the Rays and pitched parts of three seasons for them, went to Colorado and now stars in Baltimore. He pitched once vs. the Rays last year, allowed one run before leaving injured in the fourth.

Rays vs. Hammel

Yunel Escobar 2-for-14

Kelly Johnson 6-for-20 HR

James Loney 9-for-29 3 HR

Orioles vs. Price

Adam Jones 5-for-29

Nick Markakis 9-for-33

Matt Wieters 7-for-27

On deck

Wednesday: vs. Orioles, 7:10, Sun Sports. Rays — RH Jeremy Hellickson (10-11, 3.10 in '12); Orioles — LH Wei-Yin Chen (12-11, 4.02)

Thursday: vs. Orioles, 3:10, Sun Sports. Rays — Roberto Hernandez (0-3, 7.53); Orioles — Miguel Gonzalez (9-4, 3.25)

Friday: vs. Indians, 7:10, Sun Sports. Rays — Matt Moore (11-11, 3.81); Indians — Zach McAllister (6-8, 4.24)

Saturday: vs. Indians, 7:10, Sun Sports. Rays — Alex Cobb (11-9, 4.03); Indians — Scott Kazmir (did not pitch in 2012)

Sunday: vs. Indians, 1:40, Sun Sports. Rays — David Price (20-5, 2.56); Indians — Justin Masterson (11-15, 4.93)

Rays disabled list

RHP Juan Carlos Oviedo, elbow surgery, 60-day, eligible May 30

DH Luke Scott, calf strain, 15-day, eligible April 8.

Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

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