For starters, Rays at Orioles, in a key series
UPDATE, 6:35: Maddon said Jennings made a strong case to play but he wanted him to go through drills today and they will talk again tomorrow. ... The Longoria decision was to be cautious the day after a travel day. ... Maddon said he started RH-hitting Ben Francisco in left ahead of LH-hitting Sam Fuld because Orioles RH starter Jason Hammel can be tougher on lefties. ... Maddon said Chris Archer will be held out of action as a backup just in case Price turns out not to be ready to start Friday.
UPDATE, 4:43: LF Desmond Jennings is out of the Rays lineup for a third straight game but said the stiffness in his lower back has subsided and he could have played today. ... Evan Longoria is the DH again, a bit of a surprise, though Luke Scott is at first. ... David Price said his bullpen session went well and he is set to start Friday in New York. ... INF Sean Rodriguez will throw without the splint on his broken right hand today and if all continues to go well will be activated when eligible on Saturday to pinch-run, play defense and possibly bunt.
UPDATE, 3:31: David Price threw a bullpen session and, from afar, seemed to get through it with no problems. Manager Joe Maddon, who usually doesn't get involved in routine sessions, was out in the pen to watch. Price skipped his last start due to shoulder soreness.
BREAKING: The Rays were out on the field early Tuesday for some extra batting practice, with Evan Longoria and Luke Scott among the players taking swings. At 7, the Rays will be back on the field to face the Orioles in the opening game of a pivotal road trip where they face the Orioles and then the Yankees, the two teams above them in the AL East standings.
Rookie lefty Matt Moore will be on the mound for the Rays, taking on former Ray Jason Hammel, who makes his second start for Baltimore since coming off the DL following knee surgery.
The Rays, who trail the O's by one game and the Yankees by two, just went 4-2 on a homestand against the Yankees and Rangers.