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For starters, Rays at Mariners, with a different look



UPDATE, 2:59: Maddon said the unusual lineup is due to Hernandez, who is extremely tough on right-handed hitters. Combining that with wanting to give some players a rest - such as Jennings and Keppinger - and get others in a game - such as Johnson - he came up with this plan before last night's game and decided to stick with it ... Maddon said neither Joel Peralta or Fernando Rodney are likely to be used today after working in four straight games each. The closer will be determined based on the situation, though Maddon hinted one of the lefties, J.P. Howell or Jake McGee, could be in line. .. RHP JEff Niemann came through his Tuesday rehab start fine and will move up to Triple-A Durham for two more. ... DH Luke Scott feels good in his recovery from an oblique strain, but the Rays aren't ready to bring him back and will leave him on rehab for the weekend.

BREAKING: As the Rays start a stretch against five dominating pitchers with a matinee against Seattle's King Felix Hernandez, the lineup will have an unusual look.

Evan Longoria is in it, at DH. But Jeff Keppinger, their top hitter, and Desmond Jennings, their hottest hitter, are not. Instead manager Joe Maddon will send out this interesting nine:

Fuld lf
Upton cf
Joyce rf
Longoria DH
Zobrist 2b
Pena 1b
Lobaton c
Johnson ss
S-Rod 3b
Hellickson p

The Rays will try to put last night's frustrating walkoff loss that ended their season-high seven-game winning streak behind them, and regain some momentum by winning the series.

Here is the Mariners lineup, with ex-Ray John Jaso behind the plate:

 Dustin Ackley       2B
Michael Saunders  CF
Jesus Montero        DH
John Jaso               C
Kyle Seager          3B
Justin Smoak        1B
Trayvon Robinson  LF
Eric Thames         RF
Brendan Ryan       SS
 Felix Hernandez        RHP



[Last modified: Friday, September 14, 2012 12:40am]


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