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For starters, Rays-Yankees, with no Longoria - well, a little

UPDATE, 4:20: Longoria got back on the field, but just briefly. He pinch-hit in the ninth, was intentionally walked, then removed for a pinch-runner, pitcher Andy Sonnanstine. But the strategy worked, because it got B.J. Upton to the plate against Mariano Rivera (as opposed to rookie Reid Brignac) and Upton singled in a run.

UPDATE, 1:05: 3B Evan Longoria went through his most extensive workout yet to test his left hamstring and said he expects to finally return to the lineup on Sunday.

"Other than just the fear and the timidness of feeling that pain again, there were nothing there,'' Longoria said before Saturday's game. "If I come to the ballpark (Sunday) and it feels fine like it did today I anticipate that I'll be in there.''

Manager Joe Maddon said he didn't put Longoria in the lineup Saturday because he wasn't able to fully test his leg by running since it was raining Friday. But he said he would use Longoria as a pinch-hitter if needed today.

"It's probably one of those things where if it feels good one day, give it one more day,'' Longoria said.

Also, though nothing has been announced, it looks like RHP Jeff Niemann's next start will be pushed back to Wednesday, allowing James Shields to start the first and last games of the six-game homestand with the Angels and Nationals.

NEWS: The biggest news this morning is that has finally stopped raining and there will be baseball this afternoon at the new Yankee Stadium. Possibly even dry baseball - the first time in the Rays four days here this season it  won't rain. But we'll see.

3B Evan Longoria, who had hoped to return today from his left hamstring problem, is again not in the Rays lineup.

Instead, they're going with what they had planned Friday:

Upton, cf
Crawford, lf
Aybar, 3b
Pena, 1b
Zobrist, 2b
Dillon, DH
Navarro, c
Kapler, rf
Brignac, ss
Price, p

And here is what the Yankees have planned:
Jeter, ss
Damon, lf
Teixeira, 1b
Rodriguez, 3b
Posada, DH
Cano, 2b
Swisher, rf
Cabrera, cf
Cervelli, c
Sabathia, p


[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:47am]


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