2015 Draft
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Rays OF's Kevin Kiermaier, David DeJesus sit against lefty Friday
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer

With the Rays facing a left-hander on Friday, manager Kevin Cash has loaded his lineup with right-handed swingers.

Outfielders Kevin Kiermaier and David DeJesus are being held out of the lineup against the A's. Kiermaier had started nine straight games for the Rays, but will take a seat on Friday, despite the fact he actually has a higher batting average against lefties (.267) than righties (.232).

DeJesus meanwhile has been on a tear lately. He's batting an even .400 (10 for 25) over his current seven-game hitting streak. But he's been heavily shielded against southpaws this season, having just three at-bats against left-handed pitching. 

Joey Butler will enter the lineup and bat fifth while playing left field. Brandon Guyer moves up to the leadoff spot and will play center field on Friday. 

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1432316760
Rockets C Dwight Howard probable for Game 3
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com

Rockets center Dwight Howard has been upgraded to probable for Game 3 of the Western Conference finals Saturday in Houston.

That designation indicates that Howard, who has been hampered by a knee problem, came through Game 2 without a setback.

Howard certainly improved his performance Thursday, racking up 19 points and 17 rebounds in 40 minutes against Golden State. He managed just seven points and 13 boards in 26 minutes in the series opener.

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1432316245
Hawks' Bazemore primed to step up if Carroll can't go for Game 2
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer

With Hawks small forward DeMarre Carroll ruled a game-time decision for Game 2 against the Cavaliers, Kent Bazemore is preparing to fill in that defensive-oriented role, according to AJC.com.

If Carroll does not play, Bazemore will undoubtedly have the task of defending Cavs forward LeBron James. Bazemore, though, is not shying away from that challenge.

“It’s great,” Bazemore said. “It’s a great platform to show what you can do. They brought me here as a defender and that’s my job. What a great measuring stick to go up against one of the best. … It’s tough but it’s what you sign up for. It’s a challenge I love. I love guarding the best players. I’ve been doing it all my life. This is no different. The tools I have and the preparation up to this point, I think I’ve prepared myself to do a good job.”

Bazemore is averaging 4.2 points and 2.8 rebounds per game during the playoffs.

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1432316131
Brewers RP Will Smith suspended eight games, will appeal
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer

Brewers left-hander Will Smith has been suspended eight games by Major League Baseball. Smith is being disciplined for having a foreign substance on his arm during Thursday's game against the Braves.

Smith will appeal the suspension, MLB announced, meaning he should be available for Friday's game. He was ejected from the game on Thursday in the seventh inning when Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez noticed the substance and asked the officials for Smith's removal.

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1432315978
Zimmer happy with progress of Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com

Mike Zimmer has expressed optimism that underachieving Vikings wideout Cordarrelle Patterson is gaining a better understanding of route-running and the nuances of playing the position in the NFL, which would allow his talent to result in greater productivity.

Patterson took a step back in 2014 after a mediocre rookie year. He played in every game, but managed just 33 receptions for 384 yards and one touchdown. He has since stated that 2015 is his make-or-break year and is apparently acting like it in the offseason.

"He's done real well," Zimmer told Fox Sports North. "He's running routes good. He's working hard. So we just need him to continue to do those things and continue to keep getting consistent and keep improving. I've been impressed."

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