The Rays return to Tampa Bay a winning team. For the first time of the year, the Rays are 3 games above .500 and are looking dominant. In the past 3 games, the Rays have scored a combined 29 runs while allowing only 6. The team is riding a 5-game winning streak and has won 13 of their last 16 games.
Key to that recent surge has been strong play from Sam Fuld and, more recently, Ben Zobrist -- the "Zorilla." Since the Rays hot streak began (April 11th), the Rays' Sam Fuld has hit a .343/.400/.522 slash (batting average/on-base percentage/slugging) while also stealing 5 bases.
Meanwhile, Zobrist, who had a less-than-amazing 2010 campaign, has complete returned to Zorilla form, crush 7 homers this April after only hitting 10 all last year. Over the recent 5-game winning steak, Zobrist has hit an absurd .500/.478/1.273 slash that includes 4 home runs, 1 triple, 3 doubles, and 2 steals. Ironically, tonight will be free Zorilla t-shirt night, a promotion honoring the now surging Zobrist.
Today, the Rays will send David Price (3-2, 3.19 ERA, 3.68 FIP) to the mound tonight, taking on Angels righty Ervin Santana (0-3, 5.51 ERA, 3.26 FIP). Price went 8+ innings last Saturday against the Blue Jays, allowing 4 runs (though mostly in the 9th innings, when the game was nearly out of reach for the Jays). He has not been his usual sharp self this year, but showed a lot of improvement last game.
Meanwhile, the Angels are hoping Ervin Santana can turn his good processes into good results. His ERA is rather high, but peripherals and fielding-independent metrics (like FIP) say he's pitching well enough to win games. The Rays will be hoping Santana's bad luck lasts at least one more outing.
Location: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, FL
Game Time: 7:10 p.m. ET
Broadcast: SunSports HD (TV), WDAE 620 AM (radio)