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Burrell back in lineup; Zobrist in RF



Apparently, the reason Jason Bartlett was pulled from Wednesday's game in the fifth inning was due to what the Rays called "left hamstring tightness."

More details as they come.

Update 8:37 p.m. SS Jason Bartlett has been replaced for the bottom of the fifth with Zobrist, who had been in rightfield.

Gabe Gross moved to right.

Bartlett had grounded out to lead off the fifth. This could be, with the Twins up 8-1, manager Joe Maddon giving Bartlett some extra rest at the end of the road trip.

Update 6:25 p.m. Not much news out of manager Joe Maddon's pre-game briefing, but he did say he has no plans on moving struggling CF B.J. Upton (in a 1-for-23 skid and hitting .151) down in the order.
Maddon pointed to Upton’s on-base percentage – .297 – as a sign he’s taking his walks and has a good eye, saying being nearly 150 points over his batting average is “phenomenal,” and is confident he’ll break out of it soon. 
 “I think keeping him at the top, he’s getting plenty of at-bats,” Maddon said. “These are the situations I want him to work through, because when he gets that going, we get going. “

DH Pat Burrell is back in the lineup for tonight's series finale against the Twins, with the stiffness in his neck that scratched him from Tuesday's game apparently gone.

Also in the lineup is Ben Zobrist, who came through with a pinch-hit, game-tying homer in the ninth inning of Tuesday's 4-3 loss. The switch-hitting Zobrist, who has hit eight homers in his last 19 games, will start in right-field against Twins right-hander Nick Blackburn.

The Rays (8-13) will try to avoid their sixth straight series loss, as they'll welcome the red-hot Red Sox to Tropicana Field starting Thursday for a four-game set.

LHP Scott Kazmir gets the start tonight, and with a win he'll match Andy Sonnanstine for the club record for wins in April (4).

Upton, cf
Crawford, lf
Longoria, 3b
Pena, 1b
Burrell, dh
Zobrist, rf
Navarro, c
Iwamura, 2b
Bartlett, ss
Kazmir, p

Span, cf
Harris, ss
Morneau, dh
Kubel, dh
Crede, 3b
Cuddyer, rf
Young, lf
Morales, c
Casilla, 2b
Blackburn, p


[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:46am]


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