Super Bowl 50

Sun, Feb 7, 2016

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Upton back in lineup, back in good form

The Sports Xchange

--CF B.J. Upton returned to the lineup Friday after leaving Wednesday's game and sitting out Thursday due to tightness in his right quad. Upton moved into the second slot, as manager Joe Maddon allowed guests at the Tampa Chamber luncheon to make out the lineup. Upton finished 2-for-4 with a pair of run-scoring doubles.

--RHP Jeremy Hellickson's comfort level pitching at Tropicana Field, as he will Saturday against Oakland, has been obvious. He is 2-0 with a 0.83 ERA in three home starts this season, allowing only 14 hits and two earned runs in 21 2/3 innings. For his career, Hellickson is 10-5 with a 2.24 ERA under the tilted roof.

--C Jose Molina hit his first homer as a Ray, and his first since Aug. 31 of last season. His two-run shot in the fourth inning stretched Tampa Bay's lead over Oakland to 5-1.

--INF Sean Rodriguez is the Rays' starting shortstop, but with Evan Longoria out, he is also their best defensive third baseman. Several times Rodriguez has been shifted from short to third for late-inning defense, with Elliot Johnson taking over at short.

--RHP James Shields didn't step on the field, but he had a good night Friday. A decision by Tropicana Field scorer Bill Mathews in Wednesday's game was changed on appeal, with a hit taken away from Seattle's Jesus Montero and an error given to Rays SS Sean Rodriguez, the subtraction of three earned runs dropping Shields' ERA from 3.70 to 3.05.

999 -- Rays games managed by Joe Maddon, who has 514 wins in that span.

"They did a nice job. I kind of gave them some ideas to work with." -- Manager Joe Maddon, on allowing guests at the Tampa Chamber of Commerce luncheon to make Friday's lineup.

Copyright (C) 2012 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.


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