For starters, Rays vs. Jays
Update 5:31 p.m. Manager Joe Maddon stacked a lot of righthanded hitters against Jays RHP Brandon Morrow - a reverse-split pitcher tougher on lefties - whom Maddon labels one of the best lefties in baseball, "who happens to throw right-handed."
That's why 1B Carlos Pena and DH Luke Scott aren't in the lineup, even though Maddon has liked how they've hit recently, pointing out how they've had a more organized strike zone.
Maddon is starting C Jose Molina for the fourth straight game, but says he feels good about it because they've been able to get him out of games earlier recently so they're not "beating him into the ground." Maddon believes Molina - a reverse-split guy himself - matches up better against righties and Morrow.
*OF Sam Fuld ran for the first time since suffering his moderate right hamstring strain in New York Sunday, saying while he didn't push it (going about 55-60 percent), he felt good. Fuld plans to hit in the cage today, and continue upping his running and still hopes to return by the end of the regular season.
*With the Rays setting the AL record for strikeouts in a season Friday night, home equipment/clubhouse manager Chris Westmoreland added a nice touch by giving each of the 17 pitchers (and three coaches) a commemorative ball (in a case), individualized by name with the date and record written on it. Westmoreland, who admitted he got a bit of writer's cramp, handed it to each pitcher as they walked in. "It was really cool," RHP Alex Cobb said.
Developing: The Rays, riding the momentum of a three game winning streak, hope to continue their climb back into the AL Wild-Card race against the Jays tonight at Tropicana Field.
Tampa Bay trails Oakland by 4 1/2 games for the second wild card spot, and the A's are playing New York in a day game today.
Tampa Bay has scored 32 runs in its past three games, but will face a RHP Brandon Morrow who has been tough on the Rays in the past. LHP Matt Moore goes for the Rays, entering with a four start losing streak.
Manager Joe Maddon kept the same lineup for back-to-back days. Let's see if he rolls the same group out again, after their 12-run outburst in Friday night's win.
Lineups, and more, to come