ALL-STAR GAME BALLOTS


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The 2011 All-Star ballots are out and Super Sam Fuld will be looking for his first trip to the Midsummer Classic.

Sam Fuld is hands down the early season surprise for the Rays. After coming to the team in the trade that sent Matt Garza to the Cubs, he has been a regular contributor to the nightly highlight reel. It is hard to believe that a player such as Fuld was an after thought and was reported to be a throw-in player in the Garza deal. But it turns out (at least so far) he has been the steal of the deal.

Longo is likely to be voted to his 4th All Star Team. Evan made the American League All-Star squad each of his first three seasons in the Major Leagues — the last two as a starter. This year the competition is very strong and he has missed most of the first month of the season on the disabled list, so he is going to need some help this year in the voting Vote early and often.

Also on the ballot are B.J. Upton and Matt Joyce in the outfield, Johnny Damon at DH, Ben Zobrist at second base, Reid Brignac at shortstop, John Jaso at catcher, and Dan Johnson at first base.

Rays fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times at:

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/events/all_star/y2011/ballot.jsp?tcid=ClubLftPromo-asgballot-2011

or at MLB.com until June 30 at 11:59 p.m. ET.
Beginning April 29th Fans will be able to vote for the Rays at Tropicana Field when they host the Angels. The final day for voting at Tropicana Field will be June 19.

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Longo Headed To Montgomery


Evan Longoria will begin a four-game rehab assignment with the Double A Montgomery Biscuits on Thursday. If all goes according to plan, he will be back in St. Petersburg on Tuesday when the Rays host Toronto for a three-game set.

He took batting practice today and felt no discomfort while in the cage, so things are continuing to move in a positive direction.

Tonight’s Game In Minnesota – Cancelled


It has been raining all day at Target Field and it’s not going to get any better tonight or in the next few days. Tonight’s game is being re-scheduled, so the Rays will have a doubleheader on Thursday – game one at 1:10 and game two at 8:10.

Tomorrow night’s game is still scheduled for 8:10.

Shields Throws Second Straight Complete Game


On Easter Sunday, James Shields pitched his second straight complete game as the Rays wrapped up the series with a 2-0 shutout at the Rogers Centre in Toronto. Big Game allowed just four hits and two walks while striking out seven on 95 pitches.

Batting second in the order yet again, Johnny Damon extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a one out single in the first inning before Ben Zobrist hit an 0-2 pitch over the left field wall for his fifth homerun of the season. Rays 2, Jays 0.

Tampa Bay collected just six hits on the afternoon with Damon and Zobrist going 2-for-4, Sean Rodriguez going 1-for-2, and Dan Johnson going 1-for-3. Johnson is struggling with a .131 batting average but was placed in the lineup due to his previous success against left-handed pitching. Sam Fuld, who has been leading the AL in batting, went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts – something he has done very little of so far this year.

Jose Bautista has been red hot as of late but was stifled by Shields on Sunday. Having reached base on 10 consecutive trips to the plate (all during this series), the Jays slugger was walked during his first-at bat extending the streak to 11. However, the string was broken in the fourth after he lined out to third base. He later struck out swinging in the sixth with one out and a runner in scoring position.

Despite giving up both Tampa Bay runs in the first inning, Ricky Romero pitched seven solid innings for Toronto, gave up just five hits, and fanned 10 Rays batters.

On The RAYdar


Rays at Jays – 1:07 – Rogers Centre – TV: Sun Sports – Radio: 620 WDAE

Starting Pitchers: (TB) RHP James Shields (1-1, 3.07), (TOR) LHP Ricky Romero (1-2, 3.12)

Lineup:

Fuld LF
Damon DH
Zobrist RF
D. Johnson 1B – He’s hitting just .121 overall but averaging .250 against left-handed pitching.
Upton CF
Lopez 3B – Back in the lineup after being benched for lack of hustle during Friday’s loss.
Rodriguez 2B
Shoppach C
Brignac SS