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For starters, Rays-Tigers w/Aki back, Longoria dropped and Upton out



UPDATE: Iwamura said his left knee felt good and he was ready to resume playing every day; Maddon said it will be more of a day-in-advance decision based on how the knee feels and how he looks. If he plays second, Ben Zobrist will be moved around (center, left, short) but will stay in the lineup.

Upton is out of the lineup because the Rays thought he was pressing too much, and he might get Sunday off too. Longoria is being dropped down because Maddon likes the look of a Bartlett-Crawford-Zobrist top three, and thinks Burrell is swinging well vs. lefties now.

DEVELOPING: The Rays are getting ready for Saturday's game with 2B Akinori Iwamura in the lineup, B.J. Upton on the bench and Evan Longoria dropped to sixth in the order.

Longoria said he understood the demotion and was fine with it.
The lineup:
Bartlett ss
Crawford lf
Zobrist cf
Burrell dh
Pena 1b
Longoria 3b
Kapler rf
Navarro c
Iwamura 2b
Price p

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


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