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Tampa Bay Rays closer Kyle Farnsworth has setback with elbow but should be ready for Game 3 of ALDS

ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Kyle Farnsworth's right elbow has become an issue again, but manager Joe Maddon is "kind of encouraged" he would be available if needed to close out today's Game 3.

Maddon confirmed that Farns­worth had "a little bit of a setback" and could not have pitched Saturday.

Farnsworth returned to action Sept. 24 after sitting out two weeks due to tenderness in the elbow, then pitched four of the next five days, including the last three regular-season games.

"He was doing well but then we used him so many days in a row, I think that kind of put him back a little bit," Maddon said. "But he's doing well. He said he felt really good (Saturday), he said he keeps feeling better. As we continue to move this forward, I just have to be careful with him, that's all."

Maddon said if Farnsworth were not available, they would use an "all hands on deck" approach, but the primary options for closing duty would be RHP Joel Peralta and RHP Wade Davis, who was moved from the rotation to the bullpen for this series.

"I'm up for whatever," Maddon said. "I thought Wade handled himself the other day (in his Friday relief debut). He's got the stuff to do it."

LINING UP: John Jaso will start behind the plate today instead of Kelly Shoppach, primarily because the Rangers are starting RHP Colby Lewis and Jaso swings left-handed.

But also a factor is that Jaso has caught Rays starter David Price more this season than Shoppach and that Price has a 3.34 ERA with Jaso and 3.58 with Shoppach.

Maddon was still deciding Sunday what to do at shortstop, whether to stick with right-handed hitting Sean Rodriguez (0-for-3 vs. Lewis) or switch to lefty Reid Brignac (1-for-2).

Also, Matt Joyce, who hit ninth the first two games against Texas' lefties, will move back into the middle of the order.

PITCHING IN: Maddon said there is no talk of changing the plan to have RHP James Shields start a potential Game 5 on Thursday. Game 1 starter LHP Matt Moore would be available in relief then, or possibly on Tuesday. … RHP Jeff Niemann, left off the ALDS roster due to back issues, threw a bullpen session.

HOME BOYS: After having a sub-.500 record most of the season at the Trop, the Rays closed with a 20-6 run, including eight walkoff wins, and finished 47-34. Interestingly, they did not score 10 or more in a home game, the first AL team to not do so in a season since the 1976 Angels and Orioles. The last time they scored at least 10 at home? Aug. 17, 2010, vs. Texas. … The Rays have lost their past four home postseason games — Game 2 of the 2008 World Series and Games 1, 2 and 5 of the 2010 ALDS.

RANGERS REPORT: Manager Ron Washington plans a few changes to today's lineup from what he used against Moore in Game 1. Mitch Moreland will be at first, with Michael Young the DH instead of Yorvit Torrealba, and Craig Gentry will be in centerfield with former Rays prospect Josh Hamilton in left.

MISCELLANY: Game 4 is set for 2:07 p.m. Tuesday, and a potential Game 5 would be 5:07 Thursday but would be moved to 8:07 if there is no Yankees-Tigers game. … A commemorative scorecard will be sold for $3. … The Rangers went through a full workout; the Rays had an informal voluntary session, with most of the frontline players showing up. Also, RHP Andy Sonnanstine and LHP Cesar Ramos, who aren't on the ALDS roster, threw to hitters. … Saturday's loss ended the Rays' streak of 31 wins when scoring five or more.

Tampa Bay Rays closer Kyle Farnsworth has setback with elbow but should be ready for Game 3 of ALDS 10/02/11 [Last modified: Sunday, October 2, 2011 9:03pm]
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