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For starters, Rays at Tigers, with Crawford batting third



Update 6:14 p.m. The big news of the day so far was that manager Joe Maddon said MRIs revealed today that RHPs Jeff Niemann and Wade Davis have shoulder strains, and there's a chance both could land on the disabled list.


Both had experienced soreness in the back of their throwing shoulders, which is why they were examined today in St. Pete. Maddon said an announcement could come before or after tonight's game, but that they were encouraged with the results, feeling that any DL stint would be minimal and precautionary.

*In other news, Maddon said he tweaked the lineup, moving LF Carl Crawford to the third spot and Evan Longoria back to cleanup, in an effort to get their struggling offense going. His reasoning was to put two of the team's higher on-base percentage hitters, John Jaso and Ben Zobrist, in front of Crawford and Longoria, and said it'll be more than a one-day trial.

Crawford and Longoria have rarely been taken out of their typical spots, No. 2 and No. 3 in the lineup, but Maddon spoke to both and said both were "on board." Crawford said he welcomed the move, looking for anything to get the team going.

Developing: The Rays will try to snap a five-game losing streak here in Detroit, with All-Star LHP David Price on the mound.

The biggest news will likely come off the field, as the Rays may have updates on RHPs Jeff Niemann and Wade Davis, both of whom were sent back to St. Petersburg to get examined by Dr. Koco Eaton Monday. Both had experienced some soreness in the back of their throwing shoulders.

Top prospect RHP Jeremy Hellickson is in the clubhouse in Detroit, saying he's starting Tuesday against the Tigers. So that's an indication that either Davis or Niemann could be going to the disabled list. Davis was scheduled to start Tuesday.

This will be the second time Hellickson has been called up from Triple-A in a week. He had a dazzling debut for the Rays last week against the Twins.

There's also a twist in the lineup, with LF Carl Crawford - in a 1-for-16 skid - moved out of his usual second spot in the order to the three-hole, in front of Evan Longoria.

Rays lineup
Jaso c
Zobrist 2b
Crawford lf
Longoria 3b
Aybar dh
Johnson 1b
Joyce rf
Upton cf
Bartlett ss
Price, lhp

Tigers lineup
Jackson cf
Santiago dh
Raburn rf
Cabrera 1b
Guillen 2b
Peralta ss
Inge 3b
Frazier lf
Laird c

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 8, 2010 12:15am]


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