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For starters, Rays at Jays, trying to avoid sweep

Chris Archer, coming off a growth moment in throwing 119 pitches his last outing, will be on the mound, hoping to slow down a locked-in Blue Jays lineup that has combined for 19 runs (and six homers) the past two games.

AP photo

Chris Archer, coming off a growth moment in throwing 119 pitches his last outing, will be on the mound, hoping to slow down a locked-in Blue Jays lineup that has combined for 19 runs (and six homers) the past two games.

Update 5:30 p.m. Rays manager Joe Maddon said as tough as C Ryan Hanigan is, the smart move was to put him on the DL, so that he won't have to deal with the lingering hamstring injury all year.

Maddon believes it'll be not much longer than the minimal 15-day stint. "It was tough," Hanigan said. "It was just not getting any better."

With Hanigan out, C Jose Molina will do most of the catching, starting tonight and Friday against the Red Sox, though Ali Solis will get his playing time too.

*OF Kevin Kiermaier says he was excited to come back, hoping that after a couple cameos in his first call-ups, he'll have a longer stay as he replaces Brandon Guyer. Maddon said it's possible Kiermaier can be around longer.

Kiermaier said he tweaked his left knee Friday while stretching in the outfield, but he's 100 percent now and ready to go.

*Ben Zobrist is on track to return Friday in Boston, as long as his games tonight and Thursday with Class-A Charlotte go well. INF Cole Figueroa would be the likely one to get sent down.

*RHP Jeremy Hellickson did well in his simulated game today in Port Charlotte, reaching 90 miles per hour with his fastball in his two-inning stint. He also mixed in some curveballs and looked good, according to Maddon. "A nice day," he said.

Lineup has some familiar components, with Longoria No. 2 and Jennings fourth.


Rays lineup
DeJesus dh
Longoria 3b
Loney 1b
Jennings cf
Joyce lf
Myers rf
Escobar ss
Molina c
Rodriguez 2b
Archer rhp

Jays lineup
Reyes ss
Cabrera lf
Bautista rf
Lind dh
Encarnacion 1b
Francisco 3b
Lawrie 2b
Navarro c
Gose cf
Hendriks rhp

Developing: The Rays, having been out-slugged by the red-hot, first-place Blue Jays the past two days, will try to avoid a sweep tonight in the series finale at the Rogers Centre.

RHP Chris Archer, coming off a growth moment in throwing 119 pitches his last outing, will be on the mound, hoping to slow down a locked-in Blue Jays lineup that has combined for 19 runs (and six homers) the past two games. The Rays have fallen to a season-high eight games out of first place, making this game a little more important.

Former Twins RHP Liam Hendriks will start for the Jays, who have won eight straight and 11 out of 12.

After tonight's game, the Rays will travel to Boston, where they have an off-day Thursday before starting a three-game series with the Red Sox, who have won two straight to snap a 10-game losing streak

Manager Joe Maddon had hinted that rookie C Ali Solis may get his first big-league start tonight, but we'll see, as Jose Molina had two hits Tuesday, his first multi-hit game since last year.

Should also have an update on C Ryan Hanigan, who is battling a sore right hamstring and may end up going on the DL.

INF Ben Zobrist (discloated left thumb) will have a key test tonight as he plays his first rehab game for Class-A Charlotte, scheduled to start at second base. He will also play Thursday with hopes of rejoining the team Friday in Boston.

Lineups, and more, to come.

 

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 28, 2014 5:55pm]

    

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