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Rays @ Jays: Pena reacts to reduced playing time and lineups

Posted Aug 30, 2012 by Roger Mooney

Updated Aug 30, 2012 at 06:42 PM

Luke Scott is at first base tonight as the Rays begin a four-game series against the Blue Jays and he might be there Friday night, too, as Joe Maddon searches for the best team to put on the field each night.

Maddon said before tonight’s game that Scott and Jeff Keppinger will see more time at first base in the immediate future. That means less playing time for Carlos Peña, whose .188 average is the lowest in baseball.

Peña did not play Wednesday in the Rays win against the Rangers. It was the first game he has missed this season.

“Like I always said, I trust Joe and I trust all his judgments and if there is one guy that believes in me with all of his heart it’s Joe Maddon, and it goes back to the beginning of my time with Tampa Bay,” Peña said. “Joe to me is like a father figure, someone who has been very important to my career, so I respect all his decisions, and I listen to his advice and I trust his judgment. I know I’m his first baseman. At this time he makes moves according to whatever he thinks is best, and ultimately this is something I’m very aware of, this is not about me personally … this is more importantly about our team.”

David Price caught up with his teammates late this afternoon, his trip to Toronto delayed because he left his passport back in his Tampa home. Price spent Wednesday’s night in Dallas. A friend flew to Dallas with his passport and the two flew to Toronto this afternoon.

Matt Joyce, who left Tuesday’s game after one inning because of a strained left forearm, is back in the lineup. Joyce said the arm is not completely pain free.

“More so it’s good enough to play,” he said. “You got to play through soreness sometimes.”

Matt Moore looks to extend his winning streak to five tonight and help the Rays keep pace with the A’s and the Orioles, both of whom won this afternoon.

Here are the lineups:

Jennings LF
Upton CF
Zobrist SS
Longoria 3B
Joyce DH
Keppinger 2B
Scott 1B
Lobaton C
Fuld RF

Moore LHP (10-7, 3.60)

Davis LF
Rasmus CF
Encarnacion 1B
Lind DH
Escobar SS
Johnson 2B
Sierra RF
Mathis C
Hechavarria 3B

Villanueva RHP (6-4, 3.30)

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