Last night the Tampa Bay Rays were handed their fourth shut out of the season by the Baltimore Orioles. Tonight they look for revenge against the division rival. Both teams' aces take the mound as David Price (last outing: 7 innings pitched, 1 earned run, 5 hits) and Jeremy Guthrie (5 innings pitched, 6 earned runs, 9 hits) square off in the miserably muggy Camden Yards.
From Joe Maddon's twitter: The weather was "Sweltering tonight. Guys were still dragging a bit, I could see it in their faces, but they fought. Should be full strength tomorrow." In the middle of a four city road trip, the team arrived in a balmy Baltimore. RaysRepublic called the weather "nasty, sticky and oppressively hot." Tonight looks to be no better as the temperature will fluctuate from the 90's to 75 and in between with expected intermitten showers.
Regardless, the Rays offense will hope to return to form with Matt Joyce back in the lineup. From mlb.com: "Outfielder Matt Joyce, who is hitting .338 with 10 home runs and 34 RBIs, is expected to be back in the lineup Saturday. Joyce was scratched from the lineup on Friday because of soreness in his left shoulder after having a cortisone shot on Thursday."
On our Rays affiliate DRaysBay, writer Jason Collette noted the evening's broadcast, which claimed the shot was "the 3rd one he's had since the end of last season." Cortisone shots reduce inflammation and soreness. They are not uncommon, but not encouraging either. The Rays certainly want to keep their best hitter off the Disabled List. An encouraging not from Marc Topkin, "Maddon said Joyce was feeling better and was ready to pinch-hit last night, if the situation arose." Also from Topkin, Tonight's Lineup:
After earning two hits with a few recent homeruns, Justin Ruggiano gets the nod again in left field. Look for him to continue the big swings and for Longoria to start producing like an all star again. Johnny Damon has made it on base 35 consecutive games and will likely do so again tonight. Two more, and he's set the team record!