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For starters: Rays vs. Orioles, with Archer on the mound

Opening Day starter Chris Archer will be on the mound for the Rays.


Opening Day starter Chris Archer will be on the mound for the Rays.



1:25 p.m.: That didn't take long. Rays-Orioles game has been cancelled after only two outs due to heavy rain here in Port Charlotte. Archer misses a chance to get in a longer outing to stretch himself out for opening day in two weeks, but he'll throw about 90 pitches in batting cages now to simulate the game he's missed ...

1:15 p.m. update: Rays and Orioles are in rain delay -- heavy rains started within seconds of the first pitch, and Chris Archer had time for two outs and six pitches before the Rays came in and the tarp came out ...

10 a.m. update: Greg Auman helping out today with Rays coverage from Port Charlotte.

First, the Rays' lineup for today's 1:05 p.m. spring training game against the Orioles:

1. Logan Forsythe 2B

2. Brad Miller SS

3. Evan Longoria DH

4. Corey Dickerson RF

5. Desmond Jennings LF

6. Kevin Kiermaier CF

7. James Loney 1B

8. Tim Beckham 3B

9. Curt Casali C

Chris Archer is on the mound -- there's a good chance of rain by 2:45 or 3 this afternoon, but if it holds off that long, Archer will be able to get his normal workload in, the most important thing as the Rays continue to build pitchers up for the start of the season.

Dickerson is back in the lineup after not playing since Sunday due to a blood blister on his right ring finger. Longoria is also back, albeit at DH, after fouling a ball off his left shin in Thursday's game.

LHP Drew Smyly will throw a simulated game Sunday against a full lineup of players not making the trip to face the Orioles in Sarasota -- that's posted as Guyer-Jennings-Miller-Pearce-Mahtook-Shaffer-Motter-Decker, with the catcher still TBA.

As for the Rays' lineup Sunday in Sarasota -- jumping ahead a bit -- that's Forsythe-Morrison-Longoria-Dickerson-Souza-Kiermaier-Beckham-Loney-Rivera, with RHP Jhan Marinez getting the start.

Kevin Cash, asked about the back end of his bullpen with Brad Boxberger out six weeks or more following surgery, he reiterated that they went into spring with three other relievers they knew had pitched well in high-leverage situations: LHP Xavier Cedeno, RHP Steve Geltz and RHP Alex Colome. "Coming into spring training, we had a lot of confidence obviously in Box, Cedeno, Geltzy and Colome," Cash said. "All those guys pitched in very high-leverage roles last year, so we're not too concerned in that regard. The concerning thing is we're a man short that pitched in a lot of high-leverage roles last year. We're confident in the guys we brought in." That includes RHP Danny Farquhar, RHP Ryan Webb and LHP Dana Eveland, as well as returning relievers like RHP Matt Andriese, RHP Andrew Bellatti and LHP Enny Romero. "We will definitely piece this together and have some success."

8 a.m. update from Marc Topkin: As they complete preparations to leave Sunday for Cuba, the Rays host the Orioles today at 1:05 in Port Charlotte.

Opening Day starter Chris Archer will be on the mound for the Rays, with Corey Dickerson (blister) and Evan Longoria (shin) expected back in the lineup.

Rain in is the forecast, check back for details.

Lineups when available.

[Last modified: Saturday, March 19, 2016 1:27pm]


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