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For starters, Rays vs Royals, with Longoria at third

21

August

Update 6:07 p.m. Longoria said he was excited and a little nervous for his return to third base, making his first start there since coming off the disabled list.

Having felt good after serving as DH for 12 games, Longoria and the Rays had planned for him to work his way back, while acknowledging he won't be the same Gold Glove-defender right away, limited a little on certain plays. Manager Joe Maddon said Longoria won't be playing nine innings each game, lifted for a defensive replacement potentially, but it all depends on how the game goes and how he feels how much he plays there.

*Maddon said it was a tough decision to option Sean Rodriguez (to make room for DH Luke Scott coming off DL), especially considering he was playing the best he has all season. But Maddon told Rodriguez he'll be back Sept. 1, and it might turn out into a good thing, him getting more regular at-bats.

"He was a pro," Maddon said. "He understood."

Update 4:35 pm. Evan Longoria will make his anticipated return to third base tonight, his first start there since coming off the disabled list. That enables Luke Scott to be DH. Ben Zobrist is at short. Rays lineup Jennings lf Upton cf Joyce rf Longoria 3b Zobrist ss Pena 1b Scott dh Roberts 2b Molina c Price Developing:

The Rays will go for their sixth straight win today as they face the Royals again at Tropicana Field.

They will have LHP David Price on the mound, as he continues his Cy-Young worthy season and impressive roll (8-0 with a 1.72 ERA in his last 11 starts).

Tampa Bay made some pre-game news, activating DH Luke Scott from the disabled list, and optioning INF Sean Rodriguez to make room. Sending down Rodriguez made sense in that he has a minor league option left (unlike Elliot Johnson), and if - as expected - he's called up on the Sept 1 roster expansion, that option won't be burned up and can be used next year.

Look for Ben Zobrist to return to shorstop, and Carlos Pena to return to first base with RHP Luke Hochevar on the mound. There's a potential Evan Longoria, who had a planned day off Monday, could return to third base soon.

Lineups, and more, to come

--- JOE SMITH

joesmith@tampabay.com

 

[Last modified: Thursday, September 20, 2012 12:40am]

    

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