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For starters: Rays at Yankees, with Molina at DH

The Rays will have Matt Moore, who has struggled through his last three starts, on the mound.

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The Rays will have Matt Moore, who has struggled through his last three starts, on the mound.

20

June

UPDATE, 6:26: Maddon said the Molina decision was solely to get as many right-handed bats in the lineup, and he obviously knows the risk of potentially having to give up the DH if Lobaton were to get hurt. ... Myers moved up to fifth given his success against left-handed pitchers, and to provide a formidable middle of the order with Zobrist-Longoria-Myers.

UPDATE, 4:56: The Rays lineup contains a significant surprise - Jose Molina at DH.

And it was a surprise to Molina himself, who said when he walked in he saw Jose Lobaton's name on the lineup card at catcher and assumed he was off, then heard from some teammates in the trainers' room that he was DHing.

Molina is 1-for-5 vs. Yankees starter Andy Pettitte, but more importantly allows the Rays to have eight right-handed (or switch-) hitters in their lineup.

Also, an odd note, but Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and other Hillsborough County officials are expected at Yankee Stadium tonight, in New York on a scheduled economic development trip.

Rays lineup:

Jennings cf
Rodriguez lf
Zobrist 2b
Longoria 3b
Myers rf
Molina c
Escobar ss
Lobaton c
Loney 1b
Moore p

And here is the Yankees lineup:
Gardner cf
Nix 3b
Cano 2b
Hafner dh
Wells lf
Suzuki rf
Overbay 1b
Stewart c
Brignac ss
Pettitte p

DEVELOPING: Coming off a much-needed 6-2 win over the Red Sox, the Rays are in Yankee Stadium tonight to open a four-game series against the Yankees.

Neither team is playing particularly well overall, especially offensively.

The Rays will have Matt Moore, who has struggled through his last three starts,  on the mound for the Rays, saying on Wednesday that he felt better physically and mentally - was, in his words, better prepared - for tonight's start.

Lineups when available, though the Yankees are trying what worked so well for the Royals (with Elliot Johnson and Wade Davis) and Red Sox (with Jonny Gomes), in starting former Rays infielder Reid Brignac against his old mates.

[Last modified: Thursday, June 20, 2013 6:27pm]

    

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