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For starters, Rays vs. Pirates, with Longoria and Scott, and a 4-3 win



FINAL UPDATE: After Josh Lueke gave up a homer to Jake Fox on a 2-2 pitch with 2 outs in the ninth to give the Pirates a 3-2 lead, the Rays rallied in the bottom of the 9th to win 4-3. Minor-leaguer John Shelby beat out an infield single, Matt Mangini doubled to center and the Chris Gimenez single hard off the glove of reliever Doug Slaten and by the shortstop to score both.

UPDATE, 3:50: Both Longoria and Scott said they cam through their first games well. Niemann was sharp and said he felt good. He threw 15 more pitches in the bullpen.

UPDATE, 1:55: Niemann was impressive with three perfect innings, striking out two, throwing only 27 pitches (20 strikes).

UPDATE, 1:10: Jeff Niemann came out strong, retiring the Pirates in order in the first on seven pitches. The game is on 620-AM radio. News updates will be posted here. Follow along on Twitter at @TBTimes_Rays .

UPDATE, 10:18: Pena said hitting second was "a pleasant surprise" but not to expect him to be dropping down a bunt or anything: "You're not going to see that.''

UPDATE, 10:16: Pirates lineup:

Presley lf
Tabata rf
McCutchen cf
Walker 2b
Jones 1b
Barajas c
Alvarez 3b
Barmes ss
Correia p

UPDATE, 9:25: Longoria and Scott are both in the lineup, as is Reid Brignac, back with the team after attending to the birth of his son, Reid Michael. Also of note, Carlos Pena is hitting second, in front of Longoria.

The lineup:
Fuld cf
Pena 1b
Longoria 3b
Scott dh
Molina c
Brignac ss
Feliciano lf
Guyer rf
Rhymes 2b
Niemann p

BREAKING: After a long night in rainy Fort Myers and a short night of sleep, the Rays are set to host the Pirates this afternoon at the Charlotte Sports Park.

3B Evan Longoria is expected to make his spring debut, having recovered from the bruised right hand that sidelined him since being hit March 1. DH Luke Scott is a possibility to play as well.

RHP Jeff Niemann will be on the mound, trying to further his case to keep a spot in the rotation.


[Last modified: Tuesday, April 10, 2012 12:40am]


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