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For starters, Rays vs Red Sox

18

March

Update 2:45 p.m. LHP Matt Moore wasn't as happy with his start, against the Red Sox, falling behind too many hitters and getting charged with four runs, including two solo homers.

"Physically I felt pretty good, I felt pretty normal, the ball was coming out fine," he said. "I wasn't getting ahead of hitters, so you could just tell they were shutting it down."

Moore liked his breaking ball, but didn't locate his fastball and changeup as well. Case in point was his first inning matchup with Cody Ross, getting ahead 0-2 before throwing two changeups in the dirt. Ross crushed a 3-2 pitch over the leftfield wall. The outing was a bit different from his dazzling spring debut last week.

"You don't go through any season or any kind of league perfect," Moore said. "Was I expecting this? Absolutely not. But it's something I need to pay attention to. And something I'm big on is getting ahead in the count, which I didn't do very well today."

Update 2:40 a.m LHP David Price was happy with his start on the backfields, when he allowed three runs on six hits over 4 1/3 innings in a minor league intrasquad game.

Price worked a lot on his changeup, to both left and righthanders in a 65-pitch outing.

“Every outing, I feel like my arm and my body continues to get better,” Price said. “I feel like I’m where I need to be right now. I feel strong.”

Update 11:02 a.m. Maddon said CF B.J. Upton took some swings this morning and still a little bit stiff, though it appears he's got a good chance he could play Tuesday in a minor league game.

"It's a matter of getting beyond that soreness that permits him to swing," Maddon said. "He's not ready to get back into the game or engage in regular batting practice yet, but we need him to do that before we put him back. He's well, there's no injury per se, but he's still sore and stiff."

*Maddon said "guys are starting to separate themselves" in the competition over the starting shortstop and second catcher position. He still maintains C Jose Molina is set to catch between 80-100 games, with that being the high end.

*Maddon said Jeff Keppinger is getting the start at shortstop to see how it looks, mentioned it's a possibility he could step in if there's an injury at that position, or if someone gets the day off. Keppinger, a former University of Georgia star shortstop, hasn't played there since the 2010 season with Houston.

Red Sox lineup vs Rays:
Aviles ss
punto 2b
ross rf
saltalamacchia c
kroeger dh
anderson 1b
repko cf
spears 3b
hassan lf
buchholz p

Update 9:28 a.m. CF B.J. Upton said he's feeling better, though still has some tightness in his lower back, but hopes to play Tuesday, either in Jupiter or in a minor league game.

Upton, who hasn't played since his on-field collision with CF Desmond Jennings last Wednesday, took some swings Saturday.

"It's tolerable," Upton said. "Probably not up to game speed right now."

Developing: The Rays return home today to face the Red Sox, with LHP Matt Moore to start on the mound.

There will be plenty of regulars in the lineup for Tampa Bay, including DH Luke Scott starting in back-to-back games for the first time this spring. Jeff Keppinger will continue to show his versatility by making his first spring start at shortstop, having already played at first, second and third base already.

C Jose Molina will catch his third game in four days, as the Rays try to see how much they can get out of the 36-year-old veteran catcher.

Rays lineup
jennings lf
scott dh
zobrist 2b
longoria 3b
pena 3b
keppinger ss
joyce rf
molina c
fuld cf
moore lhp

[Last modified: Tuesday, April 17, 2012 12:40am]

    

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