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For starters: Rays at Orioles, at end of the road

Rays ace David Price will face Orioles righthander Miguel Gonzalez tonight in Baltimore.

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Rays ace David Price will face Orioles righthander Miguel Gonzalez tonight in Baltimore.



UPDATE, 5:52: Maddon said he stuck with the same order because it worked and also because O's Thursday starter Gonzalez is somewhat similar in style to Wednesday starter Tillman. ... Maddon said he will stick with Kelly Johnson in the No. 2 spot for now, at least against righthanders. The Rays do face lefties in two of the games vs. Oakland, however, so he is still considering a few options. ... Maddon said Evan Longoria is fine and hasn't said anything about needing a day off. 

Orioles lineup:
Markakis rf
Machado 3b
Jones cf
Wieters c
Davis 1b
Hardy ss
Pearce dh
Reimold lf
Casilla 2b
Gonzalez p

UPDATE, 4:25: Believe it or not, the Rays are using the exact same batting order tonight that they used on Wednesday. Three of the players are in different positions, but, still, that's an unusual move for Rays manager Joe Maddon. But after their relative offensive explosion of Wednesday, he's sticking with what worked.

So here is the order:

Jennings cf,
Johnson LF,
Zobrist 2b,
Longoria 3b,
Joyce rf,
Duncan DH,
Loney 1b,
Molina c,
Escobar SS,
Price p

The difference is that on Wednesday, Johnson was at second with Joyce in left and Zobrist in right.

DEVELOPING: The Rays will send ace LHP David Price to the mound tonight against the Orioles to try and salvage a 3-6 record on their first road trip of the season.

Price will face Orioles RHP Miguel Gonzalez, who has been very tough on the Rays hitters. The Rays are buoyed after somewhat of a breakthrough game on Wednesday, in which they got to six runs and double digits in hits for the first time in more than 10 days.

The trip has been challenging and eventful, starting with the team bus being involved in a minor accident pulling out of the Fort Worth hotel before the first game.

Also, Jeff Niemann was placed on the DL and underwent season-ending shoulder surgery, RHP Brandon Gomes was called up, a game in Texas ended in controversy with umpire Marty Foster later admitting blowing the strike three call, a game in Boston was rained out, two ended with losses on the final pitch, the team was in the clubhouse at Fenway Park during the Marathon bombings and several players had friends and relatives in the area, and manager Joe Maddon was ejected for the first time this season.

The Rays won't get home until 3 or 4 am and then open a six-game homestand on Friday against Oakland, with the Yankees to follow.

Lineups shortly.

[Last modified: Thursday, April 18, 2013 5:55pm]


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