For starters, Rays vs Twins

1

April

Final: Rays win, 2-1.

Update 2:59 p.m. LHP J.P. Howell, pitching for the first time since Saturday, threw a scoreless sixth.

And RHP Grant Balfour, coming off some struggles in Tuesday's outing, had some help from his defense Wednesday to get him out of a potential jam. 

There were two great plays. First, Longoria dove to his left, deflecting a grounder right back to Jason Bartlett at shortstop. Bartlett then flicked a quick throw over to Iwamura to force out the runner at second.

Then, on a single to rightfield, Gabe Gross made the alert play to throw behind a Twins runner, who had overan second base, getting him out.

Rays 2, Twins 1

Update 2:23 p.m Crawford came up with an RBI single to rightfield to score Jason Bartlett and give the Rays a 2--1 lead in the fifth.

Update 2:13 p.m. RF Gabe Gross just hit a solo homer to rightfield, his second homer in as many days, to tie the game at 1-1 here in the fifth.

Update 2:02 p.m. RHP James Shields just finished his solid outing, going four innings, giving up one run and four hits. LHP Brian Shosue ahs come in.

Update 2:00 p.m. OF Matt Joyce, continuing to make his case to make the team, hit a double down the rightfield line in the fourth, putting runners on second and third. But both were stranded.

Twins 1, Rays 0

Update 1:45 p.m. RHP Jason Isringhausen, recently added to the 40-man roster, pitched an inning for Triple-A Durham.

Isringhausen gave up one run on one hit (a triple), struck out two and walked one. Manager Joe Maddon, pitching coach Jim Hickey and executive VP Andrew Friedman all watched before making it back to the regular game.

Upton was 0-for-2 in his first two-at bats, grounding out and striking out.

Update 1:41 p.m. RHP James Shields has been much shaper than his last start, when he gave up 11 runs on 12 hits to the Twins.

So far, Shields has had good command, giving up just one run on four hits over three innings. His last inning was 1-2-3, all strikeouts, all swinging.

Twins 1, Rays 0

The Rays will play their final home exhibition today against the Twins, and will roll out their regulars this afternoon.

2B Akinori Iwamura will be at the top of the order, with OF Matt Joyce getting another start in centerfield.

Opening Day starter James Shields will take the mound.

RAYS
Iwamura, 2b
Crawford, lf
Longoria, 3b
Pena, 1b
Burrell, dh
Joyce, cf
Navi, c
Gross, rf
Bartlett, ss

Shields, rhp

-- JOE SMITH

[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:45am]

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