Roger Mooney covers the Tampa Bay Rays for The Tampa Tribune, TBO.com and News Channel 8. He has covered the Rays since their first season in 1998, including 11 years for the Bradenton Herald. Roger has also covered Florida, South Florida and Florida State football, the Bucs and the Lightning.
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Rays v Jays: Lineups with good ol’ No. 3 hitting cleanup
Posted Aug 7, 2012 by Roger Mooney
Updated Aug 7, 2012 at 05:12 PM
ST. PETERSBURG The Rays, looking to score their first run since Friday night – a span of 21 innings – meet the Blue Jays tonight with a familiar face in the lineup.
Evan Longoria returns after missing the last 85 days because of a partially torn left hamstring. He will serve as the DH.
“I’m not the savior,” he said. “Hopefully I can provide some kind of spark and get the offense going.”
Manager Joe Maddon echoed the same thoughts, adding that maybe Longoria’s presence will help the hitters ahead of him in the lineup see better pitches, which should lead to some better at-bats and maybe a run or two.
Maddon is going with an all right-handed lineup against Blue Jays lefty, J.A. Happ.
With Longoria as the DH, Maddon can use Jeff Keppinger at first base instead of Peña, something you will see more of this season. Peña has never faced Happ. Keppinger is a .385 hitter against Happ.
James Shields makes his first start since throwing his first complete-game shutout of the season.
Ben Zobrist’s back spasms are not an issue. He’s back in the lineup.
Here are the lineups:
Happ LHP (0-0, 5.14)
Shields RHP (9-7, 4.24)