NOTES: The Rays flew to Seattle on Wednesday night. This will be Tampa Bay's first series with the Mariners in 2000. The Rays were 4-8 against Seattle last season (2-4 on the road). Dwight Gooden and Esteban Yan will pitch the first two games, but the Rays have not announced whether Steve Trachsel or Dave Eiland will start Sunday. If the Rays skip Eiland, Trachsel starts on his normal four days of rest. Otherwise, Trachsel will have six days of rest because of Monday's off day. Jose Canseco had three home runs and eight RBI against the Mariners last season.
YOU DON'T SAY
There is an interesting phenomenon at the Ballpark at Arlington. When the wind blows in toward home plate, the ball actually flies out toward rightfield. So even though stiff winds the past two games had the pennants in centerfield waving in, if you stood at home plate it felt like the wind was at your back. Apparently, the design of the stadium causes a swirling effect. All six home runs hit the past two games landed to the right side of centerfield. Rays catcher John Flaherty said he learned the secret of the wind years ago. "I think it was Kevin Gross who threw me a curveball that I crushed to leftfield and it never made it out," Flaherty said. "Gross came up to me later and said, "Thought you had me didn't you?' You have to hit it to rightfield when the wind is blowing like that."
COUNTDOWN TO 400
Devil Rays first baseman Fred McGriff is closing in on another milestone, 400 home runs. There have been 30 players to hit 400. Here is an update of McGriff's pursuit:
CAREER TOTAL: 398
WEDNESDAY: 2-for-3, two home runs
HOMERS TO GO: 2