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For starters - maybe - Rays at Reds



UPDATE, 5:00. B.J. Upton was scheduled to play in a minor league game today, but it was rained out.

He'll play five innings in a Triple-A game Monday in Port Charlotte (weather permitting), and get four at-bats

UPDATE, 4:55.  Rays win 11-2.

Maddon praised Kazmir, saying his sliders were as good as he's seen them in a long time.

“I thought (Kazmir) was very, very good,” Maddon said. “That’s what we’re talking about right there, great repetition of his delivery, quality strikes down in the zone with his fastball. Sharpest slider ive seen in a long time. And the changeup was there too. He was just in control o fhis body and thus the pitches were in the right spots. He looked really sharp today.

Kazmir said he had been working on some drills on keeping his head straight, and his direction toward the plate, and it worked out well.

"It seems like it's getting less and less of me coming out of my delivery," Kazmir said. "Everything seems like it’s a lot more consistent now."

Maddon said Isringhausen did well, too, considering he was on back-to-back outings.

UPDATE, 4:16. RHP Jason Isringhausen just came in for the seventh, in his first back to back outing of the spring.

Isringhausen looked good, retiring the Reds in four hitters (only one got on, due to an error). He struck out Jonny Gomes looking.

UPDATE, 3:58. Kazmir finished up his day, which was a pretty good one - he went six innings, giving up two runs (on homer by Jay Bruce), striking out five walking two (hitting two), and four hits.

And, of course, Kazmir went 2-for-3 with a double and three RBI at the plate....

UPDATE, 3:44: Kazmir has cruised ever since the two-run homer, and has given up just four hits in five innings. He's come out for the sixth now.

Rays 10, Reds 2

UPDATE, 3:25: Kazmir continued his big day at the plate, ripping an RBI single in the fifth to give the Rays a 10-2 lead.

UPDATE, 3:06: Rays continue to pile on Bronson Arroyo, with Joyce picking up a two-run double (his second hit of the inning) to give the Rays a 8-2 lead.

UPDATE, 3:02: Kazmir just helped his own cause with a two-run double to leftfield, a long fly ball that carried over Chris Dickerson's head.

Rays 5, Reds 2

UPDATE, 3:00: The Rays got on the board in the fourth, thanks to three straight singles by Kapler, Joyce and Riggans.

Chris Richard knocked in another run with an RBI single, but Riggans was thrown out at the plate. Ray Olmedo tacked on an RBI single to give the Rays the lead.

Rays 3, Reds 2

UPDATE, 2:52: The Reds took a 2-0 lead here in the third, when Jay Bruce hit a two-run homer off of Kazmir.

Reds 2, Rays 0

UPDATE, 2:39: Kazmir had a quick and clean second inning, retiring the Reds in order.

UPDATE, 2:16: LHP Scott Kazmir has gotten into some trouble here in the first, loading the bases with one out.

He gave up an infield single to start off, then walked two of the next three hitters.

But Kazmir battled his way out of the inning, striking out Jay Bruce swinging and getting Adam Rosales to fly out to end the threat.

UPDATE, 1:28: Tarp is coming off....The new gametime is 2 p.m.

UPDATE, 1:13: The tarp is back on the field, with the first pitch delayed for a little bit.

UPDATE, 12:07: Not much news out of Joe Maddon's pre-game session. Maddon said they're getting closer to naming the fifth starter, but said they feel they don't have to rush it, and RHP Jeff Niemann is scheduled to throw in a minor league game Monday.

Matt Joyce gets another start in centerfield, as he continues to make a late bid to make the team's Opening Day roster.

RHPs Jason Isringhausen is throwing on back-to-back days for the first time this spring, so it'll be noteworthy to see how he comes out of it.

UPDATE, 10:30: Here at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, and it appears to be clearing up. The rain has slowed, pretty much stopped, which is good news for potential baseball.

UPDATE, 9:48: The bus just pulled out of the Charlotte Sports Park, so it appears there will be baseball today in Sarasota.

UPDATE, 8:38: The rain is expected to clear out - in Sarasota anyway - so the Rays are still planning on heading out at around 9:45, and will take batting practice in the indoor cages up there. So at this point, it looks like the game is still on.

- - - - -

There are fierce storms rolling through Port Charlotte this morning, with wind, lightning and rain making for a miserable morning and threatening the day's agenda.

We'll keep you posted as we know more, but here's the lineup if they do play, with most of the regulars getting the day off as planned. The Rays will get another look, however, at OF Matt Joyce, who is making a late bid for the final spot on the roster. It was also to be a big day for RHP Jason Isringhausen, who was to make his first back-to-back appearances of the spring.

Kennedy, 2b
Kapler, lf
Joyce, cf
Riggans, c
Gross, rf
Ensberg, 3b
Richard, 1b
Olmedo, ss
Kazmir, p


Taveras, cf
Hairston Jr, ss
Votto, 1b
Phillips, 2b
Bruce, rf
Rosales, 3b
Dickerson, lf
Hernandez, c
Arroyo, p



[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:45am]


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