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Rays Vs. Phillies Preview: Tampa Bay Looking To Rebound And Regain Ground In A.L. East Against Philadelphia

The Tampa Bay Rays play the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday night. Its the first game at Philadelphia since the 2008 World Series.

June 10, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher James Shields (33) throws during the first inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE
June 10, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher James Shields (33) throws during the first inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

The Tampa Bay Rays are coming off a series in Washington where they lost two of three games to the Nationals. Those losses dropped the Rays three and a half games behind the New York Yankees for first place in the AL East. If they are going to regain ground, it starts Friday night with a game against the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Rays will send pitcher James Shields (7-4, 3.72 ERA) to the mound on Friday. Shields is coming off a start against the Miami Marlins on June 16 where he went seven and two-thirds innings, allowing three runs, though none earned, on eight hits with five strike outs.

The Phillies on the other hand will counter with Cliff Lee, who has not had a good first half of the season, going 0-3 with a 3.48 ERA. In his last start on June 16 against the Toronto Blue Jays, Lee went seven innings and allowed five runs on 12 hits, striking out three and walking one.

The game is scheduled for a 7:10 p.m. first pitch from Citizen's Bank Park in Philadelphia. Television coverage will be provided by Sunshine Sports with radio coverage on 620 WDAE AM and 680 WGES AM.

For more news, analysis, and discussion on the Rays, visit DRaysBay. For more on the Phillies throughout this interleague series, visit The Good Phight.

Photographs by cstreet.us, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.