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For starters, Rays at Royals, with Archer on the hill



UPDATE, 7:10: Maddon said he dropped Jennings in the order to try to take some pressure off him, and hope that he snaps out of what had been an extended skid, as he has hit only .184 in 19 games since coming off the DL following a left knee sprain. Maddon said he figures the injury, the time missed (21 games) and the slump are are working against Jennings. Jennings meanwhile said he feels fine and has shed the brace he was wearing, that his struggles are purely baseball-related. "I'm just not hitting,'' he said. ... Maddon said he decided to put Brooks Conrad at second and Jeff Keppinger at third based on how comfortable Keppinger looked at third the other day. ... RHP Jeremy Hellickson siad he felt good the day after his 60-pitch bullpen session and is target to return this weekend, though a final decision hasn't been made between Saturday and Sunday.

UPDATE, 6:01: Jennings dropped to 7th in Rays order:
Upton cf,
Pena 1b,
Keppinger 3b,
Matsui DH,
Zobrist rf,
S-Rod ss,
Jennings lf,
Conrad 2b,
Lobaton c,
Archer p


BREAKING: Coming off Monday's flat 8-0 loss, the Rays will take on the Royals again tonight in Kansas City.


Rookie RHP Chris Archer will make his second big-league start, and will be opposed by veteran LHP Bruce Chen.

Monday's game was over early, as RHP Alex Cobb got hit early and often, and the Rays managed only seven hits against Royals RHP Luke Hochevar.

Because of the sweltering Midwest heat, the Rays canceled batting practice for today and pushed back the times of the bus to the stadium. Several players were out on the field early this afternoon playing Frisbee, including LHPs David Price and Matt Moore and Cobb.


[Last modified: Thursday, July 26, 2012 12:39am]


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