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Tampa Bay Rays Vs. LA Angels: Game 1 Lineup

The Rays have set their lineup for their first game against the Los Angeles Angels. Casey Kotchman will get his third straight nod at the first base position, having hit a home run in yesterday's second game. Kotchman, a Tampa-area native, was originally signed to a minor league deal by the Rays, but has received considerable playing time in the wak of Manny Ramirez's retirement.

Today's lineup, per

Fuld, S, LF
Damon, J, DH
Upton, B, CF
Joyce, M, RF
Zobrist, B, 2B
Kotchman, C, 1B
Lopez, F, 3B
Jaso, J, C
Brignac, R, 2B

Players to watch:

  • The top five hitters in today's lineup have a combined 26 steals this April. Expect Rays manager Joe Maddon to continue his aggressive ways and pressure Ervin Santana and Jeff Mathis on the base paths.
  • Right fielder Matt Joyce will get the start against Santana. Joyce has displayed some solid contact and a good eye for the plate lately, but has yet to hit his first home run. In his career, Santana tends to allow a few more homers than league average, so tonight could be a good night for Joyce to break into the Home Run Club.
  • Felipe Lopez, after hitting well early in the season, has gone rather cold as his playing time has dried up. If he wants to keep his roster spot after Evan Longoria returns, then he needs to look competent at the plate -- as well as capable in the field.

Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.