--OF Matt Joyce, the AL's leading hitter, was back in the lineup Sunday after leaving Saturday's game after eight innings due to tightness in his right quad and cramping throughout his legs. He made it worthwhile with his first career home run off a left-handed pitcher, in his 67th career at-bat. He has 30 homers in 540 at-bats versus right-handed pitchers.
--LHP J.P. Howell will rejoin the Rays this week from his minor-league rehab and switch from No. 39 to 74 in tribute to his longtime personal pitching instructor, Guy Dubets, who died recently as a result of diabetes. The number came from the alphabet -- 7 for G, 4 for D. "He was my coach since I was 11 and played a crucial role in who I am as a pitcher today," Howell said. "I never got to repay him properly. So this is about the only way I could think of."
--DH Johnny Damon was excited to get the ball from his Friday home run because it was his 2,606th career hit, which allowed him to pass Sanford's Tim Raines for most by an Orlando-area player. "I'm sure we'll cross paths somewhere down the road," Damon said. "It's a big deal to me. It's probably not for him because he's not the hit king of Orlando anymore."
--CF B.J. Upton was excited to return to the lineup on Saturday after sitting out during his two-game suspension, and the Rays were happy to have him. Manager Joe Maddon said he felt Upton had improved offensively, defensively and on the bases and that he is playing the most complete game of his career.
--LHP David Price faces the Yankees on Monday with a 19-4, .826 lifetime record against AL East teams, the best mark (minimum 20 decisions) of any pitcher against any division. Next in line are Philadelphia's Roy Halladay (26-6, .813 versus NL East), St. Louis' Chris Carpenter (21-5, .807 versus NL West) and Boston's Jon Lester (37-9, .804 versus AL East).
BY THE NUMBERS
22 -- Home games played by the Rays (through Sunday) without scoring more than five runs, the longest such streak since the 1908 Brooklyn Superbas.
QUOTE TO NOTE
"No idea. The air-conditioning is blowing in? The new turf is a little bit too high? They're putting too much fertilizer on it? I don't know what the deal is." -- Rays manager Joe Maddon, trying to explain why the Rays have struggled to score at home, averaging nearly 4.0 fewer runs per game.
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