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 Yankees: Interesting lineup for the Rays
Posted Apr 7, 2012 by Roger Mooney
Updated Apr 7, 2012 at 05:08 PM
ST. PETERSBURG So, what will they do for an encore?
The Rays and Yankees are back at it tonight at Tropicana Field, which will be sold out for a second consecutive game.
It will be hard to match the excitement of Friday’s season opener, which saw five RBI from Carlos Peña – a first inning grand slam and, of course, the ninth-inning, game winning single off Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, who blew just his second save in 63 chances against the Rays.
“That was a blast,” said Desmond Jennings, who started the ninth inning rally with a single.
David Price makes his season debut tonight against Hiroki Kuroda, the free agent right-hander signed in the offseason from the Dodgers who makes his Yankee debut.
Joe Maddon moved Peña the second in the order, something he said he would do and flirted with during spring training.
Jeff Keppinger, based on his 2-for-3 night in the opener, will start against the right-handed Kuroda. Maddon also said the matchup is not a bad one for Keppinger.
Matt Joyce will bat cleanup despite his four strikeout day Friday because he hits right-handers well. Maddon also said it was a show of confidence for Joyce.
Reid Brignac will start at shortstop because, Maddon explained, Sean Rodriguez will start there tomorrow and with Monday’s off day, he didn’t want Brignac to sit for four days.
Jose Lobaton will start behind the plate, because Maddon wants Jose Molina to catch Jeremy Hellickson tomorrow.
Here are the lineups: