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Rays-Red Sox ready to roll: Bartlett good to go



UPDATE, 5:40: Manager Joe Maddon said he wanted to take "a head count" before posting the lineup, and his survey yielded Gabe Gross in rightfield and Michel Hernandez behind the plate.

Maddon reiterated that he thinks the team is just going through a rough stretch and he believes they are close to breaking out offensively. And the key, he said, will start at the top, that as soon as B.J. Upton - hitting .158 with a .304 on-base percentage - gets going, that the rest of the lineup will follow.

"It would be great to turn things around right now and if we do that it would be wonderful,'' Maddon said, "and if we don't it's not the end of the world either. We've just got to keep doing the things we believe in.''

Also, former Rays TV broadcaster Joe Magrane is in the house, working the game for his new employer, the MLB Network.

Here is the Rays lineup:

Upton, cf
Crawford, lf
Longoria, 3b
Pena, 1b
Burrell, dh
Gross, rf
Iwamura, 2b
Bartlett, ss
Hernandez, c
Garza, p

And the Red Sox:
Ellsbury, cf
Pedroia, 2b
Ortiz, dh
Youkilis, 1b
Drew, rf
Bay, lf
Lowell, 3b
Kottaras, c
Lugo, ss
Beckett, p

UPDATE, 5:00: Jason Bartlett said his leg feels good and he expects to be in the lineup. -

 - - After getting home from Minneapolis at around 4 a.m., the Rays are getting ready for their big four-game series with the Red Sox. No word yet on whether SS Jason Bartlett will be in the lineup. He left Wednesday's game with hamstring tightness.

[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:46am]


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