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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

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:

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

Santana RHP (0-3, 6.75)

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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