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For starters, Rays at Indians, on Luke watch

UPDATE: 5:47: Hideki Matsui came through his pinch-hitting appearance on Thursday well and is available again tonight, though may still need a pinch-runner due to his hamstring. ... INF Jeff Keppinger (left triceps) is better, but Maddon said they felt better putting him in the game late than risking starting him and possibly having to remove him. ... INF Sean Rodriguez is out of the lineup due to better matchups vs. Masterson for lefty hitters, such as Rhymes and Conrad. .. Maddon again praised Scott for the way he has handled his stuggles. ... Maddon had no updates on Matt Joyce or Evan Longoria.

Indians lineup:
Choo rf
Cabrera ss
Kipnis 2b
Hafner dh
Santana c
Brantley cf
Kotchman 1b
Damon lf
Hannahan 3b
Masterson p

UPDATE, 4:28: Rays lineup:
Jennings lf,
Pena 1b,
Zobrist rf,
Upton cf,
Scott dh,
Conrad 3b,
Lobaton c,
Rhymes 2b,
Johnson ss,
Cobb p
BREAKING: The Rays will try again to break out of their funk and gather some momentum heading into the All-Star break as they face the Indians again tonight.

RHP Alex Cobb, who has one win in his last six starts, will be on the mound against Cleveland RHP Justin Masterson

The focus will be on Rays DH/1B Luke Scott, who comes into the game on a team-record 0-for-39 skid, just seven hitless at-bats shy of Eugenio Velez's major-league record. One thing in Scott's favor - he is 7-for-16 lifetime against Masterson.

During the streak, which goes back to June 1, Scott has been on base twice (once by walk, once by error) and struck out 13 times. He also missed 17 games while on the DL due to back stiffness (and his 0-for-24 since his return).

Offense has been the major problem for the Rays, as they have scored four or fewer runs in 10 of their last 11 games, going 3-8 in that stretch. They have hit .209 over that stretch, with only a .259 OBP and a .167 average with runners in scoring position.




[Last modified: Sunday, August 5, 2012 12:39am]


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