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For starters, Rays vs. Tigers

25

August

Update 12:21 p.m. CF B.J. Upton, who is day-to-day with a right shoulder strain, came out of today's throwing program well, with manager Joe Maddon saying he is feeling a lot better. Though Maddon acknowledged Upton is not 100 percent, and may not be tommorrow, there's a "pretty good shot" he'll play Friday in Toronto.

Upton is available to pinch-hit in today's game, like he did last night.

*Tigers manager Jim Leyland has been impressed with the Rays, specifically their starting pitching, saying he wouldn't count them out of the playoff race quite yet.

"These guys are pretty good over there, they're fighting their (butt) off," Leyland said. "They've got a lot of games left with Boston, and they've had some success. These guys are a long way from being out of this thing, this is a damn good team. You run that pitching out there, night after night, this is not easy, believe me."

*Lost in Wednesday night's game with the performance by RHP Wade Davis, who pitched nine innings in a no-decision. It was arguably one of the best starts of his career.

"He shut out Baltimore, which was pretty good, but that yesterday, nine innings against that team under these circumstances, where the Tigers are playing for their division championship, I felt it was pretty good," Maddon said.

Said Leyland: "Tremendous."

Developing: The Rays, coming off another wild walk-off win, will try to split their four-game series with the Tigers today with a matinee at Tropicana Field.

SS Sean Rodriguez, who beat out 3B Brandon Inge's throw to second to allow Ben Zobrist to score the winning run last night, is back starting again at short.

The Tigers lineup will be without two big pieces, as slugging 1B Miguel Cabrera is on a one-day paternity leave, and C Alex Avila is getting a rare day off.

Rays lineup
Jennings cf
Damon dh
Longoria 3b
Zobrist 2b
Kotchman 1b
Joyce rf
Fuld lf
Rodriguez ss
Shoppach c
Hellickson rhp

Tigers lineup
Jackson cf
Santiago 2b
Young lf
Martinez dh
Betemit 3b
Kelly 1b
Peralta ss
Raburn rf
Santos c
Fister rhp

[Last modified: Saturday, September 24, 2011 12:15am]

    

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