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For starters, Rays vs. Jays, with Longoria back



UPDATE, 5:12: One product of Longoria's return is that Carlos Pena will play less, at least against some lefthanders, with Jeff Keppinger at first as he is tonight. Maddon said there are some lefties he will play Pena, Matt Joyce and Sam Fuld against. ... DH Luke Scott took batting practice today and will do so again on Wednesday, then could head out on a rehab assignment. ... RHP Jeff Neimann is set for his first rehab start on Wednesday for Class A Charlotte at home in Port Charlotte.

UPDATE, 4:10: Longoria is in the lineup, batting fourth. Also not note, against Jays LHP Happ, neither lefty-swinging 1B Carlos Pena nor RF Matt Joyce are playing, so the Rays will have 9 righthanded hitters. ... To make room on the 40-man roster for Longoria to be reinstated, Brooks Conrad was designated for assignment.

Rays lineup:
Jennings lf
Upton cf
Zobrist rf
Longoria dh
Keppinger 1b
Roberts 3b
Rodriguez 2b
Lobaton c
Johnson ss
Shields p 

BREAKING: The Rays open a three-game series with the Blue Jays tonight and - for the first time since April 30 - will have Evan Longoria in the lineup.

Longoria's return is much welcomed by a team that hasn't scored a run in its last 21 innings - you have to go back to Desmond Jennings' homer in the seventh inning Friday - and has been offensively challenged overall.

Longoria is expected to be limited to DH duties at least initially, and may not be able to play every day.

The Rays were 15-8, and averaged 4.61 runs a game, with Longoria in the lineup, and they were 41-44, and averaged 3.80, without him.

The Rays will have James Shields on the mound, coming off his three-hit complete-game win in Oakland. The Jays are starting LHP J.A. Happ.

Toronto's injury-depleted lineup:
Davis lf
Rasmus cf
Encarnacion 1b
Escobar ss
Cooper dh
Sierra rf
Johnson 2b
Mathis c
Hechavarria 3b
Happ p



[Last modified: Thursday, September 6, 2012 12:40am]


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