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For starters, Rays at Yankees on the (potential) last day, with Kotchman back



UPDATE 5:59: Manager Joe Maddon said RHP Joel Peralta is available out of the bullpen tonight, but hadn't talked with RHP Kyle Farnsworth yet (he picked up the save in last night's game).

*LHP Matt Moore said nobody has talked to him about potentially starting Thursday's one-game playoff with Boston (if necessary), he is more focused on being available out of the bullpen tonight, which he is.

*RHP Jeff Niemann said he feels really good, with his back issue no longer bothering him, and is preparing as if he'd be pitching in Thursday's game, if necessary.

*OF Sam Fuld went through batting practice, testing his injured right wrist, and said it went well, and that he's been cleared to hit.

UPDATE, 4:20: Kotchman said he's fine, was put through a battery of tests, never had previous problems. No concerns about playing tonight. Asked if he was scared, Kotchman said, "I don't know," that it obviously wasn't how he planned the day to go. DEVELOPING:

1B Casey Kotchman is back in the lineup for tonight's game against the Yankees, as the Rays seek to win out and at least force a one-game playoff with the Red Sox on Thursday for the AL wild-card.

Kotchman was taken from the clubhouse to a hospital on Tuesday after experiencing chest tightness but was cleared and released late Tuesday and apparently ready to go.

The Rays and Red Sox are tied for the wild-card lead going into the final scheduled day of the regular season.

If the Rays (90-71) win and the Sox lose in Baltimore, the Rays — after the appropriate celebration — are headed off to open the playoffs Friday in Texas or Detroit. (That, too, will be decided tonight - the Rangers have a one-game lead over the Tigers, though the Tigers hold the tiebreaker.)

If both the Rays and Red Sox win, or lose, there will be a one-game playoff at 4:07 Thursday at Tropicana Field. (Tickets are on sale via now, with refunds if the game isn't necessary, and will be available at all outlets starting Thursday morning.)

If the Rays lose and the Red Sox win, the Rays go home frustrated by coming so far and falling short.

The Yankees announced earlier this afternoon they will start rookie RHP Dellin Betances, though they are starting almost all of their front-line players; the Rays have lefty ace David Price on the mound.

The Rays lineup looks like this:
Jennings lf
Upton cf
Longoria 3b
Joyce rf
Damon dh
Zobrist 2b
Kotchman 1b
Shoppach c
Brignac ss
Price p

Yankees lineup:
Jeter ss,
Granderson cf,
Teixeira 1b,
Cano dh,
A-Rod 3b,
Swisher rf,
Jones lf,
Montero c,
Nunez 2b,
Betances p


[Last modified: Friday, October 28, 2011 12:15am]


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