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Rays go for title; Percival says he'll be ready



UPDATE, 6:23: LF Carl Crawford said his right hand felt good again after hitting off a tee on Wednesday, but he is frustrated because he likely won't get medical clearance to start hitting in time to play in the first round of the playoffs. Manager Joe Maddon said no decisions have been made.

Maddon also said he will probably wait until Friday to put Percival in a game, and would hope to pitch him twice over the weekend, and that if Percival is healthy and "effective" he would be on the roster.

The Rays are also planning to pitch David Price during the weekend to see how effective he can be in relief.

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The Rays are readying for tonight's game against the Orioles, knowing that if they win and the Red Sox lose they can clinch the AL East title, the first team besides the Yankees or Red Sox to do so since 1997.

RHP Troy Percival rejoined the team after receiving a second round of epidural injections in his back on Tuesday, and said he was confident he would be healthy enough to be on the roster for the division series but knew it was not just his decision.

"Health-wise I think I'll be fine,'' he said. "It's up to them on what they want to do to give them the best opportunity.''

Wednesday's lineup is the somewhat regular setup against righthanders.

Iwamura, 2b
Upton, cf
Pena, 1b
Longoria, 3b
Floyd, dh
Navarro, c
Gross, rf
Hinske, lf
Bartlett, ss
Jackon, p

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


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