Monday, December 18, 2017
Sports

Tampa Bay Rays: Joe Maddon sends Buck Showalter congratulatory wine; B.J. Upton may be saying farewell

Rays vs. Orioles

When/where: 7:10 tonight; Tropicana Field

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

Tickets: $9-210, available at Tropicana Field box office, Ticketmaster, raysbaseball.com, team Tampa store; $3 surcharge within 5 hours of game time.

Probable pitchers

RAYS: RH Jeremy Hellickson (9-11, 3.20)

ORIOLES: RH Chris Tillman (9-2, 2.78)

On Hellickson: Has one win in his past seven starts but has allowed three earned runs or fewer in six. Is 5-3, 2.49 in 11 appearances (10 starts) against the Orioles.

On Tillman: Has been one of the O's most consistent pitchers, allowing a combined four earned runs in past five starts. Is 1-2, 4.68 in six starts against Rays.

Key matchups

RAYS VS. TILLMAN

Evan Longoria 4-for-10, HR

Ben Zobrist 3-for-16, 2 HRs

Matt Joyce 3-for-9

ORIOLES VS. HELLICKSON

Adam Jones 8-for-26, 3 HRs

Robert Andino 2-for-14

J.J. Hardy 6-for-25, HR

Shields superlatives

• First pitcher to lose with 15+ Ks, 0 BB, 2 hits or fewer

• Second pitcher to lose with 15+ Ks, 0 BB and 1 earned run or fewer (Dwight Gooden, 1984)

• Third pitcher to lose in complete game with 15+ Ks and 2 hits or fewer

• Fifth pitcher to lose 1-0 with 15 Ks. (First since Pedro Martinez vs. Rays, May 6, 2000)

All since 1918, per baseball-reference.com

Joe Smith, Times staff writer

Quote of the day

"In a couple days, the wildlife of America better watch out, because I'm taking out all my frustration on God's furry little creatures."

DH Luke Scott, an avid hunter, joking about his immediate postseason plans

Swan song?

With CF B.J. Upton heading for free agency, and likely a large payday, tonight could be his last game in a Rays uniform. Upton has been with Tampa Bay his entire career (since getting drafted No. 2 overall in 2002), the team's longest-tenured player.

Gesture of the day

Manager Joe Maddon sent Orioles manager Buck Showalter a "nice bottle of red wine," as congratulations for their season. "One of my faves," Maddon said. Showalter appreciated the gesture and said he hoped to partake in it after tonight's regular-season finale.

Comments
USF reveals fewer than 1,100 tickets sold for Birmingham Bowl

USF reveals fewer than 1,100 tickets sold for Birmingham Bowl

USF announced Monday it has sold barely more than 10 percent of the 10,000 tickets it was allotted for Saturday's Birmingham Bowl, where it will play for the second consecutive postseason.As of Monday afternoon, the school had sold 1,059 tickets for ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Bucs picked up club option on Jason Lichtís contract for 2018 earlier this year, but GMís future still not clear

Bucs picked up club option on Jason Lichtís contract for 2018 earlier this year, but GMís future still not clear

Bucs general manager Jason Licht did not receive a contract extension after the team went 9-7 last season. Instead, the Glazer family which owns the Bucs decided to pick up a one-year club option on Licht’s contract for 2018. That happened some...
Updated: 23 minutes ago
Photos, video: FIU, Temple compete in lawn mower race at Busch Gardens

Photos, video: FIU, Temple compete in lawn mower race at Busch Gardens

Members of the Florida International University and Temple football teams participated in a lawn mower race Monday at Busch Gardens as part of the festivities leading up to Thursdayís Gasparilla Bowl at Tropicana Field.Head coaches Butch Davis of FIU...
Updated: 26 minutes ago
Jim Leavitt isnít coming back to Florida after all

Jim Leavitt isnít coming back to Florida after all

Former USF coach Jim Leavitt isn't coming back to the state after all.Sports Illustrated reported late Sunday evening that Leavitt will remain at Oregon as its defensive coordinator – a position that will earn him a cool $1.7 million annually. ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
The future of Dirk Koetter

The future of Dirk Koetter

Three games. That's how many the Bucs have left. Can the same be said for Dirk Koetter's head coaching career?The answer to that question might be determined by what happens in those three games.If the Bucs lose the rest – and that is more like...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bulls expected to sign at least 6 (and possibly more) this week

Bulls expected to sign at least 6 (and possibly more) this week

At least a half-dozen high school seniors — and possibly more — are expected to sign with USF when the NCAA's new 72-hour early signing period for football commences Wednesday.Homestead South Dade TE Chris Carter Jr., a three-star prospec...
Updated: 2 hours ago
HomeTeam 25: Girls basketball rankings for Tampa Bay

HomeTeam 25: Girls basketball rankings for Tampa Bay

1. Lakewood (10-0)This week: Friday at OsceolaThe buzz: The Spartans have been blowing teams out, but things will get harder over the winter break when they play in the Florida Prospects tournament in Orlando. Senior forward Toi Smith has missed a fe...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Bucs-Falcons: Predicting tonightís Monday Night Football Game

Bucs-Falcons: Predicting tonightís Monday Night Football Game

MONDAY NIGHT FRIGHTS Tom Jones, @tomwjones: The Falcons are playing for something. The Bucs are playing out the string. And, well, the Falcons are way better than Tampa Bay. On paper, this game won't be close. It won't be on the field either. If the ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
The Falcons blew a 28-3 lead, but so did the Bucs

The Falcons blew a 28-3 lead, but so did the Bucs

The Falcons blew a 28-3 lead in last season's Super Bowl, and no one will let them forget it.Including the Bucs.During a playful exchange on Twitter in May, Tampa Bay trolled its division rivals by posting a photo of Vernon Hargreaves, No. 28, and Ja...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Bucs Ring of Honor: Which current player will make it?

Bucs Ring of Honor: Which current player will make it?

With Jon Gruden becoming the 11th member of the Bucs’ Ring of Honor tonight, what about current members of the Bucs?Bucs roundtable question: What current Bucs player not named Gerald McCoy is most likely to wind up in the Ring of Honor. Member...
Updated: 3 hours ago