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The Rays were happy to be back home for a nine-game homestand that started Friday, with manager Joe Maddon hopeful it gives them a chance to settle in and get past an offensive slump that has seen them hit .201 over a 21-game stretch. That made them last in the majors with a .234 average going into play Friday and leading the AL with 249 strikeouts. Maddon insists the Rays will break out of the slump and said he is not considering any shakeups.

The rotation seems headed for a slight adjustment as the Rays try to take advanatge of two offdays in a five-day stretch and keep ace Scott Kazmir on as close to a regular schedule as they can. Doug Waechter seems most likely to be skipped.

OF Rocco Baldelli played in an extended spring training game on Friday as he continues trying to rehab a left hamstring strain that has sidelined him since the last week of spring training.

OF Carl Crawford seemed to enjoy the figurine of him diving full out for a catch that will be handed out to the first 15,000 fans on Saturday.

[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:30am]

    

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