Rays: Dancing to the beat and a plantain treat

Published May 15, 2013

Rays vs. Red Sox

When/where: 7:10 tonight, Tropicana Field

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

Tickets: $14-210, available at Tropicana Field box office, Ticketmaster,, team Tampa store; $3 surcharge within 5 hours of game time.

Probable pitchers

Rays: LH David Price (1-3, 4.78)

Red Sox: LH Jon Lester (5-0, 2.73)

David's deal: Price is coming off one of his best starts in what has been a frustrating season. Two major issues: Eight blown leads over his past five starts, a .343 average with two outs, plus 21 of his 34 runs.

On a roll: Lester is coming off a one-hit complete game vs. Toronto, and had two no-decisions before that. He is 10-8, 4.14 in 23 starts vs. the Rays, but has lost his past four decisions.

Key matchups

Rays vs. Lester

Evan Longoria 11-for-47 2 HR

Sean Rodriguez 3-for-18

Ben Zobrist 8-for-38 HR

Red Sox vs. Price

Will Middlebrooks 4-for-9 HR

Mike Napoli 6-for-20 HR

Dustin Pedroia 10-for-33 HR

On deck

Thursday: vs. Red Sox, 7:10, Sun Sports. Rays — RH Alex Cobb (4-2, 3.09); Red Sox — LH Felix Doubront (3-1, 6.40)

Friday: at Orioles, 7:05, Sun Sports. Rays — RH Jeremy Hellickson (1-2, 5.25); Orioles — Jason Hammel (5-1, 4.93)

Saturday: at Orioles, 4:05, Ch. 13. Rays — RH Roberto Hernandez (2-4, 4.43); Orioles — RH Jair Jurrgens

Sunday: at Orioles, 1:35, Sun Sports. Rays — LH Matt Moore (7-0, 2.44); Orioles — RH Chris Tillman (3-1, 3.40)

Rays disabled list

RHP Brandon Gomes, right lat strain, 15-day, eligible May 22

RHP Jeff Niemann, shoulder surgery, 60-day, out for the season

RHP Juan Carlos Oviedo, elbow surgery, 60-day, out until September

Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

Clubhouse meringue and salsa. …

Yes, that really was four members of Tampa's Sol Caribe band playing meringue, salsa and other music right smack in the middle of the Rays clubhouse before and after batting practice Tuesday. Just the latest gimmick in Joe Maddon's attempts to keep the mood light. "I thought, let's do something to liven up Tuesday a bit," Maddon said. "I thought it was very festive, and appropriate, and helps you get back into the groove after a day off." RHP Joel Peralta certainly was in the groove, showing off his dance moves with band member Elizabeth Rodriguez. (See video,

… and plantains

There also were 27 plantains — in nine bunches of three, get it? — hanging from the ceiling around Fernando Rodney's locker, a tribute to the power of the "magic" plantain he has carried around at times. "It was nice," Rodney said.

Typo of the day

The first lineup distributed in the press box had OF Sam Fuld at shortstop rather than Yunel Escobar. Fuld was amused, and took the opportunity to jab his buddy and former teammate: "I have better hands than Elliot Johnson, I know that."