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For starters, Rays vs Royals minus Longoria

The Rays go for a sweep today, playing the second straight game without Evan Longoria (sore hamstring).
Longoria said he feels much better after going through his usual pre game routine and told manager Joe Maddon he's' available to pinch hit. He said he hopes to start tomorrow in New York, and if not, "definitely" Saturday.

In other injury news, SS Jason Bartlett has been encouraged by his progress with his sprained left ankle. He said he took a big step Wednesday hitting off a tee in the cage, and will do the same today, trying to use a full swing.

He's done some light running but will test it this weekend running the arc, and, if all goes well, he said he may not need a minor league rehab assignment.

Though he doesn't want to give a timetable, it appears he hasn't ruled out being able to return Wednesday when he's' eligible.

With that, here's the lineup

Upton cf
Crawford lf
Aybar 3b
Pena 1b
Zobrist 2b
Joyce rf
Dillon dh
Hernandez c
Brignac ss
Shields rhp

[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:47am]


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