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Rays to Wrap Up Home Stand; Bartlett Likely to be Activated Thursday

Posted Jul 23, 2008 by Bart O'Connell

Updated Jul 23, 2008 at 12:02 PM

ST. PETERSBURG – It’s been a fairly quiet morning at Tropicana Field as the Rays prepare for their 100th game of the season and the last of a six-game home stand against Oakland at 12:40.

The only pre-game news came from Manager Joe Maddon, who said SS Jason Bartlett likely will be activated from the disabled list on Thursday, in time for the first game of the series at Kansas City.

“I talked to him today, he’s feeling really good. Without any unforeseen…whatevers, he’s likely going to be activated tomorrow,” he said.

Bartlett (right knee sprain) has been on the DL since July 3 and will be missing his 16th game with the injury today. The Rays are 6-9 without him.

Maddon added the corresponding roster move “maybe…probably” will be made after today’s game. And where there was some doubt over the weekend as to if Bartlett would be able to resume full-time shortstop duties right away, Maddon seemed more certain it wouldn’t be a problem after all.

“As of right now, [regular days off] may not be necessary,” Maddon said. “And furthermore, I’m looking at the weather map of Kansas City, it’s not a good weather map. … The only concern I would have would be J.B. would have to play two games [in a doubleheader], but he’s feeling pretty good right now, so I might be concerned about something I shouldn’t be.”

The 10-day forecast for Kansas City is calling for scattered thunderstorms all four days. There is a 50 percent chance of rain on Thursday, 30 percent Friday, and 40 percent Saturday and Sunday.

As for the Rays’ lineup, only two changes from Tuesday’s order: backup C Shawn Riggans is giving Dioner Navarro a day off, and Willy Aybar was moved up to sixth ahead of the catcher’s spot. 

Tampa Bay (58-41, 1st AL East)

1. Akinori IWAMURA, 2b
2. B.J. UPTON, cf
3. Carl CRAWFORD, lf
4. Evan LONGORIA, 3b
5. Carlos PENA, 1b
6. Willy AYBAR, dh
7. Shawn RIGGANS, c
8. Jonny GOMES, rf
9. Ben ZOBRIST, ss
P. James SHIELDS, rhp

Oakland (52-48, 2nd AL West)

1. Ryan SWEENEY, rf
2. Kurt SUZUKI, c
3. Jack CUST, dh
4. Emil BROWN, lf
5. Carlos GONZALEZ, cf
6. Bobby CROSBY, ss
7. Jack HANNAHAN, 3b
8. Wes BANKSTON, 1b
9. Brooks CONRAD, 2b
P. Greg SMITH, lhp

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