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For starters, Rays at Astros




Minute Maid Park from the press box.  Photo by Marc Topkin.

UPDATE, 7:29: Maddon said he liked the way his righthanders matched up with Rodriguez, especially Shoppach, which is why he moved him up to fifth. ... Look for Johnny Damon to be in leftfield on Saturday, and maybe also on Sunday. ... Maddon said he doesn't think Evan

Longoria is doing much wrong at the plate, just not having anything to show for it. And that it might be a good time for Matt Joyce to get a few days off against the lefties (tonight and Sunday) because the Rays will face a lot of righthanders coming up.

Astros lineup:
Bourn cf
Keppinger 2b
Pence rf
Lee lf
Wallace 1b
Johnson 3b
Barmes ss
Towles c
W. Rodriguez p

UPDATE, 5:00: Rays lineup is heavily righthanded vs. LHP Wandy Rodriguez:
 Rodriguez 2b
Zobrist rf
Longoria 3b
Upton cf
Shoppach c
Ruggiano lf
Kotchman 1b
Johnson ss
Shields p

UPDATE, 4:08: The Rays have signed compensation-round pick (No. 38) SS Brandon Martin, and are close with 2nd-round RHP Lenny Linsky (No. 89). Overall, they have signed 30 of their 60 selections.

DEVELOPING: The Rays are getting ready to play their final NL-rules series of the (regular) season tonight in Houston, and will have RHP James Shields on the mound.

Minute Maid Park presents several challenges for visitors, specifically the close leftfield wall and the hill, and flagpole, in centerfield.

The Rays are coming off an off-day here in Houston, having taken two of three from the Brewers in Milwaukee.

LHP J.P. Howell is expected to be back with the team and available to pitch after going back to St. Petersburg on Wednesday to have his sore left foot examined. He was diagnosed with gout, and nothing structurally wrong.


[Last modified: Sunday, July 24, 2011 12:15am]


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