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For starters, Rays at Tigers, series finale



UPDATE, 12:27: Manager Joe Maddon said there is a certain uncomfortable feeling about facing a pitcher they don't know much about such as Smyly, who split last season between Class A and AA. "Even though we do a nice job of getting info on minor-league players that we haven't seen in the past, there's just not a real thick booklet out there about this fella.,'' Maddon said.

UPDATE, 12:09: From Rays PR - If the Rays win today they will become first team since the 1997 Astros to open a season by winning consecutive series from reigning division champs. The Rays will have beaten the Yankees and Tigers; the Astros beat the Braves and Cardinals.

UPDATE, 12:06: RHP Jeremy Hellickson said he feels fine this morning and, barring something unexpected in his follow-up concussion tests, he will make his next start as scheduled on Saturday in Boston. ... DH Luke Scott took batting practice on the field to test his strained left hamsting and said his goal is to return to the lineup on Friday.

UPDATE, 12:04: Tigers lineup:
Jackson cf
Boesch rf
Cabrera 3b
Fielder 1b
Young lf
Avila c
Peralta ss
Dirks dh
Raburn 2b
Smyly p

UPDATE, 10:15: Rays lineup:
Jennings cf
Pena 1b,
Longoria 3b,
Keppinger dh,
Zobrist rf,
S-Rod ss,
Lobaton c,
Johnson 2b,
Joyce lf,
Niemann p

 The Rays look to extend their franchise best 4-1 start today with a 1:05 game against the Tigers.

RHP Jeff Niemann will be on the mound for the Rays in his first appearance of the season. The Tigers will start lefty Drew Smyly, who is making his major-league debut.

The Rays are coming off their impressive comeback win Wednesday against the Tigers ace Justin Verlander, when they rallied for four runs in the ninth after being held to one hit through eight innings.

Also coming today should be a decision on whether Jeremy Hellickson will get to make his next start as scheduled on Saturday after being hit on the head by a ball during batting practice on Wednesday.

Lineups when we get them.


[Last modified: Saturday, May 12, 2012 12:40am]


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