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Rays vs. Red Sox, for openers



UPDATE, 6:08: Maddon said recently-acquired Brad Hawpe will play a couple minor league games and likely join the Rays next week, and will be post-season eligible.

Maddon said Hawpe will primarily be a DH against right-handed pitchers and get some work in the outfield, as well as maybe first base. He pointed out that Hawpe was an All-Star just a year ago, and just didn't get much playing time this year due to the emerging young outfielders with the Rockies.

"That could be to our advantage," Maddon said.

Maddon admitted the possibility of getting Manny Ramirez through waivers was a long-shot, but said the Hawpe addition could be interesting.

*In other news, RHP Grant Balfour said he feels good enough to pitch tonight, but will pitch in minor league games with Class A Charlotte Saturday and Monday before rejoining the team possibly Wednesday. Balfour said though he's been on the DL, he hopes he can return to the same form as when he left.

*First-round pick OF Josh Sale and fellow draft pick Drew Vettleson were at the Trop and in uniform, participating in batting practice with the big league club. "An unreal feeling," Vettleson said. The two said they were a bit nervous to begin with, but veteran Gabe Kapler helped break the ice - and calm them down - by playing a game with them in the outfield while shagging fly balls. "I hope it's not the last BP I take on this field," Sale quipped.

UPDATE, 3:55: Rays lineup, the new version against lefthanders:
Upton cf
Bartlett ss
Crawford lf
Longoria 3b
Pena 1b
Zobrist rf
Aybar dh
Rodriguez 2b
Shoppach c
Price lhp

DEVELOPING: The Rays have already had an eventul day, signing Rockies OF Brad Hawpe to a minor-league deal (with plans to promote him to the majors by Tuesday's deadline for post-season eligibility) and learning that the White Sox won the waiver claim on Manny Ramirez.

And now it's time for them to get down to the real business at hand, trying to knock the Sox further back in the wild-card race. David Price will be on the mound, seeking his 16th win, in a marquee matchup with Boston's Jon Lester.

No word yet on the Rays lineup, but here is what the Red Sox have planned:

Scutaro ss
McDonald cf
Martinez c
Beltre 3b
Ortiz dh
Lowell 1b
Drew rf
Lowrie 2b
Hall lf
Lester p

[Last modified: Sunday, September 26, 2010 12:15am]


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