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For starters: Rays at Orioles

Lefthander Matt Moore, who has not given up a run in his first two starts, will be on the mound tonight for the Rays.

AP photo

Lefthander Matt Moore, who has not given up a run in his first two starts, will be on the mound tonight for the Rays.

17

April

UPDATE, 5:40: Escobar said he hasn't ever started a season this poorly and isn't sure what the problem is, but is committed to work his way through it. ... DH Luke Scott said he had his "best day yet" testing his strained right calf in hitting and running drills, and felt he was "pretty darn close" to heading out on a rehab assignment, but Maddon said he hadn't yet run at game speed and that was still at least a few days away. Speaking to the frustration of being out, Scott said he had chewed off his fingernails and "taken a few sips of the fermented drink.''

UPDATE, 5:36: Rays lineup has Escobar dropped to ninth - though Maddon says it's not a demotion - and Duncan at DH vs. a RHP:

Jennings cf
Johnson 2b
Zobrist rf
Longoria 3b
Joyce lf
Duncan dh
Loney 1b
Molina c
Escobar ss
Moore p

UPDATE, 3:28: After going 4-9 over their first two weeks, the Rays have fallen somewhat out of favor with the Las Vegas oddsmakers, at least at the online Bovada site, as they went from a 16-1 pick to win the World Series on March 29 to 28-1 now. Also, they have the longest odds to win the AL East, with the Orioles, at 9-2.

UPDATE, 3:17: Here is the Orioles lineup:

Markakis rf
Machado 3b
Jones cf
Wieters c
Davis 1b
Hardy ss
McLouth lf
Reimold dh
Casilla 2b
Tillman p

DEVELOPING: The Rays are hoping the improvement they showed at the plate Tuesday carries over to tonight as they seek to snap a four-game losing streak in a 7:10 game against the Orioles.

LH Matt Moore, who has not given up a run in his first two starts, will be on the mound, matched up with Orioles RH Chris Tillman.

Moore has a chance to become the fifth pitcher in the expansion era (1961 on) to win his first three games as a starter without giving up a run.

The Rays were buoyed last night because OF Matt Joyce and INF/OF Kelly Johnson had better at-bats, giving manager Joe Maddon reason to believe the offense will be more than the three-man show it had been with Desmond Jennings, Ben Zobrist and Evan Longoria.

Lineups shortly.

 

[Last modified: Wednesday, April 17, 2013 5:42pm]

    

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