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For openers ...




* The Rays lost the opener 3-1. They led 1-0, but Ruddy Lugo allowed a three-run homer in the eighth to non-roster infielder Chris Basak.

* The Rays scored their first run of the spring when Shawn Riggans beat out an infield single, allowing Fernando Perez to score with two outs in the seventh.

* The Rays got their first hit of the spring when CF Rocco Baldelli singled to open the fourth. The score was 0-0 after four innings.

* The skies parted, the sun came out and the game started on time. James Shields started well by striking out Johnny Damon on three pitches, but threw a lot of pitches to No. 2 hitter Derek Jeter, who eventually singled, and lasted only one inning.

With a band of thunderstorms expected to roar through the area, the Rays hit the field early Friday to prepare for their sold-out exhibition opener against the Yankees.

The Rays lineup is as expected:

Rocco Baldelli, cf
Delmon Young, rf
Carl Crawford, lf
Ty Wigginton, 1b
Jorge Cantu, 2b
Greg Norton, dh
Akinori Iwamura, 3b
Dioner Navarro, c
Ben Zobrist, ss

RHP James Shields will be on the mound. LHP Scott Kazmir, the projected opening day starter (against the Yankees .... ) will face Toronto on Saturday in Dunedin.

Not much news in manager Joe Maddon's pre-game briefing. Regulars will normall stay in the game until they get two at-bats for the first week or so, pitchers will all be used in the first three or four games.

The Yankees are starting LHP Andy Pettitte and are expected to bring all regulars expect C Jorge Posada.

Andy Freed and Dave Wills will call the game on 1250-AM.

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


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