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For starters, Rays vs. Rangers

27

April

Update 6:48 p.m. Rays manager Joe Maddon said there's no update on the potential signing of DH Hideki Matsui. "None. Zero."

Update 5:48 p.m. 1B/OF Brandon Allen said he got tons of text messages the past 24 hours, since he hit a walkoff homer to beat the Angels Thursday in his first official at-bat with Rays.

"It's been a whirlwind," he said. "It's been fun." 

Allen said his parents, Paul and Doris, are here, as is his sister, Karissa, having made the three-hour drive from Montgomery.

*C Chris Gimenez, making his fourth start in eight days, said it's the most he's played in a few week stretch his entire career. It's helped him get a rhythm at the plate, and it's shown, having reached base in nine of his last 11 games. "It's been awesome," he said.

*The guest of the day so far is RHP Jeff Nieman's dog, Saddie, a 45-pound Belgian shepherd, who was in the clubhouse for a while. LHP David Price posted a photo of her on his Twitter account, and it quickly racked up the views. "

*While this was supposed to be the "minimalist" themed trip, with the team packing light, clubhouse and equipment manager Chris Westmoreland said it didn't seem that way when they loaded up.

"It wasn't as minimal as I thought it would be," Westmoreland quipped. "Defintely people didn't get the memo."

Update 5:44 p.m. The Rays put as many righties in their lineup against Rangers LHP Matt Harrison, with OF Matt Joyce and DH Luke Scott on the bench.

Elliot Johnson gets a rare start, as does C Chris Gimenez.

Rays lineup
Jennings lf
Pena 1b
Longoria 3b
Zobrist rf
Keppinger dh
Upton cf
Rodriguez ss
Gimenez c
Johnson 2b
Shields rhp

And... the Rangers lineup
Kinsler 2b
Andrus ss
Hamilton cf
Beltre 3b
Young dh
Cruz rf
Murphy lf
Napoli c
Moreland 1b
Harrison lhp

Developing: The Rays packed light for their three-game road trip to Texas - thanks to a "minimalist" wardrobe theme - and will have their work cut out for them in facing the red-hot Rangers, who boast a major-league best 15-4 record.

Tampa Bay has been playing well, too, winners of five consecutive games, including Thursday's walkoff win over the Angels.

RHP James Shields will start on the mound, having worked eight innings in each of his last three starts. He's fared pretty well against Texas (5-2, 3.05 ERA). But Rangers starter, LHP Matt Harrison, has been one of the best so far this season, with a 1.66 ERA in three wins.

Lineups to come...

-- JOE SMITH

joesmith@tampabay.com

 

[Last modified: Sunday, May 27, 2012 12:40am]

    

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