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For starters, Rays-Red Sox in a big finale



UPDATE, 5:05: Manager Joe Maddon said 2B Akinori Iwamura has a sore left ankle, which is why he pulled him late in Wednesday's game and why he isn't starting tonight against the Red Sox. But Maddon said Iwamura is fine, and that he'll start Friday against the Tigers.

Iwamura had his left ankle taped when walking around the clubhouse earlier. He and interpretyer Bori Uchibori met with Maddon before Thursday's game.

Maddon said the decision to call up INF Reid Brignac was primarily to give them some middle infield depth, a pre-emptive move also for Monday's doubleheader in New York, and because they don't want to have to use Ben Zobrist at shortstop should Jason Bartlett need a break. Maddon said Brignac will start one of the two games against the Yankees.


The Rays have a chance to win another series from the Red Sox and move to within four games of the wild card lead in tonight's series finale, and will have David Price on the mound.

The only surprise in the lineup is Gabe Gross, who is 0-for-5 against Boston starter Clay Buchholz, starting in rightfield rather than Akinori Iwamura, who is 2-for-7 off him with a homer,  at second, since you know Ben Zobrist is going to be in there either way. 

Wade Davis, who will make his big-league debut Sunday, is here and wearing No. 58.

Here is the lineup they'll send out:
Bartlett, ss
Crawford, lf
Zobrist, 2b
Pena, 1b
Burrell, dh
Longoria, 3b
Zaun, c
Gross, rf
Upton, cf
Price, p

And for the Red Sox:
Ellsbury, cf
Pedroia, 2b
Martinez, c
Youkilis, 1b
Bay, lf
Ortiz, dh
Lowell, 3b
Baldelli, rf
Gonzalez, ss
Buchholz, p

[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:50am]


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