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Feel the heat (and rain), Miami style



Update, 9:30: The Rays’ 10-run fifth-inning was noteworthy in several ways:
- It matched their second biggest inning ever: they’ve had 11 twice (vs. Baltimore last year and Seattle in 2000.)
- It featured nine consecutive Rays reaching base, one shy of their record (10, vs. Oakland in 2002).
- It included seven hits (their record is 10) – two home runs, two doubles, three singles – plus three walks and an error.
- B.J. Upton and Evan Longoria each reached base twice – Upton on a walk and a single, Longoria on a homer and a single.
- Three Marlins threw 59 pitches.
- The Rays batted for 27 minutes.

Update, 6:10: So now the rain has stopped, the skies look somewhat clear and it appears there will be baseball.

Closer Troy Percival said he felt better today than he did before yesterday's game, but after he struggled to throw strikes and admitted that his left hamstring was bothering him, it sounds like he won't be used tonight. Potentially of more concern, manager Joe Maddon acknowledged that it may be a day-to-day type situation for a while as they make a joint decision on whether Percival is well enough to pitch, and whether it's best for to use him and make sure they are not risking long-term injury.

2B Akinori Iwamura had his hearing today on the appeal of his three-game suspension, spending about an hour on the phone with MLB and union officials. Sounds like it went well, but the the Rays don't know when they will hear anything, though it most likely won't be until Friday.

SS Jason Bartlett became a father this afternoon, as his wife, Kelly, delivered a 6-pound, 8-ounce boy they named Jayden Anthony. "Healthy and loving life,'' Bartlett said in a text message to travel director Jeff Ziegler.

1B Carlos Pena said he came through his extensive workout on Tuesday with no problems with his previously fractured left index finger, and if it felt as well on Wednesday he expected to return to the active roster on Friday in Pittsburgh. First, though, he may join the Vero team in Sarasota and play in the Thursday night game to get some at-bats so he can regain his timing.

Finally, the lineup looks a little different tonight, with Eric Hinske at first base and Gabe Gross in right, and thus Willy Aybar on the bench.

Here's how the lineup:

Iwamura, 2b
Crawford, lf
Upton, cf
Hinske, 1b
Longoria, 3b
Navarro, c
Gross, rf
Zobrist, ss
Shields, p

Ramirez, ss
Hermida, rf
Cantu, 3b
Willingham, lf
Uggla, 2b
Jacobs, 1b
Ross, cf
Treanor, c
Tucker, p

It's pouring and the tarp is on the field, which is not a good sign here at Dolphin Stadium.

The Rays enjoyed their victory on Tuesday, as ugly as it was. And if watching Troy Percival walk four on his way to the save Tuesday night seemed - to be polite - unbelievable, you should know this - it was a rather unusual event.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was only the second time a pitcher walked four (or more) while getting a save in an appearance of one inning or less. The others were Armando Benetiz in 2002 and Ryan Dempster in 2005.

[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:36am]


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