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Long day's night for Rays



UPDATE, 7:56: Game two of tonight's doubleheader is scheduled to start at 8:25 p.m.

UPDATE, 5:40 LF Carl Crawford was glowing after his afternoon workout to test his surgically repaired right hand and said he thinks he could rejoin the lineup for next week's opening round of the playoffs.

"Definitely in my mind I want to be in the lineup by next week,'' Crawford said. "If I'm able to go out there and do the stuff I did today then I should be able to get in the lineup, whether it's good or bad.''

Crawford hit balls off a tee, and bunted a few times, and reported no pain; he has been sidelined following Aug. 14 surgery to repair the band that secures the tendon along his right middle finger.

"Just me being able to swing the bat with no pain is such a big step for me,'' he said. "I'm happy with that.'''

Manager Joe Maddon said before the first game of the doubleheader that he had not had a chance to get updated by head atheltic trainer Ron Porterfield.

Also, RHP Troy Percival will rejoin the team Wednesday, after getting another epidural injection in his back. He will be available to pitch starting Thursday, and Maddon made it sound like Percival's availability to pitch on consecutive days could be a key to deciding whether he is on the roster for the first round of the playoffs.

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The Rays are preparing for a long day and night at Camden Yards.

With lefty Garrett Olson on the mound in the opener, the Rays are looking righthanded for the opener.

Ben Zobrist, Fernando Perez and Evan Longoria are the only players scheduled to start both games.

Here is the first game lineup:
Iwamura, 2b
Upton, cf
Pena, 1b
Longoria, 3b
Baldelli, dh
Navarro, c
Zobrist, lf
Bartlett, ss
Perez. rf
Shields, p

[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:39am]


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