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Saturday showdown, with Gomes out

OF/DH Jonny Gomes dropped his appeal and will begin serving his suspension tonight. There was some talk is a chance it could be reduced a game, but Gomes said he will serve the full five games, which means he can't play again until the Rays return home to face the Marlins on Friday.
Though manager Joe Maddon said nothing was official, it would follow that LF Carl Crawford would then start serving his suspension, meaning he would miss the three games against the Marlins and the first against the Cubs. And then 2B Akinori Iwamura would miss the last two games against the Cubs anbd the first against the Astros.

The pitching situation is even less clear, but RHP James Shields is scheduled to take his regular turn on Tuesday (in Anaheim, near where he grew up) and then drop his appeal and start serving his six-game suspension. When he returns, Edwin Jackson will have to serve his. With three off-days in that period, the Rays should only need to use reliever Jason Hammel for one start.

As for tonight's game, on another hot and windy Texas evening, Maddon gave C Dioner Navarro and DH Cliff Floyd the night off, with plans to play them both in Sunday's afternoon game.
That means the lineup looks like this:
Iwamura, 2b
Crawford, lf
Upton, cf
Hinske, dh
Longoria, 3b
Aybar, 1b
Gross, rf
Riggans, c
Bartlett, ss
Sonnanstine, p

Texas has SS Michael Young back in the lineup, and Josh Hamilton getting a half-day off with a turn at DH.
Kinsler, 2b
Young, ss
Hamilton, dh
Bradley, rf
Murphy, cf
Boggs, lf
Catalanotto, 1b
Saltalamacchia, c
Vazquez, 3b
Feldman, p

[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:35am]


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