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For starters, Rays vs Royals

29

April

Update 5:08 p.m. C Dioner Navarro, coming off a two-game suspension, says his sore right leg is feeling a lot better and he's "ready to play."

Manager Joe Maddon said he's starting C John Jaso because he's been playing so well, and wanted to stick with him.

"He's been hot right now, quite frankly, just could not walk away from Jaso right now," Maddon said. "I told (Navarro) straight up, he's a great team player. It's not very complicated. Jaso has been playing that well."

*LHP J.P. Howell said he feels really good one day after throwing off the mound, "Like I can pitch again today," a good sign as he continues to strengthen his left shoulder. He plans to throw again Friday, incorporating some changeups into his mound session.

*RHP Joaquin Benoit said he was "really relieved" to be back in the big leagues, not only because it was around 20-degrees in Buffalo where Durham was, but because he gets another chance to pitch in the majors after missing over a year due to rotator cuff surgery.

Benoit, the last cut in spring training, said he took the time with the Bulls to prove what he can do, and after posting a 2.79 ERA, and a ratio of 17 strikeouts to three walks, he's happy with where he's at.

"It was really comfortable to see that I can still do it," he said. "After surgery, you don't know what can happen."

Maddon said he feels he can use Benoit in high leverage situations, against both righties and lefties, similar to how he uses RHP Lance Cormier.

Developing: The best-in-the-majors Rays, coming off a two-game sweep of the A's, will host the Royals tonight in the first of a four-game series at Tropicana Field.

RHP Matt Garza will start on the mound, trying to bounce back from his first loss of the season. D Dioner Navarro's two-game suspension is done, but C John Jaso will be back behind the plate.

RAYS

Bartlett ss
Crawford lf
Zobrist rf
Longoria 3b
Pena 1b
Upton cf
Burrell dh
Jaso  c
Brignac 2b
Garza p

ROYALS

DeJesus dh
Podsednik lf
Butler 1b
Guillen rf
Calllaspo 2b
Kendall c
Gordon 2b
Betancourt ss
Maier cf
Hochevar p

[Last modified: Saturday, May 29, 2010 12:15am]

    

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