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For starters: Rays at Mariners, end of the road



UPDATE, 2:53: Maddon said despite all that has gone wrong he is fully confident they will come out of this and play into October: "I know we're better than this.'' ... He has 8 lefty swinger in the lineup today against Ramirez. ... Maddon's biggest goal was getting a day off for Escobar, also said he wanted to get Fuld on the field. ... Jesse Crain said he felt good the day after his first bullpen.

UPDATE, 1:28: The Rays lineup does indeed have a different look as SS Yunel Escobar is off for the first time since his first post-All-Star break game and so is CF Desmond Jennings, who has made three errors in the last two weeks.

Also of note, Luke Scott is in the lineup at DH.

Here is how it looks as the Rays wrap what looks to be their worst road trip since 2009:

DeJesus rf
Zobrist ss
Longoria 3b
Scott dh
Loney 1b
Joyce lf
Johnson 2b
Lobaton c
Fuld cf
Moore p

Mariners lineup:
Miller ss
Almonte cf
Seager 3b
Morales dh
Gutierrez rf
Saunders lf
Smoak 1b
Ackley 2b
Blanco c
Ramirez p

DEVELOPING: The Rays are finally at the end of the road on what has been a miserable west coast swing as they are 2-7 thus far in Oakland, Anaheim and Seattle.

At the start of the trip, they led the AL wild-card race and were four games up for the second spot. They begin play today just one game ahead of the Orioles and Indians for that second wild card.

LHP Matt Moore will be on the mound for the Rays today, making his second start since coming off the DL, looking to send them home with at least a better feeling heading into their final off-day of the season.

Their poor play has been a team effort, as the offense remains listless, the defense messy and the pitching not sharp.

Consider they have allowed 6 unearned runs on the trip - as many as in their previous 41 games - and scored only 25 runs (2.8 per game) and, worse, are hitting just .151 with runners in scoring position.

Lineups when available.


[Last modified: Sunday, September 8, 2013 2:55pm]


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