Rays manager Joe Maddon knows Dodger Stadium well thanks to his years as a coach on the Angels' staff.
Published: August 9, 2013
LOS ANGELES — The Rays have played 1,269 road games in their history, but not one of those was played at Dodger Stadium. That changes tonight when they begin a three-game series with the NL West-leading Dodgers.
The famed ballpark in Chavez Ravine is the last stadium to host the Rays.
“It will be fun to experience that atmosphere,” said LHP David Price, tonight's starter.
OF Sam Fuld, who played three games at Dodger Stadium during his time with the Cubs, said it's hard to top the experience.
“There's something like a good aura there,” Fuld said.
The stadium opened in 1962, making it the third-oldest park in the major leagues, yet Fuld said it doesn't have the feel of a stadium that has been in use for more than half a century.
“There's a lot of energy there, especially when it's sold out or close to being sold out, a lot of passionate fans there,” said 1B James Loney, who spent seven seasons wearing Dodger blue. “The history of Dodger Stadium, the history of the organization, the legacies there, they provide all that kind of atmosphere.”
Manager Joe Maddon knows the stadium well from his days as an Angels coach. The Dodgers-Angels rivalry is a good one, and Maddon said it begins at the lowest rung of the minor leagues.
“They have the whitest uniforms in history,” Maddon said with a hint of disdain.
Yet Maddon loves Dodger Stadium.
“It's iconic,” Maddon said. “The Chavez Ravine component of it I really dig, the way it's situated.”
Maddon said the setting reminds him of Vatican City in Rome, which is surrounded by hills.
“I go to the Vatican for the very first time, I'm looking up at all those hills and I think, 'God, it looks like Chavez Ravine,' except for the statues,” Maddon said.
Loney said Wednesday that he has thought a lot lately about his first trip to Dodger Stadium since the trade last August that sent him to the Red Sox for four players, including former Rays LF Carl Crawford.
Loney said it will be strange to dress in the visiting clubhouse and use the other dugout.
“I had a great time there,” he said. “We had some great years in the playoffs. Personally, it was pretty good for me. Time goes by fast, I guess, because I'm already in a new uniform.”
RHP Chris Archer, who left Wednesday's game against the Diamondbacks in the second inning with a right forearm strain, said after the game the injury was minor and expects to make his next start.
Maddon compared the strain to a cramp, perhaps from Archer being dehydrated during his start in the Arizona desert.
OF Wil Myers left the game in the seventh inning because of asthma-like symptoms that went away after he laid down in the trainers room. Myers experienced those symptoms in 2011 while playing in the Arizona Fall League. He said he expects to play tonight.
LHP Matt Moore (sore left elbow) is scheduled to play catch today and throw in the bullpen Sunday.
RHP Alex Cobb (concussion/blister) will make his second rehab start tonight and, if all goes well, is expected to start Thursday against the Mariners.
RHP Fernando Rodney's streak of 18 straight saves ended in Wednesday's loss. ... OF Matt Joyce had three hits Wednesday, his first three-hit game since May 18 in Baltimore. ... All of UTL Kelly Johnson's 16 home runs have come against right-handed pitchers. ... The Rays have lost four of their past six. ... Wednesday's 9-8 loss was only their third loss in their last 13 one-run games.