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For starters, Rays-O's, at the end of the road, with no Upton



UPDATE, 6:19: Something else interesting from Maddon's pre-game session - he bascially acknowledged what a lot of others have been saying, that at least some of the players, and he made a point of saying not just the relievers, ran out of gas as the season went on.

“It just came down to fuel,'' he said. "That’s the part that’s frustrating, but nevertheless I thought we played at a very high level for a long period of time this season. April caught us and September caught us – it’s really, it’s something to think about. ...

"I think we all did. I’m not going to just blame relief pitchers. I think as a group we did. You talk about some of those close games we lost late, we had a chance to score more runs, too. We put a lot of pressure on the latter part of the game. 

"Whereas last year we reacted to that and won those games, now this year, almost the same set of circumstances, and we’ve lost those games. And it really to me promotes, or indicates, the fine line between winning and losing in Major League Baseball and the American League East.’’

UPDATE, 5:50: Manager Joe Maddon said he just wanted to give Upton a day off and take a look at Fernando Perez against a lefthander, and may start him again on Saturday against Toronto's Ricky Romero, though possibly in leftfield in place of Carl Crawford.

DEVELOPING: The Rays are hoping to put a good ending on a miserable road trip in the last of a four-game series at Baltimore and an 11-game trip in which they've thus far gone 1-9 and endured 7 hours and 10 minutes of rain delays.

They'll do so tonight without CF B.J. Upton, who is not in the lineup as Fernando Perez is playing center. Both Carl Crawford and Pat Burrell, who had a pre-game confrontation on Wednesday, are in the lineup.

Rookie Wade Davis will make his third major-league start.

Here is the Rays lineup:
Bartlett ss
Crawford lf
Longoria 3b
Zobrist 2b
Burrell dh
Aybar 1b
Kapler rf
Navarro c
Perez cf
Davis p

And for the Orioles
Roberts 2b
Pie cf
Reimold lf
Markakis rf
Mora 3b
Scott dh
Wieters c
Aubrey 1b
Andino ss
Hendrickson p

[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:51am]


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