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For starters, Rays at Tigers

UPDATE, 6:07: It sounds like Fuld will hit 9th for a while, at least until he shows some signs of breaking out of the 11-for-90 skid that had dragged his average down from .350 to .229. ... Both John Jaso and B.J. Upton are likely to get some time at the leadoff spot. ... With Elliot Johnson likely headed to the DL, Sean Rodriguez makes his 6th big-league start at short tonight. Reid Brignac, who had been on the bereavement list, is headed to Detroit tonight and will be available for Wednesday's game, and Felipe Lopez is now likely to stick around. .. Maddon said he talked with slumping Evan Longoria today, and feels that part of Longoria's problem is trying to do too much.

Tigers lineup:
Jackson cf
Kelly 3b
Boesch rf
Cabrera 1b
Martinez dh
Dirks lf
Peralta ss
Avila c
Sizemore 2b
Verlander p


DEVELOPING: The Rays are looking to turn things around tonight against the Tigers, but they face a tough task with Detroit ace Justin Verlander on the mound.

With SS Elliot Johnson sidelined for at least a couple days, they will have Sean Rodriguez at shortstop. Also, manager Joe Maddon has gone back to C John Jaso at the top of the order, dropping slumping Sam Fuld to ninth. Wade Davis will be on the mound for the Rays.

Three other notes about today:

* Matt Joyce is leading the majors in hitting again (at .357), matching Jason Bartlett's 2009 mark for the latest into a season a Ray has led the AL (or the majors).

* The Rays tonight can surpass the 2010 Twins mark by going 49 games into a season without making multiple errors.

* Today is also the four-year anniversary since the Rays last started a pitcher 30 or older, as Jae Seo (on his 30th birthday) faced the Mariners.

Here is tonight's lineup:

Jaso c
Zobrist 2b
Damon dh
Longoria 3b
Joyce rf
Upton cf
Kotchman 1b
Rodriguez ss
Fuld lf
Davis p


[Last modified: Thursday, June 23, 2011 12:15am]


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