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Opener sold out; Floyd sidelined



Update, 6:34: There was some injury news for the Rays, and it wasn't good. DH Cliff Floyd - who had hits in each of his four starts - was scratched from Monday's lineup due to right knee soreness, and replaced by Jonny Gomes.
And INF Ben Zobrist had to have pins inserted in his slow-healing fractured left thumb, delaying his return back at least two more weeks, which means it now is likely to be sometime in May before he is ready to go.

The new lineup is listed below.

The Rays announced at about 4 p.m. that Tuesday's home opener is sold out.
Technically, there were some tickets still available - obstructed view, scattered singles and handicap accessible seating - but the Rays deemed it officially a sellout. Under present configuration, with tarps covering good portions of the upper deck, capacity has been reduced to around 36,000.
That makes three straight seasons the home opener has sold out and - at about 27 hours before game time - the earliest it has happened since the 1998 inaugural opener.

As for Monday night's game, it is very cold here in New York, with the windchill expected to be in the 30s by the end of the night.

The Rays lineup looks like this, with the biggest decision by manager Joe Maddon to play Eric Hinske in rightfield despite poor numbers against Yankees starter Mike Mussina (4-for-29 with 12 strikeouts):

Iwamura, 2b
Crawford, lf
Pena, 1b
Upton, cf
Floyd, dh Hinske, rf
Hinske, rf Aybar, 3b
Aybar, 3b Gomes, DH
Difelice, c
Bartlett, ss

[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:34am]


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