For starters, Rays vs. Twins

Chris Archer, who has been making strides recently, will get the start on the mound, with the Twins sending Kyle Gibson.

JAMES BORCHUCK | Times

Chris Archer, who has been making strides recently, will get the start on the mound, with the Twins sending Kyle Gibson.

Update 5:24 p.m. Rays manager Joe Maddon said he wanted to get Wil Myers a day off this week, and planned on making it Thursday, but in also wanting to get Kelly Johnson in the lineup, tonight proved the best matchup.

Myers, who is hitting .161 (5-for-31) in his last eight games, welcomed the mental break, saying it gave him a chance to "catch my breath" and work on his swing. Myers said he detected a few small flaws, but did some early work with hitting coach Derek Shelton and feels  he's closed to getting back on track. Maddon said he's not worried at all about Myers, and he'll be fine.

*3B Evan Longoria is starting his fifth straight game at third base, and Maddon doesn't have any plans to rest him the rest of the homestand, saying as long as he feels fine, they'll have him at third (even in Thursday's day game).

*Maddon said the reason Luke Scott and Desmond Jennings have been hitting better as of late is simple - they've organized their strike zone and are not chasing. Maddon noted Scott is "playing with a lot of confidence," and that his break in Houston (while Longoria served as DH) might have helped him.

*SS Yunel Escobar continued to rave about how comfortable and happy he is with the Rays, saying he hopes he can stay here for a long time. That comfort here is a reason Escobar is playing well, both offensively and defensively, saying he's allowed to be himself.

*The Rays are up to 100 homers, and Maddon doesn't see why that type of power production will go away, considering it's spread out through the entire offense.

*Maddon said LHP Alex Torres is available to pitch tonight for his first back-to-back, pointing out he might have found his "niche" as a reliever.

Developing: The Rays, having won their last five games, will face the Twins again tonight at Tropicana Field.

With Tampa Bay's recent hot streak - victories in 12 of its last 15 games - helped them improve to a season-high 10 games over .500 and in sole possession of second place in the American League East.

RHP Chris Archer, who has been making strides recently, will get the start on the mound, with the Twins sending RHP Kyle Gibson.

Rays lineup
Jennings cf
Scott dh
Zobrist 2b
Longoria 3b
Loney 1b
Joyce rf
Johnson lf
Lobaton c
Escobar ss
Archer rhp

Twins lineup
Dozier 2b
Mauer c
Doumit dh
Morneau 1b
Plouffe 3b
Arcia lf
Parmlee rf
HIcks cf
Florimon ss
Gibson rhp



[Last modified: Tuesday, July 9, 2013 5:33pm]

    

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