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LINEUP GAINING PARTIAL STABILITY

Against righties, Joe Maddon might stick with a consistent order.

No trumpets blared and no lights flashed, but by Rays manager Joe Maddon's standards, this was pretty big news.

Starting tonight - then resuming after B.J. Upton serves his two-game suspension - the Rays will have pretty much a set batting order against right-handed starters.

"Now you're going top see more of a consistent lineup," Maddon said. "That's what people have been, everybody is clamoring for, but you might be able to get it right now."

Maddon likes the look and flow of the lineup with Sam Fuld at the top, followed by Ben Zobrist, Johnny Damon and Evan Longoria, then by Matt Joyce, Upton, Casey Kotchman, Reid Brignac and John Jaso.

"I like the flow of the lineup," Maddon said. "I like the way it goes back and forth, there's a lot of left-right stuff going on, and I think the hitter behind the guy in front complements him well. So I do like it."

Maddon said his lineup against left-handed starters will be a "little bit sporadic." But against right-handers, "it's just kind of settled into almost one lineup."

From a manager who used 129 lineups for 162 games last season, that's saying something.

Marc Topkin can be reached at topkin@sptimes.com.

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