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Friday morning report: Time to play ball

Evan Longoria will be starting at third base and batting cleanup.


Evan Longoria will be starting at third base and batting cleanup.



UPDATE, 12:59: After three parachutists from US Special Ops dropped in, the Rays and Orioles are ready to get started. For updates, follow on Twitter at @TBTimes_Rays, which is also available on the Sports page at

UPDATE, 10:54: So what should be read into the Rays spring opening day lineup that has DeJesus leading off, Longoria 4th, Myers 6th and Jennings 7th? "Nothing at all,'' Maddon said. Lineups put together by bench coach Dave Martinez based on getting guys at-bats, batting order will take several forms before being finalized late spring.

2B Ben Zobrist (back) went through the pre-game routine with the team, working on bunt defenses and taking batting practice, then was to run the bases on his own. The plan is to take Saturday off and be re-evaluated, and he has hopes of playing Sunday though Maddon said it will be early next week.

Among camp visitors today was the esteemed Peter Gammons.

DEVELOPING: The Rays are - finally - set to play a game, with the exhibition opener set for 1:05 p.m. vs. the Orioles.

The lineup features most of the regulars, though they will only play about three innings:

DeJesus lf
Escobar ss
Loney 1b
Longoria 3b
Joyce dh
Myers rf
Jennings cf
Molina c
Forsythe 2b
Bedard p

And for the Orioles, with few recognizable names:
Weeks 2b
Peduero cf
Clevenger c
Pearce 1b
Reimold dh
Urrutia rf
Gonzalez ss
Paul lf
Almanzar 3b
Tillman p

There was a fair amount of chatter in the clubhouse this morning about Thursday's charity golf tournament, which David Price's team won.



[Last modified: Friday, February 28, 2014 1:01pm]


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