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Revamped batting order produces big results

The Sports Xchange

--Manager Joe Maddon juggled the batting order Thursday, moving SS Elliot Johnson to leadoff and dropping LF Desmond Jennings to third and CF B.J. Upton to fourth. It worked. The Rays had 10 hits, snapping a streak of 12 games in which they failed to reach double digits in hits. That was the longest streak of its kind this season in the majors.

--DH Ben Zobrist, who was moved to second in the order to relieve some of the pressure he might feel from being in a spot where he has to drive in runs, actually drove in a run. His second-inning single scored SS Elliot Johnson and was his first hit in 10 at-bats during the three-game series at Yankee Stadium.

--C Jose Lobaton, who had never faced CC Sabathia, had two hits and a walk, drove in a run and scored a run against the lefty. Lobaton entered the game with just four hits for the season.

--RHP Wade Davis kept the momentum going after LHP David Price left the game. Davis pitched the sixth and seventh innings and retired all six batters he faced, including the final four on strikeouts.

--RHP Kyle Farnsworth doesn't have a exact target date for his return from a strained right elbow, but it should be before the All-Star break. Farnsworth took a step forward in his rehab Wednesday by throwing to batters at Tropicana Field.

9 -- Wins by LHP David Price in 10 career starts against former Cy Young Award winners.

"How does that happen? We came back tonight and played a much better game." -- Manager Joe Maddon, on the Rays leaving the Bronx with a share of first place after looking horrible during the first two losses.

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


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