Rays at Rangers, seeking another
UPDATE, 11:32: Manager Joe Maddon admitted it was a bit of a hunch to play Brignac today over Jason Bartlett, but with good reason: "Our numbers are pretty close between him and JB, but he might bring some new energy today and I think he definitely could put the ball in the seats here, so we'll see.'' And Maddon has no concerns of Brignac being intimidated by the moment. "Reid? No, not at all. It's like Jaso. He'll be fine.'' ... Maddon said the residuals of the Rays comeback win on Saturday were evident this morning: "I walk in the food room and they're all in there chirping right now; yesterday they weren't chirping nearly as loudly, which is just normal, it happens. But I like the way we look right now. And the fact that we were able to secure momentum; we just haven't had any, we've down this whole series. You finally get back on top and you finish it off and you feel good about the next day. In 24 hours, things can change very quickly. ... I think we have a better chance to get off to a good start today based on what had happened yesterday.'' ... Maddon said all pitchers will be available today in the bullpen except for David Price, who would start Game 5 on Tuesday, and Matt Garza, who threw on Saturday. That means Jeff Niemann is back on the ready list, and Game 2 starter James Shields a possibility. ... Maddon said Evan Longoria's problems (1-for-12) are more the product of poor pitch selection than issues with his strained left quad, though it is obvious Longoria is not running at anywhere near 100 percent. "I just think they're pitching him pretty good,'' Maddon said. "He's just out of his zone a little bit, he could be just a little more patient.'' ... One of the reasons Maddon moved Pena back to No. 5 today in the order is to get Longoria better pitches to hit. ... And looking ahead to a possible Game 5, Maddon said he was at least going to look at changing his lineup and sticking with at least some of his lefthanded hitters rather than go back to the righthanded platoon. ... Neither team took batting practice Sunday due to the early start and heat.
DEVELOPING: The Rays are looking to stave elimination again today and bring the best-of-five division series with the Rangers back to the Trop for a Game 5 on Tuesday.
The Rays lineup is slightly different today, with Reid Brignac starting ahead of Jason Bartlett at shortstop and Carlos Pena moved up to fifth in the order. Wade Davis will be on the mound.
And for the Rangers: