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Rays Vs. Athletics: Tampa Bay And Oakland Announce Thursday Lineups

The Tampa Bay Rays closed out their series against the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday with a 5-3 victory. The win moves them just three games back in the AL East behind the first place New York Yankees.

The Rays have won seven of their last 10 games but face a tough task from the visiting Oakland A's, who come in winners of six of their last 10 and are five games back of the AL West-leading Texas Rangers. Both these teams will battle it out over the next three days for sole possession of the AL Wild Card.

The Rays and A's have released their lineups for the series opener. First, the visitors from Oakland:

1. Coco Crisp (S) CF
2. Stephen Drew (L) SS
3. Josh Reddick (L) RF
4. Yoenis Cespedes (R) LF
5. Chris Carter (R) 1B
6. Seth Smith (L) DH
7. Josh Donaldson (R) 3B
8. Derek Norris (R) C
9. Cliff Pennington (S) 2B

And now, the lineups for Tampa Bay:

1. Sam Fuld (L) LF
2. B.J. Upton (R) CF
3. Matt Joyce (L) RF
4. Evan Longoria (R) 3B
5. Ben Zobrist (S) SS
6. Jeff Keppinger (R) 1B
7. Luke Scott (L) DH
8. Ryan Roberts (R) 2B
9. Jose Molina (R) C

The starting pitcher for the Oakland A's will be Tyson Ross, while the starter on the hill for the Rays will be Alex Cobb. First pitch from Tropicana Field will be at 7:10 p.m. ET.

For more on the Rays go visit DRaysBay as well as SB Nation Tampa Bay, and go check out Athletics Nation and SB Nation Bay Area for everything on the A's. Also check outBaseball Nation for even more news and notes from around the Majors.

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