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Rays v Angels: Price v Pujols and Matsui update

Posted Apr 24, 2012 by Roger Mooney

Updated Apr 24, 2012 at 05:36 PM

ROGER MOONEY
ST. PETERSBURG
Mr. Pujols and company visit the Trop tonight for the first of three games against the Rays.

David Price, who’s allowed an awful lot of base runners this season – 26 in 15 innings, takes the hill against Ervin Santana.

Price’s encounters with Albert Pujols will be the subject of conversation. In addition to be homerless in his first 65 at-bats this season, Pujols is batting .167 against left-handers. Righties are hitting .289 against Price with eight walks this season.

“It’s just startling,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said of Pujols’s homerless drought. “It’s early in the season. He’s in a new environment. That ballpark can be tough, especially at night. He’s going to hit his share by the end of the year. I guarantee that. I’ll do the Joe Willie (Namath) thing: I guarantee that. It’s just a matter of time. Hopefully he waits a couple of more days before he gets it going. He’s pretty good.”

The Rays have not officially signed free agent DH/OF Hideki Matsui to a minor league contract, but are expected to do so this week. Maddon wouldn’t comment on that, but when asked if the Rays needs another left-handed power bat, he said, “We’re always looking to make ourselves better through depth and (GM Andrew) Andrew does a very good job with that. The moment you don’t have depth that’s when it creeps up and bites you. Andrew is constantly working to make us a better team.”

Here are tonight’s lineups:

ANGELS
Aybar SS
Kendrick 2B
Pujols 1B
Hunter DH
Trumbo RF
Wells LF
Izturis 3B
Iannetta C
Bourjos CF

Santana RHP (0-3, 6.75)

RAYS
Jennings LF
Zobrist 2B
Peña 1B
Longoria 3B
Scott DH
Joyce RF
Upton CF
Molina C
Rodriguez SS

Price LHP (2-1, 4.20)

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