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Rays run early-season gauntlet of MVPs

Rays run early-season gauntlet of MVPs

Rays run early-season gauntlet of MVPs
ARLINGTON -- After 21 games, the Rays have already faced seven former MVPs in Alex Rodriguez, Justin Verlander, Dustin Pedroia, Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton. And on Monday, Ichiro Suzuki can be added to the mix as the Mariners travel to Tropicana Field.

In addition, with the exception of Evan Longoria, the Rays have already faced 10 of the 13 current American League players who hit 30-plus home runs last season in Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira, Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jose Bautista, Pujols, Ian Kinsler, Mike Napoli and Adrian Beltre.

On the bright side for the Rays, despite Beltre's three-run homer on Saturday night, Rays pitchers have managed to hold the esteemed group to a .256 average (21-for-82) with two home runs and nine RBIs.

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