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UPDATE: Rays at Red Sox postponed, DH on Thursday

There is a theory that a Dustin Pedroia bobblehead was part of the issue -- that the Sox planned to give them away on Wednesday and if they don't do so instead for a makeup game on Thursday, they will have nowhere to store them.

MARC TOPKIN | Times

There is a theory that a Dustin Pedroia bobblehead was part of the issue -- that the Sox planned to give them away on Wednesday and if they don't do so instead for a makeup game on Thursday, they will have nowhere to store them.

UPDATE, 8:15: Turns out the Rays objections didn't matter. Acting player rep Ben Zobrist said they were told by MLB that the Red Sox (and Cubs) have exceptions to the Basic Agreement "to basically exercise their own right to do what they want to do."
    And since the Red Sox wanted to play a split doubleheader, that's what the teams will do.
    "Yea, its frustrating,'' Zobrist said. "It's frustrating that the weather is bad, it's probably not going to be much better tomorrow morning from what we're looking at. And based upon our wishes, that it didn't matter what we said, that's frustrating. That we didn't have any say in it. Besides that, it won't be frustrating if we win two games tomorrow.''

UPDATE, 7:19: And after all that, it will indeed be a split doubleheader for the Rays and Red Sox on Thursday, with Cesar Ramos against Jake Peavy in Game 1 at 1:05 and Chris Archer against Felix Doubront in Game 2.

UPDATE, 5:52: The Rays were in a very awkward position of leaving Fenway Park at 5 p.m. today without knowing what time they were playing tomorrow. …

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For starters, Rays at Red Sox

Coming off a rough four-weekend in Chicago, the Rays are in Boston tonight to open a three-game series with the rival Red Sox.

Here are the lineups:
Rays
Zobrist 2b
Jennings cf
Joyce lf
Longoria 3b
Loney 1b
Myers rf
DeJesus dh
Escobar ss
Hanigan c
Bedard p

Red Sox
Pedroia 2b
Victorino rf
Ortiz dh
Napoli 1b
Gomes lf
Bogaerts ss
Pierzynski c
Middlebrooks 3b
Bradley cf
Lackey p


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For starters, Rays at White Sox, weather permitting

At least at 3 p.m. Chicago time there was no rain and promising indications the Rays and White Sox would play.

MARC TOPKIN / TIMES

At least at 3 p.m. Chicago time there was no rain and promising indications the Rays and White Sox would play.

UPDATE, 7:20: Rays manager Joe Maddon said they've been told to plan on starting the game and getting at least five or six innings in, with heavy rains expected around 9 or 9:30 Chicago time.

Maddon said he considered starting a reliever, as he was going to do when they had threatening conditions in Baltimore - and were eventually rained out - but after being told they had a long window decided to stick with Jake Odorizzi.

OF David DeJesus said his sore left shoulder - banged up during a dive last weekend vs. the Yankees - is getting better and he hopes to get back in the outfield during the series in Boston, noting the shorter LF wall should make it easier for him.

UPDATE, 6:01: Just when it looked like the teams would go through a normal pre-game, the Sox grounds crew cancelled batting practice and put the tarp back on the field. Though this is obviously an inexact process, the general sense as of now is that they will be able to start with heavy rains expected around 9 Chicago time.

Here is the White Sox lineup:
Eaton cf
Beckham 2b
Abreu 1b
Dunn dh
Viciedo rf
Ramirez ss
De Aza lf
Flowers c
Semien 3b
Rienzo p
 …

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Video: Rays Price on Sunday mess

Rays ace David Price on Sunday's messy loss, in which a 1-0 lead got away as the Rays made four errors in the sixth inning.

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Rays make a mess in 9-2 loss

   What had been a crisp afternoon with the Rays leading by a run turned into an ugly 9-2 loss to the White Sox as the Rays made a team-record four errors in the sixth inning.

    Their miscues - by Ben Zobrist, David Price, Wil Myers and Yunel Escobar - led to five Chicago runs. Some poor pitching, by Price and reliever Josh Lueke, led to four more the next inning.

   The Rays felt pretty good about themselves going into the game, coming off a 4-0 win the night before, having their ace, Price, on the mound against Chicago starter Scott Carroll, a 29-year-old making his major-league debut.

   In reality, the game was pretty much even through the first five innings.

   The Rays didn't do much against Carroll, and hit into a pair of double plays when they did, though they had a 1-0 lead thanks to Sox rightfielder Dayan Viciedo basically whiffing on an Escobar fly ball, allowing David DeJesus to score from first.

   Price, meanwhile, was sharp though not overpowering, but with the help of some dazzling defense behind him, specifically diving catches by Evan Longoria and Desmond Jennings, posted five zeroes.

   But everything changed in the sixth as the Sox scored five runs. …

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For starters, Rays at White Sox, ahead of the rain

UPDATE, 11:25: Rays lineup has DeJesus at DH again, Maddon said he has a bit of a sore arm:

Zobrist 2b,
Jennings cf,
Joyce lf,
Longoria 3b,
Loney 1b,
Myers rf,
DeJesus dh,
Escobar ss,
Molina c,
Price p

DEVELOPING: The Rays and White Sox are prepping for the third game of their scheduled four-day wrap-around series with the White Sox, with a forecast that calls for rain starting tonight and continuning all of Monday.

But first things first, and after beating the White Sox 4-0 last night, the Rays have ace David Price on the mound today, while they will be facing RHP Scott Carroll, a 29-year-old making his big-league debut for the White Sox.

By the Rays count, Carroll will be the 25th pitcher to make his debut in a start against them - they are 10-14 in those games, the pitchers are 9-7.

Among interesting notes from Saturday night, it was just the sixth time in Rays history a starter earned a win without a strikeout, Cesar Ramos joining Mark Hendrickson (who did it three times), Bryan Rekar and Tony Saunders.

Here is the White Sox lineup:
Eaton cf
Semien 3b
Abreu dh
Viciedo rf
Konerko 1b
Ramirez ss
De Aza lf
Flowers c
Beckham 2b
Carroll p

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MLB says no to Maddon's ski hat

This is the ski cap Maddon can't wear to the mound.

MARC TOPKIN

This is the ski cap Maddon can't wear to the mound.

Rays manager Joe Maddon received a letter of reprimand from MLB saying he shouldn't wear a ski cap to the mound as he did on the last road trip. So with temps in the 30s tonight, Maddon is planning to use his "Elmer Fudd" hat that has ear flaps. He did say he would consider wearing the ski cap in the dugout and switching to the other hat when he headed to the mound.

 

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For starters, Rays at White Sox, seeking bounceback

UPDATE, 5:59: Maddon said he wanted the extra RH hitters in Rodriguez and Forsythe, but also felt Loney would fare well vs. Danks. ... The Rays bullpen could look different tonight as there is some question if Jake McGee and Grant Balfour will be available based on recent usage. ... The temperature is down to 35 at U.S. Cellular Field based on the scoreboard.

UPDATE, 4:39: The Rays have Sean Rodriguez and Logan Forsythe in the lineup vs. LHP John Danks, but not OF Brandon Guyer as lefty hitting James Loney is at first.

Here is the lineup:
Zobrist 2b
Jennings cf
Myers rf
Longoria 3b
Rodriguez lf
Loney 1b
Forsythe dh
Escobar ss
Hanigan c
Ramos p

And here is the White Sox lineup:

Eaton cf,
Semien 3b,
Abreu 1b,
Viciedo rf,
Konerko DH,
Ramirez SS,
De Aza LF,
Beckham 2b,
Nieto c,
Danks p

DEVELOPING: The Rays will try to bounce back from Friday's staggering walkoff loss, when they take on the White Sox again tonight.

LHP Cesar Ramos will be on the mound for the Rays, facing Sox veteran LHP John Danks.

After wasting repeated opportunities Friday and giving away an early lead, the Rays went ahead in the ninth inning on a two-run homer by Evan Longoria. …

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Video: Rays Balfour on blown game in Chicago

Rays closer Grant Balfour on his blown save in Chicago, and his heated exchange with White Sox Paul Konerko.

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Don Zimmer remains hospitalized following surgery

Senior advisor Don Zimmer remains hospitalized in St. Petersburg following April 16 heart surgery to repair a leaky valve. Zimmer, 83, is on a ventilator, son Tom said, but making slow progress toward breathing on his own.

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For starters, Rays at White Sox

UPDATE, 6:54: Given the state of the bullpen, it sounds like manager Joe Maddon plans to loosen the limits on RHP Chris Archer tonight and would be willing to let him throw 100-plus pitches.

With the starters failing to work more than five innings in eight of the last 10 games, the pen has thrown 44 1/3 innings while the starters worked only 48 2/3.

Maddon and Ben Zobrist both said they were glad to see MLB chance the controversail "transfer" rule back to how it had been called.

UPDATE, 5:58: The Rays lineup has Matt Joyce in leftfield and David DeJesus at DH and otherwise as expected:

Zobrist 2b
Jennings cf
Joyce lf
Longoria 3b
Loney 1b
Myers rf
DeJesus dh
Escobar ss
Hanigan c
Archer p

And the Sox lineup:
Eaton cf
Semien 3b
Abreu 1b
Dunn dh
Viciedo rf
Ramirez ss
De Aza lf
Flowers c
Beckham 2b
Johnson p

DEVELOPING: The struggling Rays open a challenging 10-game three-city road trip tonight in Chicago against the White Sox. …

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Video report/photo gallery from Thursday loss

Our video report and photo gallery from Rays 9-7 Thursday afternoon loss to the Twins at Tropicana Field. Video by Will Vragovic.

 

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Rays lose again, 9-7 to Twins


   What started out as a bad afternoon didn't end any better for the Rays despite some momentary glimpses of hope as they lost to the Twins 9-7 before heading out for a 10-game, three-city road trip.

   Erik Bedard put the Rays is a large hole early, allowing three runs in an ugly 41 -pitch first inning and another in a sloppy second. He then settled in for a couple innings as the Rays closed to 4-3 on a David DeJesus homer.

    But Reliever Heath Bell, the first man out of the Rays beleaguered bullpen, and he had a rough day as well, allowing five runs while unable to finish his second inning.

   Down 9-3, the Rays closed the gap again, getting to 9-6 after a two-run rally in the seventh sparked by catcher Jose Molina's hustle in tagging up twice, then to 9-7 with the bases loaded in the eighth, but Desmond Jennings swung at and popped up the first pitch and they got no closer.

   Jennings made a spectacular running catch just in front of the centerfield wall in the ninth.

  Manager Joe Maddon said Wednesday that Bedard was not pitching to keep his spot in the rotation, but they may revisit that thought after his Thursday performance. …

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For starters, Rays vs. Twins, on short rest

The Rays will need Erik Bedard to go deep into the game, having used six of their seven relievers on Wednesday.

AP photo

The Rays will need Erik Bedard to go deep into the game, having used six of their seven relievers on Wednesday.

UPDATE, 11:51: Former Rays OF Sam Fuld, who had two hits last night, is back in the Twins lineup today, playing leftfield.

Twins lineup:
Dozier 2b
Mauer 1b
Plouffe 3b
Colabello rf
Pinto dh
Suzuki c
Fuld lf
Hicks cf
Florimon ss
Nolasco p

UPDATE, 11:45: The Rays decided to not make any moves to bolster their bullpen, so they will roll with Bedard and the tired relief corps.

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

DEVELOPING: The Rays and Twins are set to wrap up their three-game series today, with a 1:10 matinee that will start barely 13 hours after Wednesday's 12-game game ended.

The Rays will have LHP Erik Bedard on the mound, and need him to go deep into the game, having used six of their seven relievers on Wednesday. And the one they didn't use, Juan Carlos Oviedo, is probably limited to one inning since he is fresh off the DL.

The Twins are starting RHP Ricky Nolasco.

Manager Joe Maddon was disappointed in Wednesday's 6-4 loss, noting it was a game the Rays played enough to win, and should have won.

Lineups when available.

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Bullpen report for Thursday: "Tired"

Whatever benefit the Rays bullpen got from Monday's day off and Tuesday's complete game by David Price was gone by the end of a long Wednesday as the relievers had to cover 8 2/3 innings.

And they have to be back at the field early Thursday morning for a 1:10 start.

Asked to describe the state of the bullpen, manager Joe Maddon said, simply, "tired.'

He hadn't heard yet from executive VP Andrew Friedman to know if there would be a roster move, which likely would come at the expense of Brandon Gomes, the only reliever with options, unless they were willing to part ways with Josh Lueke.

While some of the relievers - such as Heath Bell, Jake McGee and Joel Peralta - will be able to bounce back, Maddon admitted "it's a little bit shaky" because Gomes threw 32 pitches over his 1 2/3 innings, Balfour 31 over two and Lueke 40.

Juan Carlos Oviedo, fresh off the DL, warmed up twice but wasn't used Wednesday, though Maddon said he was available and could have pitched a 13th inning, with position players after that.

Another key for Thursday, Maddon said, will be getting a long outing from starter Erik Bedard, though he didn't get out of the fourth in his first start. …

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