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TONIGHT: RAYS AT ROYALS

WHEN/WHERE: 8:05, Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City.

TV/RADIO: Ch. 32; WFLA-AM 970, WLVU-FM 106.3.

PITCHERS: Tampa Bay LHP Wilson Alvarez (3-3, 3.62) vs. Kansas City RHP Hipolito Pichardo (1-2, 4.08).

WHAT TO LOOK FOR: Alvarez has lost two straight but pitched well at Minnesota in his previous outing, allowing two runs on five hits in 7 innings. He has won three straight against the Royals but overall is 2-5 with a 3.26 ERA at Kauffman Stadium. Pichardo returns to the rotation after spending the past four seasons in the bullpen. He throws a 90-plus mph fastball and a hard slider. He has lasted only 28 innings in five starts.

ETC.: Both teams are coming off sweeps, the Royals by the Yankees and the Rays by Cleveland. The Rays' next home game is Friday night against Baltimore.

INFORMATION: Call 825-3137.

BY THE NUMBERS

0: Career major-league saves by Rays relievers other than Roberto Hernandez.

11: Tampa Bay sacrifice bunts, most in the AL.

13: Extra-base hits by Paul Sorrento, out of 25 hits overall.

18: Hitless at-bats by catcher John Flaherty with runners in scoring position.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"We're going through a very tough stretch right now. It's almost like we're snake bit. That's baseball for you. Murphy's Law seems to be creeping up on us right now."

_ QUINTON McCRACKEN

Rays OF, reflecting on Sunday's loss

Up next:OBITUARIES

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