For starters, Rays vs. A's, with a lineup shakeup

Wil Myers will bat first for the second time this season.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Wil Myers will bat first for the second time this season.

UPDATE, 5:56: Maddon said the primary reason behind the lineup shakeup was to give Myers and Longoria as many at- bats as possible since he feels they are close to breaking out of their slumps. Also that he felt Guyer was hitting the ball better than any of the other Rays. ... Maddon remains committed to using INF/DH Logan Forsythe, noting that he has not been nearly as bad as his .175 average indicates. ... RHP Alex Cobb said he is 100 percent ready for Thursday's start with no concern about injury, and expects to work deep into the game. Maddon said would expect Cobb to have a pitch count of 90-100 based on how easy or tough the game is. ... RHP Jeremy Hellickson will throw his first live batting practice session on Thursday, continuing his progress in his recovery from Jan. 29 arthroscopic elbow surgery. Hellickson has been throwing curveballs with no soreness the last 4-5 bullpen sessions and said his overall progress has been "very encouraging" although he didn't have an exact timetable for his return. He did say he expected to be back before the July 14-17 All-Star break.

A's lineup:

Gentry cf
Blanks 1b
Donaldson 3b
Cespedes dh
Norris c
Moss lf
Callaspo 2b
Reddick rf
Punto ss
Milone lhp

UPDATE, 3:09: Rays manager Joe Maddon got creative in today's lineup to try to shake up the bats, hitting Wil Myers first for the second time, and Evan Longoria second. Also, Brandon Guyer cleanup.

Here is the lineup:
Myers rf
Longoria 3b
Loney 1b
Guyer lf
Rodriguez 2b
Escobar ss
Jennings cf
Forsythe dh
Hanigan c
Bedard p

DEVELOPING: Having lost three in a row - and been shutout twice - the Rays try again to get their offense untracked tonight when they take on the A's at 7:10.

Overall, the Rays have lost eight of nine, dropping eight games under .500 for the first time since the end of the 2007 season. They also have lost eight of their last nine at the Trop.

How bad have the bats been? The Rays have scored in only one of their last 28 offensive innings - on the two-run homer Sunday in Anaheim by rookie OF Kevin Kiermaier.

LHP Erik Bedard, who has been one of the Rays best starters of late, will be on the mound against Oakland LHP Tommy Milone.

Lineups when available.

 

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 21, 2014 5:58pm]

    

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