--CF B.J. Upton is the only Ray to have hits in all four games, and he leads the team with a .333 average, but he's not thinking much about it, as the team is 0-4. "My personal success means nothing right now," he said. "I'm swinging the bat well, but I'd rather have the win."
--DH Manny Ramirez was booed by the Tropicana Field crowd after his 0-for-4, three-strikeout night extended his bad start to 1-for-16. Manager Joe Maddon came to Ramirez's defense, saying that if anything he was trying too hard. "I want the fans to know he works, this man really works, this man really cares," Maddon said. "It's not working for him right now, but he's going to be just fine. We need to let him be himself and let Manny be Manny and go up there and not try to carry us. The last thing I want him to do is feel like he has to carry us."
--RHP Jeff Niemann made some mechanical adjustments after allowing four runs and throwing 53 pitches in the first two innings, and he settled into a nice groove after that. He wound up tossing six-plus innings of five-run ball.
"Early on, we were missing up, and that's a bad sign for me," Niemann said. "I got the ball down and started getting groundballs, started having quick innings. That's the guy I want to be every single time out."
--RHP Jeremy Hellickson has the best poker face in the Rays clubhouse, but the stoic Iowan admitted he is "as excited as I can be" to make his first start Wednesday. Hellickson, who fills the opening in the rotation created by the Matt Garza trade, is stretched out enough to throw 90 to 100 pitches despite being sidelined the first two weeks of spring training with a hamstring strain.
--INF Sean Rodriguez homered for the first time in six games against his former Angels teammates. Rodriguez was acquired by the Rays in the August 2009 trade of LHP Scott Kazmir, along with LHP Alex Torres and INF Matt Sweeney.
BY THE NUMBERS
3 -- Teams without a victory through Tuesday: the Rays, Red Sox and Astros.
QUOTE TO NOTE
"I think if you're a true baseball fan, you know what type of player he is and the type of damage he can do. It's way too long of a season to be booing somebody right now. That I do not understand, not one bit." -- CF B.J. Upton, on DH Manny Ramirez being booed by the home crowd.
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