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Hellickson a Ray(s) of hope for Tampa Bay

4/11/2011

Today’s Trivia: Monday is the 50th anniversary of the first game in Los Angeles Angels history. Can you name the two players with the most games played for the Angels who never made an appearance for another franchise?

After beating the New York Yankees Sunday on ESPN, the Boston Red Sox will try and win two in a row for the first time this season when they host the Tampa Bay Rays at 7 ET on ESPN.

Jeremy Hellickson
HellicksonJeremy Hellickson will face Daisuke Matsuzaka in tonight's game. Hitters leading off an inning are just 6-for-41 (.146) with a walk against Hellickson, including 0-for-6 in his first start of the season. Compare that to Matsuzaka, who allows leadoff hitters to reach base 36 percent of the time.

Offensively, the Rays are struggling and have received very little production from the position once manned by Carlos Pena. Since the start of last season, Rays first basemen are hitting just .186. They hit .194 in 2009, but at least they drew 109 walks. This year, in nine games, their first basemen have drawn none.

With three straight three-hit games, Dustin Pedroia is one player who's swinging a hot bat for Boston. Only four Red Sox in the last 50 years have had at least three hits in four straight games: 2005 Edgar Renteria; 1992 Jody Reed; 1984 Wade Boggs; and 1974 Carlton Fisk.

Elsewhere around MLB:

• The Florida Marlins' Chris Coghlan didn’t record his first extra-base hit until his 104th at-bat of 2010. Despite hitting just .200 this season, he’s tied for the National League lead with five doubles.

• Prince Fielder is 10-for-16 (.625) in two-strike counts, and 4-for-19 (.211) in all other situations. Last season, Fielder hit .182 in two-strike counts.

• A big reason behind Jorge Posada’s .138 batting average? He has a .059 batting average on balls in play (BABIP). Last season the league average was .300.

• Jonny Gomes leads the majors with 12 walks, almost one-third his season total from 2010 (39). He picked up his 12th walk last season on May 28.

• Cleveland's Asdrubal Cabrera already has four game-winning RBI, two fewer than in 2010.

• The Rockies' Troy Tulowitzki is 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position, and 6-for-18 in all other situations.

• Opponents are a combined 0-22 against Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum with runners in scoring position.

Trivia Answer: Tim Salmon (1,672) and Gary DiSarcina (1,086) have played the most games for the Angels without appearing for another franchise.

-- Mark Simon contributed to this report