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For starters, Rays at Mariners without Longoria

UPDATE, 3:26: Longoria said he wanted to play today but the Rays opted for cautiousness, but he said, "I'm 100 percent I'll start tomorrow.'' Longoria said he will be available for pinch-hitting and defense today. "It's one of those things where I don't want to miss a whole lot of days.'' He said he feels good today and "there was no residual soreness or anything like that.''

UPDATE, 3:09: Maddon said the Rays are being cautious with Longoria today, and that he could be available for pinch-hitting or late-inning defense, and "should be fine" to start Monday in Anaheim. ... Maddon also said he went with Fuld over Ruggiano because lefties tend to do better vs. Bedard, but went with Shoppach because Jaso played the last two games and is in line to start the next three in Anaheim.

DEVELOPING: The Rays are looking to split their four-game series with the Mariners in today's afternoon finale, but wil have to do so without 3B Evan Longoria, who is not in the lineup.

Longoria left Saturday's game with tightness in his left side, an area of concern given that he missed a month earlier with a strained left oblique. He was confident later Saturday that he avoided serious injury and said he expected to play today, but would test himself with swings in the batting cage. Obviously the decision was made that he wouldn't play.

Felipe Lopez is at third in his place, with Sean Rodriguez at short. Wade Davis will be on the mound against resurgent Mariners lefty Erik Bedard. Manager Joe Maddon opted for right-handed hitting catcher Kelly Shoppach (over John Jaso) but lefty swinging leftfielder Sam Fuld (over Justin Ruggiano).

Here is the Rays lineup:
Damon dh
Zobrist 2b
Joyce rf
Upton cf
Lopez 3b
Rodriguez ss
Kotchman 1b
Shoppach c
Fuld lf
Davis p



[Last modified: Tuesday, July 5, 2011 12:15am]


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