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For starters, Rays vs. Verlander and the other Tigers

22

August

UPDATE, 7:08: Rays-beater Victor Martinez scratched from Tigers lineup due to back spasms, Cabrera moves to DH, Don Kelly at first. New lineup:

Jackson cf
Boesch rf
Young lf
Cabrera dh
Avila c
Peralta ss
Betemit 3b
Don Kelly 1b
Santiago ss
Verlander p

UPDATE, 5:50: Maddon said he like the matchups of Joyce and Fuld against Verlander, and thought Jennings could use a day off the turf anyway so it worked out well. And he went with Joyce at the top thinking he has had good at-bats vs. Verlander, did well during his previous game in the leadoff spot and would get better pitches with Damon, Longoria and Zobrist behind him. ... Joyce said he was eager for the opportunity. ... Maddon said he understands all the talk about Verlander coming into the game but thinks the Tigers are just as concerned with Niemann and that he considers it a "pretty even matchup.'' ... Maddon also said he got good feedback for wearing the Bucs helmet during his Sunday postgame media session, hearing from Bucs coach Raheem Morris as well as QB Josh Freeman, and from Angels manager Mike Scioscia.

Tigers lineup:
Jackson cf
Boesch rf
Young lf
Cabrera 1b
Martinez dh
Avila c
Peralta ss
Betemit 3b
Santiago ss
Verlander p

UPDATE, 4:01: Rays lineup with Joyce on top and Jennings off:
Joyce rf,
Damon dh,
Longoria 3b,
Zobrist 2b,
Kotchman 1b,
Upton cf,
Fuld lf,
Jaso c,
Rodriguez ss,
Niemann p

DEVELOPING: Coming off their exciting sweep of Seattle, the Rays tonight will take on the AL's top pitcher in 18-game winner Justin Verlander, and his teammates who make up a Tigers squad that leads the AL Central.

The Rays will have Jeff Niemann, who might be currently the hottest pitcher in the league, on the mound.

The Rays roughed up Verlander on May 24 in Detroit, resulting in his worst outing of the season as they scored six run on nine hits and chased him after six innings though he ended up with a no-decision.

Overall, Verlander is 5-1, 3.88 against the Rays, and 2-1, 3.00 at Tropicana Field.

The Rays are on a season-high matching five-game winning streak, and have won 10 of their last 12.

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 21, 2011 12:15am]

    

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