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For starters, Rays at Twins, seeking five



UPDATE, 6:10: As for using the same lineup two days in a row (for only the 4th time this season), Maddon said he felt fine, that it was just a matter of sticking with what he felt was the their best offensive lineup. .. .Maddon said he once again was leaning toward not playing Longoria, but Longoria said he felt even better than he did on Friday, so he was in there. ... And he went back to Zobrist at SS because of how well he handled several tough plays last night. ....  The curious decision at catcher was made because Molina and Lobaton looked about even offensively vs. the Twins Saturday and Sunday starters, so he decided to pair Molina with Price.

UPDATE, 4:25: Zobrist said he hasn't been told how long the experiment at shortstop is going to last either, that he's just going out each day and trying to make the plays he gets. ... This is just the fourth time this season Maddon has used the same batting order and lineup in consecutive games.

Twins lineup:
Revere cf
Carroll 3b
Mauer dh
Willingham lf
Morneau 1b
Mastroianni  rf
Dozier ss
Butera c
Casilla 2b
Blackburn p

UPDATE, 4:07: The Rays will start the same lineup tonight as they did Friday, which shows the value of 12 runs and 13 hits. That means Evan Longoria will again be the DH and Ben Zobrist again at shortstop.

The lineup:
Jennings lf
Upton cf
Joyce rf
Longoria dh
Zobrist ss
Pena 1b
Keppinger 3b
Roberts 2b
Molina c
Price p

 The Rays are prepping to play the Twins tonight seeking to extend their winning streak to five, which would be their longest since winning six straight April 29-May 4.

And they'll have their ace, David Price, on the mound trying to do so. Price hasn't lost since June 13, a string of nine consecutive starts in which he has worked seven or more innings and is 6-0, 1.82 in that span.

And also in their favor, the Twins are starting RHP Nick Blackburn, who the Rays have handled well.

Evan Longoria is expected to be in the lineup for a fifth straight game as the DH. In the first four, the previously impotent Rays have scored 26 runs and logged 42 hits. And they are 4-0.

One question is whether Ben Zobrist will be at shortstop again; manager Joe Maddon indicated last night he would go back to either Sean Rodriguez or Elliot Johnson since Price is more of a ground ball pitcher.




[Last modified: Monday, September 10, 2012 12:40am]


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