The two little visitors to the Rays clubhouse were a pair of South African penguins: Cliff and Shelly. Manager Joe Maddon, with input from team VP Rick Vaughn, had them brought over from the Florida Aquarium, the latest in a week of pregame entertainment that included a DJ, a magician and a cockatoo. So why the penguins? Said Maddon, "It's just a continuation of attempting to get our players to chill out a bit."
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DH Luke Scott's first rehab game with Class A Charlotte on Tuesday went well, except for the part where he walked to the plate for his last at-bat without his helmet. The opposing catcher and the umpire both gave him a, um, heads-up, and he went back and grabbed one then got his first hit. "My mind was in a different place," Scott said.
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Gnome quote of the day
"It's a great replica, I think it looks exactly like me. I'm very humbled by it.'
Manager Joe Maddon, on the gnome of him given away Wednesday, with fans standing in long lines well before the gates opened. (See video, tampabay.com/sports)
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Helly nation: Hellickson, an Iowa native, typically gets a lot of friends and relatives out when he pitches in the Midwest. He lost his only start vs. the Sox in 2012. Is coming off a solid outing vs. Oakland.
Full Sale: Lakeland native/Florida Gulf Coast product struck out 15 Rays in a May 28 game last year, but overall is 1-1, 4.85 in four games vs. Rays. Since an opening day win, he is 0-2, 6.38 in three starts.