For starters, Rays at W. Sox at end of the road
UPDATE, 7:16: A couple of interesting items from manager Joe Maddon's pre-game. OF Matt Joyce went to see Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., earlier this week about his slow-healing right elbow strain, and the noted surgeon recommended rest and then a continuation of his rehab. "All I heard is that it's a very mild strain compared to what it had been, but they wanted to take the activity away just to make sure that it eventually comes back to the point where we feel good about him moving forward soon. It wasn't an awful report by any means.'' ... Matt Garza, who starts on Friday, flew back to Florida this afternoon as the Rays won't arrive at St. Petersburg-Clearwater airport until around 4 a.m. ... They will have "optional" batting practice at the Trop. .. INF Willy Aybar became the father of a son and is expected to rejoin the team on Friday. ... This road trip, at 8-1, has already exceeded Maddon's expectations: "I thought 6-4 would have been great, absolutely. And anybody who says anything else is not telling the truth. 6-4 would have been great, even 5-5 wouldn't have been so bad based on where we were going. So we get this game tonight, that's a pretty good statement right now.'' And even if they lose tonight? "Great roadtrip.''
UPDATE, 5:03: The Rays lineup with Jaso catching as expected:
And for the Sox:
DEVELOPING: The Rays are ready to put the wraps on what at the least matches their winningest trip in franchise history, taking an 8-1 mark into tonight's game against the White Sox. It's cold again here in Chicago, but not expected to be quite as bad as last night, when temps were in the 30s. The weather.com forecast for tonight is for low 50s-high 40s during the game.
A few notes as we wait for the lineups:
* Wednesday night's 12-0 win was the Rays largest shutout win on the road, surpassing an 11-0 win at Fenway Park in 2006, and second largest overall, just shy of the 13-0 win over Boston last April 30. The Rays set season high in runs and matched their season high with 13 hits and 8 walks.
* According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the six runs allowed by Mark Buehrle were the most by a pitcher in his next start against a team he'd thrown a no-hitter or perfect game since 2001, when A.J. Burnett, then of Florida, allowed 7 runs to the Padres in an Aug. 27 start after throwing a no-hitter on May 12.
* The Rays have held their opponent to 1 or fewer runs in five of the nine games on this trip, and outscored their opponents 59-21, posting a 2.22 ERA.
* And just a reminder, tonight's game is 970-AM radio since flagship 620-AM is committed to draft coverage.