For starters, Rays vs Jays

2

August

Update 5:01 p.m The Rays open this 10-game homestand with a little sense of urgency, as with being 10 games back of first-place Boston (and nine back of wild-card leading Yankees), they've got a lot of ground to make up.

But they still feel like they have a big run in them.

"Right now we just need to worry about playing and whatever happens, we still have a very good team," Damon said. "I still like our chances on our team in any kind of series there is. I liked this team from Day 1 and I continue to like this team today..

"There's no doubt we can make a run, especially with our division beating up on each other. No game is easy in our division and when you ever go into a game thinking it's going to be, you're not trained for the American League East. WE do have an uphill climb, but the journey is the greatest thing about playing baseball. We know where we're at, just continue and whatever happens at the end of the season, make the playoffs, not, win the World Series, the journey is what everyone needs to look forward to."

*C John Jaso (oblique) admits that his recovery has taken longer than he anticipated, and he's still a few weeks away. He said he had a little setback four days ago while hitting live batting practice, feeling some discomfort, so they shut him down for three days. Jaso was back working out today and plans to hit live BP tommorrow, another test for him. Either way, both he and manager Joe Maddon don't feel like he'll be shut down for the season.

*RHP Juan Cruz is back in the bullpen, and Maddon said he'll be used in his same role. With RHP Mike Ekstrom optioned, RHP Brandon Gomes is the long man. Maddon said while there has been thoughts of going back to a seven-man bullpen, they're sticking with the six-man rotation for now.

*Maddon believes that in a lot of ways, LHP David Price is a better pitcher than a year ago, despite his 9-9 record. One big difference has been his struggles with runners in scoring position, and Maddon says part of that could be the choices he makes in pitch selection at times.

Developing: The Rays, coming off a 4-6 West-Coast trip, will return to Tropicana Field tonight to start a 10-game homestand.

With LHP David Price on the mound, Tampa Bay will face the Jays, who are just 1.5 games behind them for third-place in the American League East.

RHP Juan Cruz (groin strain) has been activated off the disabled list, with RHP Mike Ekstrom optioned back to Triple-A Durham.


Rays lineup
Jennings lf
Damon dh
Longoria 3b
Zobrist 2b
Kotchman 1b
Upton cf
Joyce rf
Shoppach c
Rodriguez ss
Price lhp

Jays
Escobar ss
Rasmus cf
Bautista 3b
Lind 1b
Encarnacion dh
Snider lf
Hill 2b,
Davis rf
Arencibia c
Romero lhp

[Last modified: Thursday, September 1, 2011 12:15am]

    

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