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Marquee matchup



There's nothing like a 10-foot-tall inflatable roach to preview today's marquee pitching matchup.

As part of Mascot Day here at the Trop, the Zooperstars -- Harry Canary, Ken Giraffey Jr., Derek Cheetah and Ichiroach Suzuki -- performed their rendition of N'Sync's "Bye, Bye, Bye" before the game.

Entertaining it was, but it was just the opening act for Rays ace Scott Kazmir going against Toronto's Roy Halladay in today's series finale.

Rocco Baldelli is back in the Rays lineup, batting third in the DH spot. Ty Wigginton moves over to second base today to give B.J. Upton a day off and Elijah Dukes is back in center, hitting seventh against Halladay, who was 4-1 against the Rays last season. Carlos Pena is at first for the second straight game to give the Rays another left-handed bat.

Kazmir handed Halladay his only loss against Tampa Bay with 8 2/3 innings of two-run ball in a 5-2 win last April 9.

The Rays 23-year-old lefty appeared up for the challenge, striking out Reed Johnson and Lyle Overbay until allowing a towering solo homer to Vernon Wells.

He struck out Frank Thomas to end the innings, but is one run all that Halladay will need?

[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:31am]


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