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For starters, Rays vs Orioles, with eyes on AL East



Update 5:57 p.m. Manager Joe Maddon said that 3B Evan Longoria (strained left quad) looked - and felt - good in a pre-game batting session, but he probably won't play Thursday in Kansas City, as they're being overly cautious. Longoria has targeted the KC series Thursday through Sunday for his return.

Developing: The Rays, coming off their wet-and-wild celebration of their playoff-clinching victory Tuesday night, now turn their eyes toward holding off the Yankees for the AL East title in the final five days of the regular season.

Tampa Bay leads by 1/2 game, and hopes to take the three-game series with the Orioles tonight.

There will be a big crowd, with thousands already lined up around the stadium to take the Rays up on their offer for 20,000 free tickets for their final regular season home game.

In the news, 3B Evan Longoria (strained left quad) is out on the field taking batting practice with hitting coach Derek Shelton, under the careful watch of manager Joe Maddon and head athletic trainer Ron Porterfield. Longoria has said he's been progressing, with eyes on returning in this weekend's series in Kansas City.

*LHP David Price, who won the playoff-clinching game Tuesday, said he definitely won't be starting Sunday's regular season finale in Kansas City, with the thought the Rays are getting him ready to start Game 1 of the ALDS Wednesday. Price didn't know if he'd be pitching out of the bullpen before, but said he'd likely make up for the seven days between starts by throwing side sessions or maybe a simulated game.

Rays lineup
Jaso c
Zobrist 2b
Crawford lf
JOhnson 3b
Pena 1b
JOyce rf
Upton cf
Hawpe dh
Bartlett ss
Niemann rhp

[Last modified: Friday, October 29, 2010 12:15am]


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