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For starters: Rays vs. Royals, with Johnson at 3B

The Rays tonight are starting Jeremy Hellickson, right, against Kansas City's Ervin Santana.


The Rays tonight are starting Jeremy Hellickson, right, against Kansas City's Ervin Santana.



UPDATE, 5:28: The Rays lineup has an unexpected look today, as Kelly Johnson is making his major-league debut at third base, as Evan Longoria is getting a day off his feet as the DH.

Johnson last played third base in 2005 at Triple-A Richmond, and that was only for four games, and he has only 15 games there total.

The result of the move is that struggling DH Luke Scott, who is hiting .381 against Royals starter Ervin Santana (8-for-21) with two homers, is not in the lineup.

Manager Joe Maddon said it was a combination of wanting to give Longoria the day at DH and with a fly ball pitcher on the mound in Hellickson of wanting Sam Fuld in LF. So that would have left 3B to Ryan Roberts, but Maddon wanted to try Johnson and get the extra left handed bat in the lineup.

Here is the lineup:

Joyce rf
Zobrist 2b
Johnson 3b
Longoria dh
Loney 1b
Jennings cf
Fuld lf
Molina c
Escobar ss
Hellickson p

And  the Royals, who have ex-Ray Elliot Johnson at 2b:

Gordon lf
Hosmer 1b
Perez c
Butler dh
Cain cf
Lough rf
Tejada 3b
Johnson 2b
Escobar ss
Santana p

DEVELOPING: After losing of two of three to the first-place Red Sox, the Rays open a four-game series with the Royals tonight at the Trop.

There will be a number of familiar faces on the field, topped by former Rays ace All-Star RHP James Shields.

Also coming back to the Trop for the first time since the big December trade are RHP Wade Davis, who starts Sunday, and INF Elliot Johnson.

The Rays tonight are starting RHP Jeremy Hellickson, and the Royals are starting Ervin Santana.

Lineups when available.


[Last modified: Thursday, June 13, 2013 5:36pm]


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