For starters, Rays vs. Jays

Jeremy Hellickson will be on the mound for the Rays, hoping to build some consistency after a couple admittedly 'terrible' starts.

John Sleezer/Kansas City Star/MCT

Jeremy Hellickson will be on the mound for the Rays, hoping to build some consistency after a couple admittedly 'terrible' starts.

Update 6:00 p.m. Maddon said Ben Zobrist will be back Tuesday, having missed two games due to the death of his grandmother.

SS Yunel Escobar (bruised left hand) worked out this afternoon, including taking grounders and really wanted to play today, Maddon said, and could be available off the bench tonight.

*Maddon said it was tough picking the lineup today, saying he wrote it down four different times, but he liked James Loney hitting behind Longoria. Maddon said Loney, who is hitting .398, is as hot as he's seen anybody in a long time, and is also really playing well defensively.

*Maddon called the Rays start to the season "mediocre," but is encouraged they're just two games under .500 after having not played their best baseball. He said the offense has overachieved in a way, the defense solid, with the most frustrating thing the amount of leads they've given up due to less-than-stellar pitching.

*There was no special surprise in the clubhouse pre-game, no animal or anything, with Maddon quipping it was difficult considering they arrived home at 1 a.m.

Update 4:19 p.m. As expected, Sean Rodriguez gets the start at shortstop. Kelly Johnson is in left against his former team, and red-hot James Loney is hitting fifth. 

Rays lineup
Jennings cf
johnson lf
Roberts 2b
Longoria 3b
Loney 1b
Rodriguez ss
Scott dh
MOlina c
Fuld rf
Hellickson rhp

Developing: The Rays, having returned from an eventful and long 4-5 road trip, will open up a 10-game homestand tonight against the Jays.

The Jays were popular World Series picks after their extensive offseason makeover, but so far have been one of the majors' biggest busts, at 11-21 and last-place in the AL East. One of Toronto's key acquisitions, LHP Mark Buehrle, who has perfect gamed the Rays as a White Sox, will start tonight.

RHP Jeremy Hellickson will be on the mound for the Rays, hoping to build some consistency after a couple admittedly "terrible" starts.

The Rays are thin at shortstop, with Ben Zobrist expected to miss his second straight game following the death of his grandmother. Yunel Escobar expects to be sidelined until at least Wednesday with a bruised left hand.

In that case, expect Sean Rodriguez to get the start at short tonight.

Lineups, and more, to come.



[Last modified: Monday, May 6, 2013 6:07pm]

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