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For starters, Rays vs. Yankees

7

April

Update 5:42 p.m. Manager Joe Maddon said CF B.J. Upton will start his rehab assignment Monday with Class-A Charlotte, with teh tentative plan to last 10 days and for him to get 20-25 at-bats. Maddon said he'd be surprised if Upton were ready by the end of the upcoming road trip (April 10-19), with his return most likely coming for the home series against the Twins (April 20-22).

*The Rays lineup has a different look tonight, with 1B Carlos Pena in the No. 2 spot. Maddon said No. 2 spot in order will be flexible, wants to try Pena, as they did in spring, thinking he gets more FBs, less shifting.

Maddon said part of reason he moved Joyce up to cleanup tonight was a confidence boost after his 4K day Friday. Maddon says he wanted SS Reid Brignac + C Jose Lobaton to get a start in opening series, likes S-Rod + Molina better Sunday vs. Hughes than Kuroda.

*RHP James Shields said he had no issues w/ Molina Friday, dugout exchange shown on TV clip was about call Shields didn't get on pitch to Gardner.

*There's a few special guests here today, with former MLB catcher Bengie Molina in town to visit his brother, Rays C Jose Molina. Bengie said he went to see his other brother, Yadier play for St. Louis in the opener against Miami, then drove to St. Pete and leaves tommorrow.

*Shannon Magrane, daughter of former Rays broadcaster Joe Magrane, is there to sing the national anthem, fresh off her top 10 finish in American Idol. She said she's sang the anthem at the Trop once before, as a fifth grader, and says it's always a special moment.

Rays lineup v. #Yanks:
Jennings cf
Pena 1b
Longoria 3b
Joyce lf
Zobrist rf
Scott dh
Keppinger 2b
Lobaton c
Brignac ss
Price p

Yankees lineup
Jeter DH
Swisher 9
Cano 4
A-Rod 5
Teixeira 3
Granderson 8
Jones 7
Martin 2
Nunez 6
Kuroda 1

Developing: The Rays, coming off their thrilling, come-from-behind victory over the Yankees on Opening Day, will face New York again tonight, with LHP David Price on the mound.

Price, coming off an admittedly "frustrating" year in which he felt he pitched well but was winless in his last six starts, said he's feeling right where he wants to be heading into his first outing. The Yankees will counter with RHP Phil Hughes.

Tampa Bay used nearly its entire bullpen last night, except for recently-called up RHP Josh Lueke, but several relievers should be available again tonight. RHP Joel Peralta threw 23 pitches, so he might be a question mark.

It'll be interesting to see what lineup manager Joe Maddon puts out. You'll likely see Carlos Pena, the star of Friday's game with a grand slam and walkoff single, to be hitting higher than sixth, with no "midnight epiphany" needed.

Expect DH Luke Scott to make his first Rays start, as Maddon said he'll play the next couple days. Scott made his debut last night, pinch-hitting late and hitting into a double play and intentionally walking in the ninth.

-- JOE SMITH

joesmith@tampabay.com

 

[Last modified: Monday, May 7, 2012 12:40am]

    

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