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For starters, Rays-Jays, seeking a sweep and 7-3



UPDATE, 12:18: Despite using all relievers in Saturday's 10-9 12-inning win that featured a team-record comeback from an 8-0 deficit, the Rays feel good about their bullpen today, with most of the relievers expected to be available. 

It will help, however, if Jeff Niemann can work deep into the game, and manager Joe Maddon said this morning that he likely will stay out there for a while, even if things aren't going well.

It will be a little tricky for the Rays today because as much as they want to win, they also want to have their 'pen at full strength for Monday's opening of a key three-game series  with the Yankees at the Trop.

James Shields, who starts Monday, said: "It's going to be  a big series. I think this whole homestand is going to be big for us.''

LHP Brian Shouse got through his rehab fine and is scheduled to be activated tomorrow, which likely means Dale Thayer will be sent back to Triple-A.

LHP David Price said there were no issues this morning with his left middle finger, which was ticked by a first-inning hit on Saturday. "It's not sore at all,'' he said.

By the way, it's "Dog day" at the Rogers Centre, and there are a lot of canines parading around the field, and they'll be sitting just over the Rays bullpen.

NEWS: The Rays are getting ready to face the Jays in the finale of their second-half starting 10-game roadtrip, seeking a sweep and an impressive 7-3 mark.
The lineup:
Upton cf,
Crawford lf,
Longoria 3b,
Zobrist 2b,
Burrell dh,
Pena 1b,
Kapler rf,
Navarro c,
Bartlett ss,
Niemann p
And for the Jays:
Scutaro, ss
Hill, 2b
Lind, dh
Rolen, 3b
Wells, cf
Rios, rf
Overbay, 1b
Barajas, c
Inglett, lf
Cecil, p

[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:49am]


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