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Rays-Indians: preview

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What's new: The Indians have a different look, and outlook, with the free-spending additions of several big names, starting with manager Terry Francona, and headlined by free agent signees 1B/OF Nick Swisher and OF Michael Bourn and including OF Drew Stubbs (acquired from Reds in Shin-Soo Choo trade), 1B Mark Reynolds, RHP Brett Myers, 1B/DH Jason Giambi (who is on the DL), INF Mike Aviles. They also had a feel-good story with the comeback of former Rays ace Scott Kazmir, but he is on the DL with a rib cage strain. The Indians are banking on the lineup and rotation to be improved, and the bullpen could be dominant.

Key stat: Swisher, a former Yankee, has a .271 average, 19 homers and an .871 OPS in 98 career games vs. Rays.

Connections: Rays RHP Roberto Hernandez and DH Shelley Duncan are former Indians. … Cleveland INF/OF Ryan Raburn is a Durant High product, and coaches Mickey Callaway and Kevin Cash (Gaither High) are former Rays, along with Kazmir.

Series history: Indians lead 73-46 all time, 31-28 at Trop, though Rays are up 15-8 past three seasons.

Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

Rays-Indians: preview 04/04/13 [Last modified: Thursday, April 4, 2013 10:11pm]

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