Tampa Bay Rays: Joe Maddon waiting for juicy details on GOP party at Trop; David Price gets a spanking on his birthday

Published Aug. 28, 2012

Rays at Rangers

When/where: 8:05 tonight; Rangers Ballpark, Arlington, Texas

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

Probable pitchers

Rays: RH James Shields (12-7, 4.01)

Rangers: RH Yu Darvish (12-9, 4.51)

On Shields: Is throwing his fastball more and doing better since July 31 trade deadline passed, 4-0, 2.15 in 5 starts. Is 6-2, 3.32 in 9 starts vs. Texas (3-2, 4.11 in Arlington) and 0-2, 10.61 in two playoff starts.

On Darvish: Missed last start with right quad tightness but threw bullpen Sunday with no issues. Tends to be tough on teams that haven't seen him, mixing a vast assortment of pitches and speeds.

Key matchups


None have faced

RaNGERs vs. Shields

Elvis Andrus 12-for-21

Adrian Beltre 9-for-36, HR

Josh Hamilton 4-for-24, 2 HRs

Michael Young 7-for-28, 2 HRs

Note: All stats include postseason

On deck

Wednesday: at Rangers, 7:05, Sun Sports. Rays — Alex Cobb (8-8, 4.32); Rangers — Matt Harrison (15-7, 3.04)

Thursday: at Blue Jays, 7:07, Sun Sports. Rays — Matt Moore (10-7, 3.60); Jays — Brandon Morrow (7-5, 3.06)

Friday: at Blue Jays, 7:07, Sun Sports. Rays — Jeremy Hellickson (8-9, 3.42); Jays — Henderson Alvarez (7-11, 4.97)

AL East

Team W L Pct. GB

New York 74 54 .578—

Baltimore 70 57 .551 31/2

Tampa Bay 70 58 .547 4

Boston 62 67 .481 121/2

Toronto 57 70 .449 161/2

AL race for wild cards

Team W L Pct. GB

Oakland 70 57 .551—

Baltimore 70 57 .551—

Tampa Bay 70 58 .5471/2

Detroit 69 58 .543 1

Los Angeles 66 62 .516 41/2

Top two wild cards make postseason; GB is games behind second wild card

Republican fallout of the day

Manager Joe Maddon joked he hadn't gotten any juicy details — yet, anyway — on the Sunday night Republican National Convention welcome party at the Trop. "I haven't heard anything about my office being used for inappropriate anything," he said. "I'm curious to see how it all turned out."

Birthday celebration of the day

The team marked LHP David Price's 27th birthday Sunday by serenading then spanking him on the bus ride from the airport to their Fort Worth hotel. "We sang Happy Birthday to him and made kind of a big deal out of it," RHP James Shields. The spankings were a team effort. "We didn't want (Kyle) Farnsworth to hurt him," Shields said. "They were very light spankings."

Numbers of the day

8-3, 2.91

Yu Darvish, tonight's Texas starter, when facing a team for the first time; 4-6, 5.94 in repeat starts.