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For starters, Rays at M's w/no Bartlett, Upton

UPDATE, 7:32: Bartlett and Upton said manager Joe Maddon told them they are not playing tonight so they can benefit from two days of rest since the team was off on Monday. Both were a bit surprised when Maddon mentioned it on the flight out Monday, but said they are fine with the decision. And both are available for late-inning defense or pinch-hitting.

UPDATE, 6:42: Interesting lineup for the Rays today, with Bartlett and Upton not playing. Here's who is:

Rodriguez 2b
Crawford lf
Zobrist cf
Longoria 3b
Pena 1b
Kapler rf
Burrell dh
Navarro c
Brignac ss
Shields p

And the M's:
Ichiro rf
Figgins 2b
Guttierez cf
Bradley lf
Griffey dh
Lopez 3b
Kotchman 1b
Jack Wilson ss
Moore c
Vargas p


DEVELOPING: The Rays are getting ready to put their baseball-best 18-7 overall record and 9-1 road mark on the line tonight in Seattle. It's cold (50s and dropping) and rainy here, but with the roof over Safeco Field there's no question about the game being played or delayed. It does get chilly though side there are no side panels on the stadium, making it essentially covered but open-air.

From the Rays game notes:

* "Rays are a major league best 9-1 on the road this season…only one major league team in the last 25 years has recorded a better road record in April: the 2002 Mariners (10-1)… Rays are the first team to start their road schedule 9-1 since the 2003 Yankees went 9-1/10-1 and one of only 4 teams to start 9-1 or better on the road in the last 25 years joining the 2003 Yankees, the 2001 Mariners (10-0/10-1) and the 1994 Braves (10-0, 10-1)…Rays are pitching to a 2.23 ERA IP-93, ER-23) on the road, tops in the majors…opposing hitters are batting a .202... Rays play 14 of their next 19 on the road."

* POINTS FOR AND AGAINST---The Rays lead the American League in most runs scored (147) and fewest runs allowed (80)…their run
differential of+ 67 is the greatest by a major league team after 25 games since the 2003 Yankees (+82, 170-88) and the 4th greatest
after 25 games since divisional play began in 1969.
Majors Greatest Run Differential After 25 Games, Since 1969
2003 New York Yankees +82 (170-88)    1997 Atlanta Braves +67 (140-73)
1984 Detroit Tigers +72 (150-78)            2010 Rays +67 (147-80)
1974 LA Dodgers +70 (139-69)               1981 Oakland A’s +66 (121-55)

* POINTS AGAINST---The Rays have allowed only 80 runs, the fewest by an American League team after 25 games since the 2001 Red
Sox permitted only 76…only 3 times has an AL team allowed fewer runs after 25 games in the last 25 years.
Fewest Runs Allowed After 25 Games, Last 25 Years, Since 1985
1991 Boston Red Sox 74                2010 Rays 80
2001 Boston Red Sox 76               1992 Baltimore Orioles 80
1986 Boston Red Sox 77

Also Tuesday, there was a heavy turnout of Rays for early batting practice, and word late Monday that J.P. Howell had a successful 35-pitch bullpen session.

Lineups when we have them.


[Last modified: Thursday, June 3, 2010 12:15am]


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