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For starters, Rays at Astros

Update 6:52 p.m. Manager Joe Maddon said it was just CF B.J. Upton's turn for a night off, and decided on Sean Rodriguez to play the spacious centerfield at Minute Maid Park.

*No real big news pre-game, other than a small update on C Kelly Shoppach, who his rehabbing from knee surgery. Maddon said that by the time the Rays go on their next road trip (June 1-6), Shoppach should be ready to start a rehab assignment.

*The biggest news actually came from the other side, with the reports surfacing that veteran Astros right-hander Roy Oswalt has requested a trade. The club confirmed it, but most players are keeping mum on the subject. It was a little odd scene with the MLB Network on in the Astros clubhouse, talking about the developing story.

*For those returning to their hometown, it has been a busy day. LF Carl Crawford has a bunch of family and friends in town, and had plenty of local TV stations and writers at his locker today to reminisce. RHP Jeff Niemann, also a Houston native, said his phone has been buzzing quite a bit.

RHP Dan Wheeler, an ex-Astro making his first trip as a visitor since returning to the Rays, said it was a little "weird" being back here, but said Minute Maid Park is still his favorite ballpark.

Developing: The Rays, coming off an impressive two-game sweep of the Yankees, begin interleague play tonight in Houston at Minute Maid Park which - thankfully - has the roof closed tonight.

CF B.J. Upton is getting the day off, with Sean Rodriguez in center. C John Jaso moves up a bit in the lineup to sixth, right behind Carlos Pena, and Reid Brignac will start at second.

RHP Matt Garza will be on the mound - and at the plate - hoping to improve on his last outing, in which he gave up just one run, but said he didn't have his best stuff. He said he worked on a mechanical adjustment - mostly timing - in his last bullpen, and seemed to find an answer for it.

Rays lineup

Bartlett ss
Crawford lf
Zobrist rf,
Longoria 3b
Pena 1b
Jaso c
Rodriguez cf
Brignac 2b
Garza rhp
 

 

[Last modified: Sunday, June 20, 2010 12:15am]

    

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