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For starters: Rays vs. Red Sox, Game 3 ALDS

The Rays will have RHP Alex Cobb - who has been their best and most consistent pitcher - on the mound tonight, on his 26th birthday.

JAMES BORCHUCK | Times

The Rays will have RHP Alex Cobb - who has been their best and most consistent pitcher - on the mound tonight, on his 26th birthday.

7

October

UPDATE, 3:18: Maddon stressed again the importance of the Rays taking a lead tonight, saying "When you break bad it's not so good.'' ... Two Rays are celebrating their birthday today, Evan Longoria turning 28 and Cobb 26. ... OF Sam Fuld said it felt great to finally get to see his newborn son William, who was born while the team was on the season-ending road trip.

Red Sox lineup:

Ellsbury CF,
Victorino RF,
Pedroia 2B,
Ortiz DH,
Napoli 1B,
Nava LF,
Saltalamacchia C,
Drew SS,
Middlebrooks 3B,
Buchholz P

UPDATE, 3:11: Joyce will be the DH, Maddon saying he felt he was a better matchup vs. Buchholz, and that Young could be a good weapon off the bench. ... He went with Molina at C based on experience. ... Maddon also said part of the reason he put Myers in the cleanup spot was his faith that the rookie will bounce back from his rough weekend in Boston. ... Maddon said the bullpen is in good shape, that Chris Archer is available, but that they would prefer to not use Matt Moore today, preferring to save him for Tuesday to back up Hellickson.

Rays lineup:
DeJesus lf
Zobrist 2b
Longoria 3b
Myers rf
Loney 1b
Jennings cf
Joyce dh
Escobar ss
Molina c
Cobb p

DEVELOPING: With their season on the brink for the fourth time in eight days, the Rays take the field tonight needing to beat the Red Sox to extend the AL Division Series past tonight's third game.

The Rays will have RHP Alex Cobb - who has been their best and most consistent pitcher - on the mound tonight, on his 26th birthday. The Sox will counter with RHP Clay Buchholz, who when healthy has been their best pitcher.

The Rays lost the first two games of the best-of-five series in Boston on Friday and Saturday by a combined 19-6, and played poorly in doing so. They didn't hit well, didn't pitch well and fielded uncharecteristically horribly.

Rays manager Joe Maddon said he wasn't planning any major changes to the lineup, but he hadn't decided on his DH, weighing using Matt Joyce, who has had some success vs. Buchholz rather than Delmon Young.

Tropicana Field will be sold out for the game. Julianna Zobrist, the wife of Rays 2B Ben Zobrist, will sing the anthem - last time she did so, in Sept. 2012, Ben hit a walkoff homer.

Cobb has a streak of 13 2/3 scoreless innings, and only one run allowed in his last 25, and hasn't allowed a home run since Sept. 6. Also, Cobb is a perfect 7-0 with a 2.81 ERA in 13 starts at the Trop.

Lineups when available.

[Last modified: Monday, October 7, 2013 3:52pm]

    

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