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Rays on deck

By Times staff writer

© St. Petersburg Times,
published July 7, 2001

The game

WHERE: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg.

TV/RADIO: Ch. 32; WFLA-AM 970, WLCC-AM 760 (Spanish).

TODAY'S PROMOTIONS: On Autograph Saturday, four Rays will sign autographs for 30 minutes beginning 1 hour, 20 minutes before game time. Joe Kennedy will sign autographs from 10:30 a.m. to noon at Smart and Final in Clearwater (1661 Gulf to Bay Blvd.) and Esteban Yan will be at Seminole Mall (7700 Seminole Blvd.) during the same times.

INFO: Call 1-888-FAN-RAYS

The pitchers

Albie Lopez

The Rays ace has the longest losing streak (10 straight) in the majors and the longest in the American League since 1998. Lopez (3-11, 5.81) is tied with two National Leaguers for the most losses in the majors and last won on April 24.

Brad Penny

Penny (7-2, 3.47) is 1-0 against Tampa Bay, winning June 16 when he and Ricky Bones combined for the sixth one-hitter in Marlins history. He allowed a John Flaherty single, struck out five and walked none. Penny has lost twice over his past 23 starts.

Outta leftfield

The World Series has come to the Trop! Well, at least World Series balls have. Major League Baseball apparently has a surplus of 2000 World Series balls and is offering them to teams at a discounted price for use during batting and infield practice. The Cubs reportedly are using 2000 All-Star Game baseballs as part of the same offer. Therefore, it's not uncommon to see an official baseball with gold World Series lettering and the Mets and Yankees logos laying around the dugout -- even when two of the worst teams in baseball are on the field.

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