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For starters, Rays vs Twins - Burrell scratched from lineup



Update 5:34 p.m. DH Pat Burrell was a late scratch from the lineup today, with manager Joe Maddon saying Burrell has a sore neck.

Maddon said Burrell, who was replaced by switch-hitting Willy Aybar, will be fine, and could be available to pinch-hit tonight (if he feels better), and could be back in lineup Wednesday.

Several Rays are out doing early batting practice here at the Metrodome, including CF B.J. Upton - who broke out of an 0-for-19 slump last night with a single against the Twins. Manager Joe Maddon has said Upton's recent at-bats, and swings, have him encouraged he could be putting things together.

Tampa Bay, coming off a 7-1 victory, can snap a five series losing streak tonight if they beat the Twins for the second straight night, as they hope to build momentum before the Red Sox come to Tropicana Field.

RHP James Shields will get the start against the Twins, and though he's coming off his best outing of thet season, he hasn't fared well against Minnesota (1-1 with a 6.26 ERA, the highest against any AL club) and at teh Metrodome (0-1, 7.71 ERA).

The Twins send left-hander Francisco Liriano to the mound. The Rays are 1-7 against left-handed starters.

The Rays will start right-handed Gabe Kapler in right-field, with the Twins lineup looking a lot similar to last night, only without ex-Ray Delmon Young.

Upton, cf
Crawford, lf
Longoria, 3b
Pena, 1b
Aybar, dh
Kapler, rf
Navarro, c
Bartlett, ss
Iwamura, 2b
Shields, p

Span, cf
Casilla, 2b
Morneau, dh
Kubel, lf
Crede, 3b
Cuddyer, rf
Buscher, 1b
Morales, c
Punto, ss
Liriano, p


[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:46am]


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