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For starters, Rays vs. Red Sox

Jeremy Hellickson is pitching on seven days rest since rejoining the rotation Sept. 4.


Jeremy Hellickson is pitching on seven days rest since rejoining the rotation Sept. 4.



Update 5:56 p.m. Despite the Rays on an extended slide, manager Joe Maddon continued his seemingly always-optimistic out look.


Maddon said as tough as it's been, they're still in a wild card spot right now, thanks to their strong overall "body of work." Plus the potential is there for much more.

"My eyes are firmly planted on going to the World Series," Maddon said. "I really believe we have a chance to do our best work ever here right now. We were in really good shape, we're still in good shape. It's just kind of been more difficult lately. It’s a great time to teach ourselves a lesson, where you never stop grinding, you never give up, you never do any of those things, just keep working forward, staying in the present tense. And my wish and my want is that we keep working through this come out the other side in a really good way and learn a lesson for many years to come...

"This is a great moment, one of the best moments we'll ever have to teach ourselves a lesson as an organization going forward."

*Maddon said C Jose Molina is in St. Louis to tend to his ill mother, but is expected to rejoin the team Friday in Minnesota.

Update 5:30 p.m. The Rays lineup includes 1B James Loney batting third for the first time this season. Manager Joe Maddon said it's due to Loney's previous success - and knowledge - of Peavy from their time in the National League. Plus, with Loney swinging the bat well recently, he wanted to protect Longoria in the four spot.

Rays lineup
DeJesus lf
Zobrist 2b
Loney 1b
Longoria 3b
Joyce dh
Myers rf
Jennings cf
Lobaton c
Escobar ss
Hellickson rhp

Red Sox lineup
Pedroia 2b
Nava rf
Ortiz dh
Napoli 1b
Saltalamacchia c
Gomes lf
Drew ss
Bogaerts 3b
Bradley Jr, cf
Peavy rhp

Developing: The reeling Rays, coming off back-to-back losses to the Red Sox, will try to salvage the third and final game of the series tonight at Tropicana Field.

Tampa Bay has lost five of its last six, and 13 of its last 17, but still - barely - holds on to the second wild card spot, just one game ahead of the Yankees.

The Rays will need a strong start by RHP Jeremy Hellickson, who will be on the mound. Hellickson is pitching on seven days rest since rejoining the rotation Sept. 4 with a win in Anaheim after eight days off.

Veteran RHP Jake Peavy is starting for the Red Sox, who have won 12 of 18 meetings so far this season.

Lineups, and more, to come.

[Last modified: Thursday, September 12, 2013 6:00pm]


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