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For starters, Rays at Twins, with Longoria at DH, Zobrist at SS



UPDATE, 7:21: Maddon said he still considers the Zobrist situation an experiment, but could see it working out where Zobrist plays SS at least a couple days a week (like when fly-ball pitchers Matt Moore and Hellickson are starting) and possibly growing from there .... Luke Scott will DH the full game for Charlotte tonight and again Saturday and then be re-evaluated. ... Jeff Niemann will make his next rehab start on Tuesday for Charlotte. ... Maddon said he was leaning toward giving Longoria the night off but head athletic trainer Ron Porterfield felt very strongly that Longoria was good to go. Also, Maddon said he was glad to hear Longoria was feeling better at third base but he did not expect to use him in the field during this 10-game trip.

UPDATE, 5:46: Longoria said he felt good and there was no soreness so he wanted to play again, though he wants to stay in the lineup he acknowledged the Rays likely will make him take a day off. ... Zobrist said he had no issues at shortstop on Thursday, felt comfortable and is willing to stay there as long as the Rays want him to.

Twins lineup:
Span cf
Revere rf
Mauer c
Willingham lf
Morneau 1b
Doumit dh
Casilla 2b
Dozier ss
Carroll 3b
De Vries p

UPDATE, 4:44:
Longoria is playing a fourth straight game, and Ben Zobrist is back at shortstop: 
Jennings lf
Upton cf
Joyce rf
Longoria dh
Zobrist ss
Pena 1b
Keppinger 3b
Roberts 2b
Molina c
Hellickson p 

The Rays are set to open a weekend series at beautiful Target Field in Minneapolis tonight, looking to extend their winning streak to four coming off a sweep of the Blue Jays.

One major question is whether Evan Longoria will be in the lineup after playing the first three games, at DH, following his return from the DL.

RHP Jeremy Hellickson will be on the mound for the Rays, and the Iowa native expects to have about 50 friends and relatives driving up to watch.

The Twins are starting RHP Cole De Vries.

Overall, the Rays have won six of their last eight, and start play today one-half game off a wild-card spot, though behind the A's, Tigers and O's.


[Last modified: Sunday, September 9, 2012 12:40am]


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