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For starters: Rays at Yankees, with momentum on their mind

The Rays will have arguably their best pitcher of late on the mound in RHP Alex Cobb, coming off a pair of strong outings against the Rangers and Orioles that earned him the AL Player of the Week Award.

JAMES BORCHUCK | Times

The Rays will have arguably their best pitcher of late on the mound in RHP Alex Cobb, coming off a pair of strong outings against the Rangers and Orioles that earned him the AL Player of the Week Award.

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September

UPDATE, 6:18: Turns out Escobar was not ready to come back, deciding after testing his left ankle he was not comfortable. The Rays decided it was better to keep him out, with the potential he could be available for late-inning defense. Zobrist moves over to SS and Sean Rodriguez, whom Maddon in past years referred to as "the best defensive second baseman in the American League" will make his first start of this season at second. Maddon said they chose him over Kelly Johnson or Tim Beckham because of potential in-game manuevering. ... RHP Jesse Crain is not available again tonight due to recurring shoulder issues and while it is a day to day situation, Maddon said it is possible he won't be able to pitch this season after all. If he doesn't pitch during the regular season it would be difficult - though not impossible - to see him being on the playoff roster.

Here is the new Rays lineup:
Zobrist ss
Myers rf
Loney 1b
Longoria 3b
DeJesus cf
Young dh
Joyce lf
Lobaton c
Rodriguez 2b
Cobb p

UPDATE, 4:51: SS Yunel Escobar and C Jose Lobaton are back in the Rays lineup. Also of note, Delmon Young is the DH vs. a right-hander for the second straight night.

Rays lineup:
Zobrist 2b
Myers rf
Loney 1b
Longoria 3b
DeJesus cf
Young dh
Joyce lf
Lobaton c
Escobar ss

Yankees lineup:
Suzuki rf
Nunez 3b
Cano 2b
Soriano dh
Granderson cf
Overbay 1b
Almonte lf
Ryan ss
Murphy c
Nova p

DEVELOPING: The Rays are focused on extending their winning streak to 7 games, maintaining their hold on the AL's top wild-card spot and closing in on clinching a playoff berth tonight.

And everyone else in Yankee Stadium will be focused on Mariano Rivera making his last appearance at Yankee Stadium before finishing the season on the road and then retiring.

The Rays will have arguably their best pitcher of late on the mound in RHP Alex Cobb, coming off a pair of strong outings against the Rangers and Orioles that earned him the AL Player of the Week Award.

Before the Yankees get to Rivera - who is expected to pitch no matter what the score - they will start RHP Ivan Nova, who has been very difficult for the Rays to figure out.

There are medical issues regarding several Rays so updates are expected on CF Desmond Jennings (hamstring strain), SS Yunel Escobar (sore left ankle), C Jose Lobaton (bruised right elbow). Escobar and Lobaton could both return to the lineup tonight.

Also of note, RHP Jesse Crain has been unavailable the last two days after being added to the roster and warming up to pitch Monday. He has been out nearly three months due to a shoulder strain.

Lineups when available.

 

[Last modified: Thursday, September 26, 2013 6:23pm]

    

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